Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

RISING ALTAMAHA TO GET NEW RAMP; Improvements Used as Bait for Big Tournaments

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

RISING ALTAMAHA TO GET NEW RAMP; Improvements Used as Bait for Big Tournaments

Article excerpt

Byline: MIKE MORRISON

JESUP - The Altamaha River is rising in Wayne County, and that's just part of the good news about the river.

Gov. Sonny Perdue included Jaycee Landing on his list of "mega-ramp" sites as part of the Go Fish Georgia initiative. Ten such sites across the state were selected for improvements to lure large fishing tournaments to the state and encourage fishing as a recreational activity.

Wayne County will receive up to $300,000 from the state to improve Jaycee Landing, County Administrator Mike Deal said. The county will chip in labor and materials to partially match the state funding and bring the total cost of improvements to around $400,000, he said.

"It's going to be pretty neat," Deal said. "We have a unique situation here in that we have this great resource."

One of the major fishing tournament trails will host a tournament at Jaycee Landing on the Altamaha just outside Jesup after it has been refurbished.

"It's guaranteed that we'll have one major tournament because of this," Deal said. "But it will be up to us to keep them around in future years."

ATTRACTING BIG TOURNAMENTS

Largemouth bass is the top draw for freshwater tournament fishing, but Deal said tournaments already are held at Jaycee Landing for other species, including the invasive flathead catfish.

A tournament last summer drew more than 100 boats and removed a lot of the destructive fish from the river. Flatheads eat redbreast sunfish, bullhead catfish and other fish species prized by recreational anglers, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources has said.

The facilities at Jaycee Landing must be enhanced substantially to make it ready for a large tournament.

Improvements include increasing dock space to the point that it can accommodate 100 or more boats, widening the road between U.S. 301 and the landing, providing more parking and refurbishing the launch ramps, Deal said. …

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