Passes to help state agency with maintenance costs

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Many state agencies have been feeling the economic pinch, forcing them to become innovative and come up with ways to pay for such things as site maintenance.

The Georgia Wildlife Resources Division on Thursday announced that a Georgia Outdoor Recreation Pass (GORP) will be required at 32 properties owned by the division. A spokesman said the pass “will help the Wildlife Resources Division cover the maintenance costs of properties that experience heavy traffic from secondary users.”

The division defines secondary uses as hiking, cycling, caving, bird watching and similar activities.

The pass won’t become effective until Jan. 1. The GORP fees are three-day, $3.50; GORP plus fishing, $3.50; GORP Annual, $19; Small Group (8 people are fewer), three-day, $10; Small group, Annual, $35.

Passes will be required for people ages 16-64. No pass is needed for those holding a valid Wildlife Management Area license, an honorary license, sportsmen’s license, lifetime license or three-day hunting/fishing license.

A list of 32 areas requiring the pass include all of the McDuffie Public Fishing Area near Dearing, the Tuckahoe Wildlife Management Area Campground in Screven County and the Yuchi Wildlife Management Area Shooting Range in Burke County.

Passes are available now and can be purchased at www.georgiawildlife.com, by calling (800) 366-2661, or by visiting a license retail agent.

THURMOND LAKE

Raysville Marina (Leon Buffington and Doug Pentecost), (706) 595-5582 – Tommy Burdett caught seven crappies, two catfish and a bream in the Fish House. Russell Crowe caught 20 crappies fishing jigs around the islands near the marina. William Hopkins, of Raysville, caught 30 crappies on minnows.

Ralph Barbee Jr., professional guide specializing in largemouth bass, (706) 860-7373 – Kirk Daniel and I fished on Monday. I caught a 3-pounder on the Yellow Fellow, five jacks. He caught a 2-pound bass and three jackfish (chain pickerel). I went by myself on Tuesday. I caught a 3-pounder on the Yellow Fellow, seven jacks. I fished Thursday by myself and caught six bass, 3 to 3½-pounds apiece schooling off a point in Wildwood about 12:30 p.m., and have not caught another. Most were caught on the Yellow Fellow and Pop-R.

My new show features Capt. Dan Utley out of Hilton Head. We catch large redfish, a 100-pound bull shark and another fish that got away. We fished cut mullet. Fishing with Ralph Barbee airs Saturdays at 11 a.m., and Sundays at 1:30 p.m. on Comcast Channel 21, My12TV, Knology Ch. 7, Atlantic Broadband (Aiken) Ch. 7 and Charter Ch. 9 (Fort Gordon).

William Sasser’s Guide Service, (Capt. William Sasser and Capt. Mark Crawford, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed, full time professional guides specializing in crappies, hybrids and striped bass). (706) 589-5468 (William), (706) 373-8347 (Mark) or (864) 333-2000. (Clark Hill Herring Hut) – Daniel Washington, Thomson; Leroy Willingham, Warrenton; Henry Willingham, Warrenton; Larry Freeman, New York, caught some nice stripers and hybrids, fishing blueback herring beneath planer boards. They also caught some white perch on light tackle. My Web site is www.williamsasserfishing.com.

Capt. Tommy Dudley, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide specializing in stripers and hybrids. (706) 833-4807 – Because of family issues, I won’t be making any guided trips for awhile. I’ll let everyone know when I am able to be active again. Check out my Web site at www.fishlakethurmond.com.

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) – Hunter: After fishing trips on the Toccoa River, Noontootla Creek, Soque River and the delayed harvest section of the Toccoa this week, I can attest to very hungry trout on many different streams. The only setback has been a lack of rain, resulting in low clear water and some fairly spooky fish. So fish with longer leaders (10 to 12 feet and lighter tippets (5X, 6X, 7X) and use a dry/dropper rig instead of a strike indicator unless you’re fishing the deepest hole. With proper presentations, you’ll find the trout are willing to participate. Stripping streamers from upstream has also proven very productive on both big and small streams.

MERRY LAND BRICKYARD PONDS

Check-in station, 1410 Doug Barnard Parkway, Gene Kirkland and Brantley Toomer, (706) 722-8263 – William Brown caught 42 crappies on minnows in the Ditch. Mike Williams caught 24 catfish on liver in the Pollard Pond. Doris Jones caught seven carp on dough balls in the Ditch. Samuel Adams caught 32 catfish and bream on crickets in the Garden Pond. Greg Wylie caught six bass, two over 6 pounds each, on plastic worms in the Expressway Pond. Claude Daley and Jerry Archer caught 50 big crappies on minnows in the Membership Pond, Tom Carlson caught seven bass in the King Pond on top-water plugs.

BEAUFORT, S.C. & VICINITY

Ralph Goodison, Fripp Island, (843) 838-2530 – Rough weather has kept most fishermen off the water, but those who have braved the elements are catching redfish and trout. I was out today (Wednesday) looking for missing crab pots. High tides and rough waters have been tough on anglers.

Next event is the Kids Fishing Thanksgiving Tournament on Nov. 25. Registration is free and tee shirts, food, drinks, ice cream and many prizes will be awarded. Kids must bring their own tackle plus an adult sponsor. For more information, call Fripp Island Marina at (843) 838-1517.

SAVANNAH, GA.

Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, (912) 897-4921 (www.missjudycharters.com.) P.O. Box 30771, Savannah, Ga. 31410-0771 – Now is the time to target sheepshead, which have migrated out of the rivers, sounds and off the beachfronts to any near-shore wrecks. Best baits remain the purple or black-back fiddler crabs, small pieces of shrimp, live shrimp and green mussels. Remember, with this fish, you have to set the hook before the bite!

Live shrimp fished beneath adjustable floats is the main bait for spotted sea trout. Once you get a bite going, switch to soft plastic baits such as the D.O.A. and Gulps.

I have been catching little tunny, blues and Spanish mackerel on artificial lures. Once past the Warsaw Sea buoy, look for birds feeding or just sitting on the water. Small swimming silver lures or spoons are best.


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