Into the WILD
The Covington News is looking to expand its coverage of the area’s outdoor sports and its sportsmen. The News will dedicate this space to stories, calendar items and photos of fishing, hunting and other outdoor sports.
Deer hunting season begins for archers
Deer hunting season is officially underway as archers were allowed to harvest the mammals on Saturday.
According to a Georgia Department of Natural Resources press release, 118,500 archery hunters harvested more than 68,000 deer last year.
Statewide archery season runs through Oct. 12, although hunters may hunt deer with archery equipment through the entire deer season.
“Archery season in the Peach State offers excellent deer hunting opportunities and a chance to bag a ‘quality buck,’” said John W. Bowers, assistant chief of Game Management. “Georgia has more than one million acres of public land and has had 460 Georgia bucks accepted into the Pope and Young Club. This makes it a top destination for non-resident hunters.”
Georgia ranks No. 1 in the nation for attracting out-of-state hunters, according to the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies. Hunters account for $679 million in retail sales in Georgia each year with a $1.1 billion ripple effect.
Many public lands offer specialty hunts, including primitive weapons hunts, adult/child hunts and ladies-only hunts. Dates and locations for these hunts are listed in the 2012-2013 Georgia Hunting Seasons and Regulations guide. Georgia offers more than 90 state-operated wildlife management areas for the public’s use. These areas are funded through a combination of state license fees and matching federal funds from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services’ Wildlife Restoration Program.
Hunters are allowed a season bag limit of 10 antlerless deer and two antlered deer (one of the two antlered deer must have a minimum of four points, one inch or longer, on one side of the antlers). Special regulations apply to archery-only counties and extended archery season areas. To pursue deer in Georgia, hunters must have a valid hunting license, big game license and a current deer har-
vest record. If hunting on a WMA, a WMA license also is required.
A new deer harvest record is required for all deer hunters, including big game license holders, honorary and lifetime license holders, hunters under 16 years of age and landowners. Deer harvest records are available free of charge at gohuntgeorgia.com/recreational-licenses or at a retail license agent. Limit on red snapper
The Georgia Department of Natural Resource announced the U.S. Secretary of Commerce has approved a request by NOAA Fisheries to limit the harvest of red snapper in the federal waters of the South Atlantic.
Anglers are allowed to harvest the species from Sept. 14-16 and again on Sept. 21-23, and each angler is allowed one red snapper per day with no size restriction. Fishing reports
According to havefunfishing.com, Lake Oconee is full and 87-92 degrees.
Bass fishing is fair with the main lake clear and staining up the rivers. Start the day with a white or a white and chartreuse buzz bait. Fish it along the sea walls and rip rap.
After the top-water bite ends move to the deep water docks and start to work a Texas rigged Zoom U tail worm in a dark green or pumpkin under the docks. Keep moving until you find a dock with active fish.
You can also find fish on the end of points using a crank bait that will run 10 feet deep. Use a shad pattern in clear water and a fire tiger in stained water. The fish are starting to move into shallower water as temperatures fall.
Line side fishing is fair with fishing in the mid lake to south end flats and humps with a large crank bait. Troll the bait 100 feet behind the boat at 2.5-3 miles per hour. Keep a top water popper ready in the afternoon for schooling fish that will come up all over the south end of the lake. According to havefunfishing.com, Lake Sinclair is down 1.58 feet, 85 degrees and mostly stained. Bass fishing is fair and has started to pick back up with few good fish being caught.
Most fish are being caught on Carolina rigged Zoom finesse or Zoom U tail worms in the green pumpkin or watermelon color. Fish these baits on a 12 pound test Sufix Elite line with a 2 to 3 foot leader and a Carolina keeper.
Alabama rigs are also fair and the fish are active right at daylight on the lower lake.According to havefunfishing.com, Jackson Lake is down 2.87 feet, clear and 84 degrees.
Bass fishing has been picking up with a lot of small fish biting. The best action lake-wide has been close to the dam.
Jigs in combinations of browns and greens are fair but use small ones. Work the jigs slowly around any and all wood in both shallow and deep water and don’t forget to work the docks from all sides and angles. Use small ¼ and 3/8 ounce jigs with small pork or Zoom salt trailers.
Carolina rigged worms off the points are catching a few small spots and greens are the right colors. Pumpkinseed, green pumpkin and watermelon seed are fair with a Carolina rig with ¼ to ½ ounce weights. Later in the day, fish with the No. 5 Shad Rap at the small points along the main channels.