The Augusta Canal National Heritage Area is the chief beneficiary during Saturday’s CanalFEST at the Mill Village trailhead, 109 Eve St.
The celebration will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free.
CanalFEST raffle tickets will be sold only at the festival in lots of 60 for $50, 20 for $20, eight for $10 or three for $5.
The grand prize consists of a complete fly fishing outfit from Rivers and Glen in Surrey Center, including Orvis and Simms brand clothing, tackle and accessories for a fly fishing trip, plus a suitcase to pack it all in. The package is valued at $2,000.
Other prizes include a $600 bicycle from Andy Jordan’s Bicycle Center, a $580 membership at Evans Fitness Center and a $495 Polar Cooler from Cabela’s.
A special offering includes locally famous King Mill cotton blankets – infant-sized and full sized. More information: Julia Shurtleff at(706) 823-0440.
The popular Ocmulgee Public Fishing Area between Hawkinsville and Cochran has reopened to the public. There’s good fishing for largemouth bass, bluegills and shellcrackers, crappie and channel catfish. For more information, go online and click on Ocmulgee PFA.
Capt. David Willard, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed, fulltime professional guide specializing in hybrids, striped bass and trophy largemouth bass. (Boat phone: (706) 214-0236. (803) 637-6379 (www.crockettrocketstriperfishing.com) – Water temperatures are in the low 70s and the lake is clear. We’re catching some nice limits of stripers and hybrids in the 2-1/2 to 5-pound class. Some mornings it’s fast furious and other mornings we’re having to look for them. We’ve been able to find them as late as 11 a.m., and they still bite. Milton Pope, from Columbia, S.C., and his group caught a limit of stripers. Randy Kitchens, Greenville, S.C., and his group also caught limits of stripers and hybrids and 12 catfish. Mike Cantrell and his group from Spartanburg, S.C., had a good morning, catching a cooler load of stripers and hybrids and several spotted in the 3-1/2 to 4-pound range. We look forward to fishing staying good through Christmas.
William Sasser’s Guide Service, (Capt. William Sasser, Capt. Bradd Sasser, Capt. Andrew Tubbs, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed, full time professional guides specializing in crappies, hybrids and striped bass). (706) 589-5468 (William), (Bradd) (706) 267-4313, (Andrew) (803) 507-5083 – Bradd Sasser – Most of the lake has turned over and the fall bite is in full swing. The downline bite has been very good, but as surface temperatures drop, the planer board and freeline bites will begin to pick up. Hybrids and stripers are still holding in the 25- to 35-foot range off points, feeding the first thing in the morning. After the initial bite, the fish are scattering along the edges of ditches and the creek mouths. We are starting to see some schools pushing farther back into the creeks and this will be a consistent pattern as cooler weather sets in. The fish have started moving away from the lower end of the lake and more out Georgia’s Little River towards Cherokee Creek and upriver toward Fishing Village and South Carolina’s Little River. The crappie bite has turned on strong with Soap Creek and Little River, S.C., producing nice slabs toward brush piles. For those who prefer largemouth fishing we are seeing schools of largemouths and Kentucky spotted bass breaking all along channel edges in mid-lake near Dordon Creek. White perch and catfish are still lingering in the 35-40-foot range off the sides of humps, with medium minnows (perch) and cut bait (catfish) working well. The Savannah River below the dam is red hot for bream and yellow perch being caught oin worms and minnows. There also is a cool weather strip[er bite going on in the river during generation, with good-sized fish swirling along the wall and rocks.
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NORTH GEORGIA MOUNTAIN STREAMS
Carter and Hunter Morris, licensed professional guides specializing in fly fishing for rainbow, brook and brown trout. (706) 833-1083(www.flyfishingnorthgeorgia.com) (facebook.com/flyfishingnorthgeorgia) – Georgia’s Delayed Harvest Season is now open. This means lots of opportunities for catch and release fishing for fly fishermen without having to compete with others who want to keep trout. The Toccoa River DH, Chattooga River DH and Smith Creek in Unicoi State Park are among some of the streams now open to Delayed Harvest regulations. They call for all trout to be released immediately and only artificial, single hook flies/lures can be used.
MERRY LAND BRICKYARD PONDS
Check-in station, 1408 Doug Barnard Parkway, John Byars, (706 722-8263) —-
There are multiple ponds offering good fishing for largemouth bass, bream and shellcracker, crappies and catfish.