Every fisherman knows that a bad day fishing is better than a good day working. In spite of cooler winter weather, a few hardy souls will still take to the water for a chance to catch that big one.
As the temperatures rise, however, anglers of all ages begin inspecting their rods and reels and verifying their tackles boxes have all the needed accessories.
Springtime also is when the outdoor recreation personnel at Fort Stewart’s Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation department officially kick off fishing season with its first fishing tournament of the year. A catch-and-release bass tournament will be held at Stewart’s Pineview Lake, also called Pond 1, from 6:30-11 a.m. Saturday, March 17
“Pineview is a good size lake,” said Bill Cooney, FMWR outdoor recreation assistant. “We had our biologists go out there and tag some of the fish, so there will be additional prizes awarded.”
Cooney said Stewart biologists and fish and wildlife personnel will be there to kick off the event at daylight as well as weigh-in time. The total weight of a five-fish maximum determines the winner, he said. There also will be an award presented for the biggest fish and a youth category.
Registration the day of the tournament at the Stewart or Hunter Army Airfield Pass and Permit office is $30 for active duty, retirees and family members, and $40 for civilians.
Fishermen are required to have a valid Georgia fishing license and Stewart-Hunter fishing permit. Boat rentals are available to military ID card-holders with a boater safety card at Holbrook Equipment Rental Center.
The pass and permit office is in building 8093 off Highway 144 beyond the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team cantonment area.
For more information about the bass tournament or purchasing a permit, call 435-8061 or 315-5163.
“Pineview is large enough to hold 20 normal-size boats,” said Cooney. “Right now I think we have 15 boats registered for that morning, so we’ve still got room for a few more.”
Cooney said another bass tournament is already planned for April 14 at Metz Pond. A kids’ fishing derby is planned for June 9, and a family fishing event is planned for Sept. 8.
In addition to selling Stewart-Hunter fishing and hunting permits, they sell maps, ice, fish bait, fishing poles and fishing accessories. The Stewart facility also has firearm and archery ranges, and both Stewart and Hunter Pass & Permit offices offer Hunter Safety Classes.