SOCIAL CIRCLE – In 2018, more than 100 anglers reeled in an Angler Award for outstanding catches. This award program recognizes those who catch fish that meet or exceed a specific weight or length for that particular species. This year, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division will introduce three new additional award categories recognizing even more angler catches.
“We are excited about these new opportunities to recognize even more great fish that Georgia anglers are catching,” Matt Thomas, chief of the WRD Fisheries Management Section, said in a news release. “These new programs give us the chance to put the spotlight on youth and adult anglers, those catching lunker largemouths, and those reeling in the big ones from our Public Fishing Areas.”
Angler Award Opportunities
· Angler Award-Adult: Anglers (age 16 and up) can be rewarded for catching quality-size fish (kept fish or catch-and-release) that meet or beat a specific weight or length.
· Angler Award-Youth: Anglers (age 15 and younger) can be rewarded for catching quality-size fish (kept fish or catch-and-release) that meet or beat a specific weight or length. Note – weights and lengths reduced for youth Angler Awards.
· Trophy Largemouth Bass: Recognizing catches of largemouth bass weighing 10-plus pounds. Catch one that is 13-plus pounds? Get a free replica mount.
· PFA Record: Recognizing the largest fish of each species caught and properly documented at each PFA. Species include largemouth bass, black or white crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish and channel catfish.
To view all Angler Award program rules, find weights/lengths, current records, 2018 angler award winners, and award recognition information, etc., visit https://georgiawildlife.com/fishing/anglerawards.
Other Fishing Recognition Programs
· State Records: In addition to the angler award program, the division also maintains a freshwater fish state-record program for anglers who land a catch that exceeds the existing record catch weight by one ounce or more. More information at http://georgiawildlife.com/fishing/recordprogram/rules.
· Kids First Fish Certificate: The division wants to recognize children across the state for catching their first fish with the online kid’s first fish award certificate available at https://georgiawildlife.com/my-first.
Spending any amount of time fishing, is time well spent. Angler Awards might just make that fishing trip even more fun. More on fishing in Georgia at http://georgiawildlife.com/fishing/angler-resources.
The Georgia DNR’s Wildlife Resources Division also has updated 2019 fishing forecasts for 32 Georgia reservoirs and 18 rivers. The report is available at https://georgiawildlife.com/fishing-forecasts.
“Each forecast is detailed with highly useable information and is connected to an interactive map, providing an additional layer of information to this already excellent resource,” Thom Litts, operations manager for WRD Fisheries Management Section, said. “Last year, more than 25,000 anglers used these resources, so if you are not checking out these forecasts for your favorite water body before heading out, you are missing out.”
Georgia’s waters offer anglers some of the most diverse fishing opportunities in the southeast with more than 500,000 acres of reservoirs and 12,000 miles of warm-water streams. Each fishing forecast guide includes best bets, technique tips, target recommendations and contact information.
Lake forecasts include Allatoona, Andrews, Bartlett’s Ferry, Blackshear, Blue Ridge, Burton, Carters, Chatuge, Chehaw, Clarks Hill, Goat Rock, Hamburg, Hartwell, High Falls, Jackson, Juliette, Lanier, Nottely, Oconee, Oliver, Rabun, Randy Poynter, Richard B. Russell, Seed, Seminole, Sinclair, Tobesofkee, Tugalo, Varner, Walter F. George, West Point and Yonah.
Rivers detailed include the Altamaha, Chattahoochee, Chattooga, Conasauga, Coosa, Coosawattee, Etowah, Flint, Ochlockonee, Ocmulgee, Oconee, Ogeechee, Oostanaula, Satilla, Savannah, St. Marys, Suwannee and Toccoa rivers.
For even more fishing tips, be sure to check out the weekly Fishing Blog post at https://georgiawildlife.blog/category/fishing/.