All night fishing offered at Charlie Elliott

MANSFIELD -- Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center is adding a new twist to an old pastime.

The center will offer all-night fishing at Margery and Bennett ponds at its Mansfield campus on Aug. 3 and 17.

"We're experimenting to see how popular it is among the anglers," said Keith Weaver, fisheries biologist.

If the events prove successful, Charlie Elliott may host more next spring and summer. The nighttime fishing will give anglers a chance to fish in cooler temperatures and possibly catch more fish, he said.

"Often times, with the catfish populations, fishing is better at night. It cools down and a lot of the fish are more active," Weaver explained.

The all-night events are scheduled for Friday evenings and regular hours -- from sun up to sundown -- will resume on Saturday.

There will be a small supply of navigational lights for boaters without those devices to borrow, Weaver said, noting they will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Bank fishing will be allowed in designated areas and docks will be lit to attract fish. Participants are encouraged to bring lanterns and flashlights.

Participants will be required to abide by all license requirements and boating laws. Anglers 16 years of age and older must have a Wildlife Management Area license and a fishing license to fish. Anyone with a sportsman's license, three-day hunting/fishing license, senior lifetime or honorary license is exempt from that requirement. Non-anglers age 16 to 64 must have a Georgia Outdoor Recreational Pass or one of the listed licenses. Licenses can be purchased at www.georgiawildlife.com

Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Wildlife Resources Division law enforcement will be on hand to assist participants if needed and make sure they are licensed.

DNR staff will be polling participants at checkpoints to find out how their evening went and to get information about type and weight of fish caught. For more information, call 706-557-3340. Charlie Elliott is located at 543 Elliott Trail in Mansfield.