North Georgia Striper Club Takes 14 Kids Fishing
Sportsmen need to thank this group of striper fishermen. They stepped up to the plate donating time, boats and fishing tackle to take kids striper fishing at Lake Lanier.
Don Baldwin | January 2, 2007
The mist was rising off the surface of Lake Sidney Lanier on a brisk December morning as 14 boats left Little Hall Park in search of striped bass. It wasn’t an unusual sight since striper clubs often go out early to compete for cash and braggin’ rights, and this was a striper club. But today wasn’t to be your usual tournament outing.
This morning there were 14 kids aboard, bundled up against the cold and smiling broadly. These kids were going fishing for stripers as guests of the North Georgia Striper Club, and the excitement and anticipation was high.
It can be tough to get a kid up and out early in the morning. And with the proliferation of available electronic gizmos — video games, DVD players, and the like, getting kids interested in the outdoors can be a challenge at any time. The North Georgia Striper Club took on that challenge and, in collaboration with the GONetwork’s SEEDS program, created the SEEDS Lanier Striper Day.
“I’m proud of these guys,” said Fred Wammock, president of the striper club and GONetwork Sporman Senator for District 21. “They donated their time, skills and the use of their boats to make a few kids happy and introduce them to this great sport.”
Many of the kids had never caught a striper, and they were lucky to have some of the best lineside fishermen around this part of the state to show them the ropes.
The day turned out to be warm and beautiful after the sun got up and while that was great for creature comfort (the human type) it made for tough fishing conditions.
“This time of the year the water temperature should be cold and the fish generally deep,” said Gary Collier, camera boat driver for the day. “But with the mixture of cold and warm weather we have had the fish are all over the place.”
The anglers were trying virtually every method to catch fish, and though the action was sparse, there were fish caught both shallow and deep. Planer boards, downlines and umbrella rigs were all used to catch fish.
The biggest fish of the day was a 13 1/2-pounder that was boated by Matthew Webb, 12, of Franklin. It was Matthew’s first time fishing for stripers, and he caught the big fish with a blueback herring on a downline in 20 feet of water.
Although not everyone caught a fish, all 14 kids went away winners. Local sponsors donated prize packages for all of the kids, and the striper club put on a nice lunch to feed the hungry anglers.
All in all it was a great day, and the junior anglers all learned a lot and had fun. The GONetwork thanks the North Georgia Striper Club for putting on this very special SEEDS event. These guys can teach us all the lesson that if we don’t take the time to introduce kids to the outdoors, our favorite pastimes will suffer.
If you have an interest in hosting a SEEDS hunting or fishing trip, call the GONetwork at (800) 866-5516.
If you would like to know more about the North Georgia Striper Club, call Fred at (770) 928-7847. Fred will be glad to provide you with details, and he may even sign you up. You can also visit the club’s website at <www.ngstripers.org>.
SEEDS Lanier Striper Winners
Eric Butler, Maysville
Timothy Christian, Loganville
Jonathan Compton, Tucker
Sean Cronin, Cumming
Brian Crowley, Cumming
Dorsey Forsyth, Cumming
Max Green, Temple
Travis Johnson, Social Circle
Wesley Kelley, Toccoa
Chelsae Knight, Stockbridge
Tyler Short, Cedartown
Maggie Thomas, Clarkesville
Matthew Webb, Franklin
Evan Williams, Lawrenceville
North Georgia Striper Club Captains:
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