In its second year, Cartersville Parks and Recreation Department's bonus fishing days are in full swing. This Saturday's event will be the second of three additional offerings, which are nestled between annual fishing days supported by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
"[The bonus fishing days] started last year, because we had the fish kill," said CPRD Director Greg Anderson, referring to fish dying at Dellinger Park Lake in 2017 due to low oxygen levels. "… The Georgia Department of Resources, they stock our lake every year. Then last year during the fish kill, they came out and tested our water and determined that we had too many fish. So we have introduced large mouth bass in there to keep some of the smaller bream … population down. Then we've also increased the fishing days to try to get rid of some of the larger catfish.
"… [DNR gives] us about 6,000 fish every November. So a lot of fish that are being caught this year and last year are some of the smaller ones that were stocked last year. Every now and then you'll get one that's been there three or four years, which those [are] ones that we want to try and clean out and just give the smaller ones more room to grow."
Held on the fourth Saturday in June, July and August, the complimentary bonus fishing days are first come, first served. Participants are encouraged to bring their fishing gear and bait, and arrive early to secure a spot at Dellinger Park Lake, located at 100 Pine Grove Road in Cartersville. Saturday's event will take place from 7 a.m. to noon.
"During our two events, Youth Fishing and [Senior] Fishing in June, we had a good turnout," Anderson said. "The fourth Saturday in June, we probably had about 30 or 40 people fishing, which turned out great for them. It was a great fishing day for them. So we expect to have somewhere between 30 and 40 again this month.
"… If I'm not mistaken, at one time and I'm sure it still is, fishing was the No. 1 sport in the world. [It is an] activity sport that everybody participates in. So it just gives people another location to fish. It's easy access for people that need assistance," he said, especially referring to individuals with disabilities. "… There's fish in here to be caught and people enjoy catching them."
Following the July 28 and Aug. 25 bonus offerings, Dellinger Park's fishing days will wrap up with National Hunting & Fishing Day Sept. 22 and Fall Fishing Day Oct. 8.
"Special notes or things to remember if you are coming out to fish: No fishing with minnows, no live bait, other than worms. No fishing from bridge or island,” James Gordy — assistant director for Cartersville Parks and Recreation Department — told The Daily Tribune News prior to Youth Fishing Day. "Catfish and bream are the most common fish varieties. There is no special area [to fish] — I have seen [fish] caught practically on all sides and areas of the lake.
"Catfish are, for the most time, bottom feeders, so to catch them, fish on the bottom. Bream are plentiful and usually like the biggest juicy worms held up by a bobber/float. [I] strongly suggest bringing a net to scoop those large fish. Be a courteous fisherman; do not throw your fishing line over others; leave no traces behind — pick up all trash; watch where your hook is at all times; and watch for others. If you bring a child, be sure to help them, teach them, but let them catch fish."
Further details about Cartersville’s fishing days can be obtained by calling 770-387-5626.