Are you all “fire-worked” out yet? We hope you have been able to set aside a little bit of time this holiday week (or upcoming weekend) to include some fishing! 

Did you know?

  • Between June 1 and July 31, all NEW license customers will be entered to win an amazing guided fishing trip, gear and accommodations! Find out more HERE
  • Angler Resources: Need to ID a fish? Want to know more about the Angler Award Program or State Records? Maybe you are a beginner and want to know how to get started? You can find links to all of these types of questions and so much more at our Angler Resources webpage.
  • Take a kid fishing! Whether it is to a Kids Fishing Event or just to your local pond, you will get to spend quality outdoor time and you will be passing on an activity they can enjoy for a lifetime. More info about Fishing with Kids HERE

This week’s report includes a link to information about multiple Georgia reservoirs and a Southeast Georgia report. Enjoy and Go Fish Georgia!

SOUTHEAST GEORGIA

(Fishing report courtesy of Bert Deener, fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)

Bass fishing has been very good this week, primarily in ponds. The biggest I heard of was an 11-lb., 7-oz. monster from a small river. I also heard of a 10-lb, 3-oz. bass from a pond. Saltwater fishing (flounder and trout) was very good, as well. The Altamaha is the best bet for river fishing. Last quarter moon is July 6th. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website HERE.

ALTAMAHA RIVER

Brittany at Jaycee Landing Bait and Tackle reported that mullet fishing is great, with creels around 30 fish per boat the norm. Red worms and little Aberdeen hooks are the ticket to catch them as they hang out around sandbars. Catfish (channels and flatheads) were also biting. Goldfish, shrimp, and rooster livers were tops. An angler fishing on Tuesday caught 11 crappie, 17 bream and a few redbreasts in some backwaters. Crickets and worms produced best for him. Donald at Altamaha Park said that catfishing was on fire. Flatheads and blues were eating goldfish fished on limb lines and rod-and-reel. One angler caught a 34-pound flathead on rod-and-reel (baited with goldfish). Shellcrackers were eating pink worms fished on the bottom. Crawdad Satilla Spins produced some nice bream, as did crickets, worms, black-yellow stripe beetlespins. Redbreasts were caught on crickets fished over sandbars. A group of Waycross anglers caught over 25 big rooster redbreasts on Saturday. Pink Trick Worms and crankbaits worked best for bass. The river level was 7.5 feet and rising (85 degrees) at the Baxley gage, and 8.2 feet and rising at the Doctortown gage on July 3rd.

SATILLA RIVER

Michael of Winge’s Bait and Tackle in Waycross said that before the river jumped again, folks were catching some nice bass on buzzbaits. Catfish were also caught by anglers putting worms on the bottom. Last week’s rains have pushed the river back into the floodplain, though. The river level on July 3rd at the Waycross gage was 9.8 feet and falling (80 degrees), and the Atkinson gage was 7.6 feet and rising.

ST. MARYS RIVER

Last Monday’s big rains near the Florida border jumped the river to flood stage. The Folkston gage jumped over 2 feet in a day. Before that, the bite was good, with bream, redbreasts, and warmouth caught in good numbers on crickets and worms fished in the Browntown area. A few nice shellcrackers were also caught. Catfishing was great all along the river with worms and shrimp on the bottom. The river level at the MacClenny gage on July 3rd was 12.9 feet and rising.

OKEFENOKEE SWAMP

The daily rains don’t help the fishing, as the fish spread back out into the flats when the water rises. Even so, the warmouth fishing has been pretty good out of the Folkston entrance. Buck Johnson has been catching lots of warmouth out of that entrance by using jigs over the last few weeks.

LOCAL PONDS

Second Baptist in Waycross took a group of youth to camp last weekend, and fishing was one of the options for free time. Joey, Jaden, Trevor, Ashton, Kent, and Preston put it on the bass in the pond. Ashton had the largest bass at 3 pounds. It inhaled a black/blue Keitech Noisy Flapper frog rigged on a Gamakatsu Toad Hook and fished over the weeds. Joey and Jaden tied for the most fish caught. The most consistent lure was a junebug or watermelon-gold flake 4-inch stick worm fished on a 4/0 Lock Tight Worm Hook. Michael Winge said that in Waycross area ponds, bream were caught on crickets, while bass inhaled pink Trick Worms.

SALTWATER (GA COAST)

SE GA Landon Cheng Flounder 7 18 - IMG_4084
Landon Cheng of Leesburg caught this doormat and several others on Saturday from the Jekyll Island Pier.

Trout fishing was great on the Cumberland Island beach for anglers fishing live shrimp and artificials. This is the time of year they spawn on the beaches. The St. Marys Jetties produced great trout catches this week, also. Artificials accounted for most of the fish I heard of, but I’m sure some folks were fishing live shrimp.  Flounder fishing off the Jekyll Pier was consistent this week for those fishing mudminnows and Gulp curly-tails. Landon Cheng of Leesburg caught the first flounder on Saturday. He’s a great flounder fisherman at the ripe old age of 10. Brenda Hampton outfished her husband Steve on Saturday. She had a 15-incher and another smaller keeper. Trout, reds, flounder, and tarpon were caught in the creeks around St. Simons Island. Mike and Trish Wooten of St. Simons Bait & Tackle said that big trout are all around the pier. Fish in the 18 to 22-inch range were caught on jigs and live shrimp. Bull whiting were landed with dead shrimp. Flounder averaging 18 inches were in the mix, as well. They ate mostly mudminnows and finger mullet. A few Spanish mackerel were caught on silver spoons and Gotcha plugs. Sharks were caught on cut bait. Stone crabs and big blue crabs were caught this week. The tasty crustaceans should grace crab baskets all summer long. You can monitor the marine forecast HERE.

BEST BET

Ponds and saltwater will likely be your best option this weekend, as most rivers are higher than ideal. In ponds, throw topwaters early and late for bass. This is the time of year when my friend Pat Cullen used to fling buzzbaits all night long and catch double-digit fish from Valdosta area ponds. He threw 4 different versions of black quad-blade and flat-bladed buzzbaits. Some nights they favored one over the others and other nights it didn’t matter which model you used. Fish the deepest areas for your chance at the biggest fish in the lake. The fish typically suspend during the hot days, but they will feed at night. In saltwater you should be able to catch a bunch of trout by fishing runouts on the Cumberland Beach or by fishing around the St. Marys Jetties. Tarpon and shark fishing is at its peak in the same areas. Find pods of pogies and you’ve usually found both flavors of predators. Warmouth fishing in the swamp is a good option in freshwater. Unfortunately, the latest dousing of water has risen all the rivers above ideal levels, but the Altamaha is still fishable. Spend time on flat waters this weekend for the best chance of success.

RESERVOIR FISHING REPORTS

Check out Southern Fishing with Ken Sturdivant for Reservoir Fishing Reports from Lanier, Sinclair, Russell, West Point, Allatoona, Seminole, Clarks Hill, Oconee, WF George, Hartwell, Jackson and Weiss.