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Outdoor Life: A Fort Stewart fishing adventure

Outdoor Life: A Fort Stewart fishing adventure

Outdoor Life: A Fort Stewart fishing adventure

Alvin Richardson


Just south of Bulloch County is the second largest public fishing and hunting entity in the state of Georgia (only the Chattahoochee National Forest is bigger). 
    Fort Stewart north of Hinesville, offers trophy bass fishing as well as high quality fishing for bream, crappie and catfish.
    This facility has been open since 1959 and has provided over a half century of recreational fishing for the citizens of Georgia. There are more than 20 ponds available for use totaling over 400 acres as well as 260 miles of black-water streams and rivers on the Canoochee and Ogeechee Rivers. 
    Many of the top 50 bass of all time from Georgia have been taken from the waters, which are intensively managed in order to produce a high quality fishery for the public to enjoy. 
    Of the top 50 largest largemouth bass caught in state history, eight of them come from this astounding resource. That should be enough to get you lathered up and getting your tackle out of storage.
    Now if you know anything about bass fishing you are aware that a 10 pounder is the catch of a lifetime. The included list is comprised of catches that constitute the things that dreams are made of. Fishing at Fort Stewart is within easy riding distance of Statesboro and is a trip that all of us need to make this spring or summer.
    There are a few things to know as you plan this trip. In addition to your Georgia fishing license you will have to purchase a permit (good for one year) from the Fort Stewart Pass and Permit office.  
    The office is located on Georgia Highway 144 in front of the pistol and archery range.  The office is open from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. on weekends and holidays. 
    The reason for this permit system is to raise money to continue the management efforts that have made this fantastic fishery possible. In addition to the permit there is also a check in requirement any time you are planning to go. The reason is because Fort Stewart is a base that constantly has training exercises going on, and therefore some ponds may be closed. This system is automated so that it can be done by phone.
    Fort Stewart furnishes an excellent website where you can obtain all the information necessary to plan your trip. You will find a list of ponds, maps, creel limits, details and cost of the permit and how to check in on the day you plan to fish. Basically anything you will need to know is on this well-organized page. There is also a photo gallery to give you a taste of some of the fish caught from the Fort Stewart ponds.
    Fort Stewart’s famous waters have not gone unnoticed by the major fishing magazines of the South. There are numerous articles on this destination in Georgia Outdoor News, Georgia Sportsman, and Outdoor Life. You can read those articles online once you get to the home page.
    March is one of the premier months of the year for fishermen to hit the ponds, lakes and rivers.
    Whether it is largemouth bass, bream, crappie or catfish that you seek it the time is right to be on the water.
    To get to Fort Stewart from I-16 you get off on Georgia Highway 67 and go South through Pembroke.  You then take Highway 119 South and look for the signs.  

    Alvin Richardson is a contributing writer, retired educator, and public speaker. Contact him at dar8589@bellsouth.net

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