Into the WILD

The Covington News - - Sports -

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 go­hunt­ge­or­­ational-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 have­fun­fish­, 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 have­fun­fish­, 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 have­fun­fish­, 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.

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