The Georgia Wildlife Resources Division has been stocking trout in year-around North Georgia streams and is urging anglers to take advantage of it.
"While seasonal trout streams closed on Oct. 31, it's still a great time to get outdoors and do some trout fishing in streams and lakes that remain open through the winter," said Chuck Coomer, chief of fisheries.
Unlike the trout stocked in delayed harvest streams, anglers can keep these fish.
Some of the waters being stocked include Nancytown Lake in Habersham County, Panther Creek in Stephens County, Tallulah River in Rabun County, Chattahoochee River in Cobb and White counties, Lake Hartwell tailwater in Hart County, Toccoa River in Union and Fannin counties, and the Blue Ridge Lake tailwater in Fannin County.
Georgia trout anglers between 16 and 64 must possess a valid fishing license and trout license. Resident senior lifetime and honorary license holders are not required to have a trout license.
Creel limit is eight trout per day.
Mark Turner, 28, of Pamplico, S.C., now holds his state's record for Norfolk spot with a 1-pound, 4-ounce fish caught on a bloodworm in Murrells Inlet. Actually, he's tied with six others, even though his fish broke the old mark by one ounce. Eligible salt water fish weighing less than 50 pounds must exceed the old record by 4 ounces.
South Carolina students in kindergarten through 12th grade will have a chance to show they are "Reel Kids" by participating in the S.C. DNR's Reel Art contest. The contest is open to youngsters in public, private or home schools.
Contestants will compete in four age divisions and winners will have their work displayed at the Palmetto Sportsman's Classic next spring. Best of show will be displayed on the DNR web site.
Theme this year is "Aquatic Predators and Their Prey."
A list of fish living in South Carolina waters as well as a sport fish identification packet are available to teachers. For a copy of the rules or to receive a brochure and application, contact BeBe Harrison at 1 (803) 737-8483.
Looking for something special for that sportsman or woman in your life? The Georgia DNR suggests possible Christmas gifts or stocking stuffers in the forms of hunting and fishing licenses, maps of wilderness areas, fishing rod, reel and lures, guide to hiking trails in Georgia, field guides for birds, animals, foliage identification or others, field glasses, annual state park pass, tree stand, life jackets, camouflage outerwear, archery equipment, hiking shoes, multi-use tool, sleeping bag, compass, outdoors magazine subscription, thermal clothing, guided fishing trip, tackle box, or a tent.
Albert Moody of Augusta learned a couple of things to his benefit on the lake this week. No. 1: Don't try to cross the wake of the Corps of Engineers work boat at speed. No. 2: Avoid at all costs the small, rocky hump in the Savannah River out from Bass Alley. (He spotted it in time).
STROM THURMOND LAKE
Capt. Buddy Edge, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed full-time professional guide specializing in stripers and hybrids, fishing out of Plum Branch Yacht Club, 803-637-3226. - I've had a great year, so many thanks to all who fished with me. The fishing has been so good, I've enjoyed a 95 percent success catch rate.
Capt. Mike Patrick, Strom Thurmond Lake, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide specializing in stripers and hybrids, 1-864-333-2513. - I'm still catching limits of 4-to-10-pound fish on every trip. However, you must stay flexible and change tactics as the day goes along to be successful. I'm still looking for a trophy striper to show up any time now. That's why I love this sport so much because it's so challenging. Even though my parties caught plenty of good fish, I wasn't able to put any trophy rockfish in the boat. The 10-pound hybrids we caught pulled like a 20-pound rockfish, but it's just not the same. This rain may change things a little this weekend, but as long as the wind doesn't blow you off the lake, you should be able to catch some fish.
Raysville Marina, near Thomson, Ga. (Doug Pentecost, Leon Buffington, 1-706-595-5582) - Mike Arrington caught six catfish near the Raysville Bridge. He also caught nine hybrids, all coming on herring.
Ralph Barbee, professional guide, (706) 860-7373): A new segment of "Fishing with Ralph Barbee" is now being telecast on Comcast Channel 4 on Tuesdays at 10 p.m., Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m.
Ron Figueroa, professional guide specializing in largemouth bass, hybrid bass, (706) 832-7230 (firstname.lastname@example.org). I fished with Nick Young of Augusta on Wednesday. We fished spinnerbaits and caught three bass about 2 pounds apiece and two or three yellow perch. We fished near S.C. Little River and caught two bass about 2 pounds apiece around stumps and brushpiles. I threw that Buckeye chartreuse and white spinnerbaits on Georgia flats. I caught nine bass averaging about 3 pounds.
SAVANNAH RIVER New Savannah Bluff Lock & Dam
Lock and Dam Bait and Tackle (Bob Baurle), 1-706-793-8053 - The Mayor's Pond will be closed Dec. 31 and reopened on March 23 for Kids' Day and then to the public thereafter. Ten thousand channel catfish have been stocked in the pond. River fishing is slow, except a few yellow perch averaging a pound in weight are being caught off the dam.
Fishermen are reminded striped bass and hybrid bass cannot be lawfully caught and kept from the river's mouth at Savannah to the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam. The moratorium is in effect until at least the year July 1, 2006.
MERRY BROTHERS BRICKYARD PONDS
Harrison Sears, with Bill Gibson 1 (706) 722-2980 - Troy Booker has made several nice catches of crappies fishing the Pollard and King ponds from the bank. Michael Freeman caught several nice bass on a stickbait fished from the bank in the Shack Pond. Harold Wilkerson Sr., and Jr., fished this (Thursday) morning and caught a 5 1/2 and 1 3/4 -pound bass on spinnerbaits in the Middle Ditch. Crappie fishing around the lilypads in the ditch is still good.
ATLANTIC OCEAN BEAUFORT, S.C. & VICINITY Includes Paradise Pier
Joe Mix, Island Outfitters, Ladys Island, 1-(843)-522-9900 - Last weekend, two anglers fishing with charter captain Jack Brown boated 13 spottails between 6 and 10 pounds. They were taken at the Harbor River flats on a variety of baits, including large mud minnows fished without corks, with light split shot on the line. Lead-headed Electric Chicken grubs also were effective when cast to tailing schools. Jack prefers fishing rising tides over the flats. Others report nice spottail action on live shrimp in creeks. Speckled trout remain scarce, but a few anglers have had success trolling grubs until one is caught. Then they mark the spot, anchor and cast live shrimp beneath popping floats. Inshore water temperature is holding at 62 degrees. Live bottoms at the North Hole continue to produce limits of red snapper. The 106-foot barge sunk at the Beaufort 45 reef in October can be located at coordinates 3207.152/08029.420.
Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, 912-897-4921 or www.missjudycharters.com. - Inshore fishing continues to be super hot for trout and bass. King mackerel have finally appeared, with hot spots including the J Buoy or Gray's Reef.
Bottom fishing offshore is at its all-time winter high. The buildup of large black sea bass at area artificial reefs is unbelievable. We caught our creel limit (20 per person) in a short time. Most were caught on cut squid. I also had fun catching them on Hopkins spoons, fishing with 20-pound line. I dropped down, jerked up the spoon a few times and let it fall, and quickly hooked up with a large humpback greenhead, which is what we call male black sea bass at this time of year. I've been fishing for more than 40 years, but I still enjoy spoon-jigging for bass.
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