Regional Reports-South

Callaway Gardens

Carl Warmouth, head of fishing operations at Callaway Gardens, isn't so naive to think that fishermen have always observed the Gardens's long-standing rules prohibiting the use of live bait. "There's not much you can do about it when someone drops a few worms into a Copenhagen can," Warmouth says. This spring, such innovative thinking won't be necessary for those who want to try their luck with something other than artificial lures at the popular Pine Mountain getaway. For the first time in the history of the Gardens, the public will be allowed to use live bait in the 175-acre Mountain Creek Lake, the one public lake within Callaway Gardens. Warmouth says he expects the new bait regulations, coupled with the lake's healthy populations of three-pound shellcrackers and two-pound bluegills, to lead to unprecedented creels. In anticipation of the increased catches, the limits at Callaway will be lowered from 15 bream per person to 10 per person. This month marks the peak bedding season for Callaway's monster panfish. On weekends, adults must pay $12 each and $6 for children to enter the grounds at Callaway Gardens. The fees are reduced to $10 for adults and $5 for children during the week. Boats may be rented for use in Mountain Creek Lake for prices ranging from $20 to $90 a day. Callaway Gardens is located off Georgia Highway 27 in Pine Mountain. Contact: Carl Warmouth (800-CALLAWAY).