MACON, Ga. — During the COVID-19 pandemic, many of Georgians are turning to a rod and reel for a little relief.

Timothy Rivers brought his family out to Jarvis Lucas Lake on Friday and it's not lost on him that his name has to do with water.

"Absolutely that's my last name," Rivers said.

That tickled him, but so did what he put in his cooler.

"He's roughly eight pounds. A big catfish," he said. "And also, my daughter caught a bream that's bigger than two hand sizes. It was amazing she was able to reel in something that big."

It's the thrill that has hooked people throughout the state on fishing this spring.

The state reports a 21 percent increase this year in fishing and hunting licenses.

Bass Pro says it is up 25 percent for fishing licenses over a three month period and Chucks Bait and Tackle manager Johnny Sanders says they've seen a bump too.

"It's been super busy with everyone being off work. Fishing licenses are selling, live bait," Sanders said.

Sanders says he's put in so many hours working that he hasn't gotten a chance to go fishing himself.

"Bass fishing was good last month and now a lot of bream are going on the bed, so break are good right now," he said.

Rivers says fishing takes a bite out of boredom when it comes to the times we're living in.

"Well what fishing does for us is it helps us relax, you know, help ease tension especially during this pandemic. Especially since the kids weren't able to get out as much and, you know, with us being quarantined," Rivers said.

So, if you have an inkling, grab a license and give fishing a try. It will give you more than just something for dinner.

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