This 125-mile river starts in the acid swamps of Okeefenokee and becomes a tidal river below US 17 north of Jacksonville. Upstream is redbreast sunfish and small largemouth bass territory. The salt marsh zone is famous for striped bass (the same is true for nearby Nassau River).
Charlie's Fish Camp 904-225-0102
St. Mary's River Fish Camp 904-845-4440
Both of these coastal rivers give anglers the opportunity to catch a variety of freshwater species. When fishing the Saint Marys River, be sure to keep current on both Florida and Georgia regulations as rules change depending on your location. The upper reaches of the river’s fresh water hold largemouth bass, bream, and catfish. When targeting bream, look for aquatic vegetation and woody structure like snags, logjams or tree limbs. Live baits, such as grass shrimp, small worms, and crickets are great choices for panfish in these waters. Bream can also be taken by casting small spinners like beetle spins and jigs in and around the snags mentioned above. Bluegill and redbreast sunfish should become more aggressive as water temperatures increase. Both the Nassau and the St. Marys River have good populations of largemouth bass as well, and anglers should fish flooded cypress trees and other woody structure with soft plastics or jigs. Crankbaits should produce fish as well. Depending on water temperatures, you might see a few straggler bass on the beds. Good largemouth fishing can be found in the areas around King’s Ferry, Boulogne and St. George. Catfish can be targeted in deeper holes around woody structure using a variety of live, dead, or cut baits. In the lower stretches of these rivers anglers can fish for a variety of saltwater species including drum, sea trout, and flounder. Much like their freshwater counterparts, the warming weather should increase feeding activity in the lower reaches of the river. Live bait is an effective way of taking these species, with mud-minnows, shrimp, and crabs being popular choices. Artificial jigs and plugs are two effective ways to target these fish as well. Areas to target include deeper holes, current breaks, woody structure, and areas of hard bottom or oyster shells.