Chattahoochee River Columbus, Georgia

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Top 10 Fishing Destinations in Georgia

Georgia is located in the southeast of United States. The varied terrain of Georgia, famous for hosting Master’s Golf Tournaments, includes coastal beaches, mountains and vast expenses of farmland. The largemouth bass is Georgia’s officially designated State fish. You’ll find a gorgeous array of game fish here, including rainbow trout in crystal-clear mountain streams, sumptuous hand-size bluegill, and even giant coastal grouper. If saltwater fishing is your thing, you are going to love three dozen artificial reefs managed by the Natural Resources Department Of Georgia. You will see red snapper, bunch, bluefish, cobia, black sea bass and amberjack here.

The many creeks and rivers flow into the ocean abound with spotted sea trout and red drum. If you are thinking to head offshore and not hire a boat, there are still flounder, blackhead, and sheepshead off docks and piers.

Georgia's Fishing Licenses

If you are above 16, you will need a valid fishing license to fish legally in Georgia. Fishing licenses can be obtained from Wildlife Resource Division of the Natural Resource Department of Georgia from a local agent or from the website of the Wildlife Resource Division. Also, if you plan to fish in saltwater, you will need a free Saltwater Information Permit. If you are planning to search for trout, you need a separate trout license. However, if you want to, you can choose a day license instead. Note that on the last Saturday of March the trout season opens and runs until October 31.

Types of Catch Available

Largemouth Bass

raindbow trout

Rainbow Trout

bullhead catfish

Bullhead Catfish

Striped Bass

Halibut

Bluegill

Grouper

grayling

Grayling

northern pike

Northern Pike

sheefish

Sheefish

pacific cod

Pacific Cod

rockfish

Rockfish

Georgia State Fishing Records

Top 10 Fishing Spots Across Georgia

You can choose from so many famous fishing spots - it’s hard to know where to begin! And if you are tired of fishing, then you may want to go on a trip to see the Camden, Chatham, Glynn, Liberty or McIntosh counties marshlands. All these locations are officially designated as shellfish harvest areas where you can pick some fresh clams and oysters to catch that day.

So, here are our top 10 best fishing locations in Georgia in no particular order

Chattahoochee River

The Chattahoochee River

You must plan a trip to the Chattahoochee River, south of Georgia’s capital city, Atlanta if you are an enthusiastic trout fisherman. In these pristine waters, you will find fish species including:

  1. Rainbow Trout
  2. Striped Bass
  3. Catfish 


The river here remains cool throughout the year, never rising above 50°F, making it perfect territory for trout and bass. From half an hour before sunrise till the half an hour after sunset, the river within the park is open for fishermen so bring your sunglasses. Night fishing in the park is not allowed. Note that it is not permitted to fish or serve the river with live bait fish. The best place for trout is the area below the dam, where the temperature of the water is coolest. For best results try fishing with small worms, blue-winged olives, small jig lures or nymphs. Great striped bass can be found during the summer months migrating from the connects lakes to the cooler water of the river. Look in deep holes and creek mouths for these monsters. Although many anglers prefer fishing from a boat, for those who want to try their luck casting, access to the river is pretty good, and there are plenty of fish for everyone


Clarks Hill Lake

Clarks Hill Lake

On the Savannah River, Clarks hill lake enjoys more than 1200 miles of shoreline. There are unlimited fishing opportunities here with over 250 islands scattered over 71000 acres, and the spot is understandably extremely popular with anglers. The lake is a man-made reservoir full of hybrid, largemouth, and striped bass. Fishing here is good throughout the year. Try drifting live baits for decent size hybrids and stripers like a blueback herring downriver. Local knowledge recommends a decent strike rate for the jigging spoons. There are crappies as well as bass, lurking around the lake and its islands under construction. So vast is the lake and its surroundings, probably the best way to maximize your chances is to hire a fishing guide. Around the lake, there are camping areas and a few lakeside cabins as well. Here  you will find facilities such as toilets, a boat ramp, a dock, picnic shelters, and fish cleaning stations.


Lake Oconee

Lake Oconne

Oconee lake is vast. This huge water body in central Georgia covers nearly 20000 acres and 400-mile shoreline. Lake Oconee is a reservoir near a Greensboro and Eatonton on the Oconee River. Fishing at Lake Oconee is an unforgettable experience! These include: Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, Sunfish, Crappie, White Bass, Hybrid Striped Bass, Channel Catfish, White Catfish, Blue Catfish, Flathead Catfish.

Focus on deeper rocky banks and boat docks during in winter when you are looking for bass. Using the spinner baits and jerk baits around fallen trees, stumps and boat dock I. shallower water in spring. Summer requires deep living crankbaits along the main points of the lake, deep ridges and channels of the river. In fall, crank baits and spinner baits running shallow fish, keying-in on the creek arms’ backs. The lake is surrounded by several campgrounds and RV parks all of which have excellent facilities.


Lake Allatoona

Lake Allatoona

Lake Allatoona is located on the Etowah River, surrounded by beautiful countryside. Fish Species that abound in the Lake include Spotted bass, Catfish, Largemouth bass, Redbreast Sunfish, Hybrid bass, Striped bass, Crappie, The Common Carp, Bluegill, Gar Bream, Rehear Sunfish. Lake Allatoona has good access, free boat ramps, and free parking. There are also plenty of camping opportunities and nearby lodgings for those who want to extend their stay in this idyllic and productive fishing spot.


St. Simons Island

Saint Simons Island

A coastal fishing paradise, Simons Island is the best of both and is well-known for its sandy beaches and salt marshes. Throughout the summer, tarpon frequent these waters. Red Snapper is seen more frequently in July and August.

Surf fishing; surf casting from St. Simons Island's beautiful beaches is a favorite hobby with anglers chasing redfish (also known as red drum). Redfish are commonly 40-inch long and over 30-pounds in weight in these waters, presenting you with an exciting and exciting challenge! Late summer and fall, especially in October, are the best time for redfish. In the tidal rivers and estuaries that surround St. Simons and Little St. Simons Island, fly fishermen will enjoy casting from a kayak or flatboat. These are somewhat forgotten fisheries that are escaping the crowds found elsewhere on the East Coast, making them worth a visit. Here you will find a wide variety of stocks and species, including Redfish, Spanish mackerel, Trout, Cobia, Tripletail, Jack Carville, Tarpon. Fishing the estuaries is good throughout the year, but during late summer and fall, it can be particularly profitable. Apart from fishing opportunities, the island also offers plenty of accomodation for anglers who would like to extend their stay in the heaven of this idyllic fisherman.


Lake Seminole

Lake Seminole

Lake Seminole is a 37,500-acre reservoir of the U.S. Army Corps located along the Florida border in southwestern Georgia. The Lake is home to some largemouth bass monster and attracts anglers from across the state. The lush aquatic vegetation and vast timber stands are the ideal habitats for large bass. Besides the official fish of the State, you will also find:

Bluegill, Redder sunfish, Black crappie, Sunshine bass, Striped bass, Panfish. Note that from May 1 to November 1 the Lake springs are closed to fishing. Cool water creeks, however, are open, and here you will find stripers and sunshine bass fleeing the summer heat. You will find small stripers and hybrids near the dam where there is some water flow. Look at flocks of birds working for shad schools and try to cast spoons or plugs to catch gamefish feeding below. Try working poppers and surface plugs near the bait as an alternative. If you fish late or early, , the flats are a great spot for largemouth bass. During the hot weather, fish vertically along the channels to catch bass moving into deeper water. Shell cracker and bream continue to bed throughout the summer, particularly around the full moon. Look out for panfish too as they head in late summer for deeper water. Fly-fish on the banks for bream after dark, using glow bugs. Choose dark nights or fish around the New Moon's time for the most action. Along with lodgings, there are plenty of campsites around the lake. With a marina, boat ramps, and plenty of free parking, access is good.


Lake Lanier

Lake Lanier

Lake Lanier is a reservoir of 38,000 acres that extends into the state's northern part. Established in 1956 by the completion of the Buford Dam on the Chattahoochee River, this extensive body of water is fed by the Chest tee River. Lanier is the largest lake in Georgia, boasting a shoreline of 700 miles. The tremendous largemouth and spotted bass fishing here sees dozens of fishing tournaments hosting the Lake and attracting hundreds of recreational anglers every year. The Georgia Game and Fishing Commission has stocked many species on the Lake since its inception, including Largemouth bass, Walleye, Bluegill, Rainbow Trout, Striped Bass, Crappie, Brown Bass, Brook Bass, Spotted Bass, White Bass, Several types of Catfish, Panfish, Gar, Carp. The lake is home to thread-fin shads, blueback herring, bigger gizzard shads, and spot tail minnows if you're after live bait. There are more than 45 parks around the shores of the Lake and ten campgrounds. RV hook-ups, boat ramps, and picnic areas can also be found here. The surrounding area offers a wide range of restaurants and entertainment and only a 30-minute drive from Atlanta City.


Flint River

Flint River

From the south, the Flint River flows into Lake Seminole. The clear, rippling water flows through glorious scenery over purifying calcareous shoals. This popular fishing spot is the only place where you will find the shoal bass that is famous among anglers across the state. The best time to fish for shoal bass is from March to November. Use plastic worms with topwater baits and by wading fish the shoals. The Flint isn't everything about shoal bass. There are other more abundant species of flat water here: Largemouth bass, Crappie, Bluegill, Shell cracker, Channel catfish, Flathead catfish. Search in the deepest water around the river bends for 30-pound plus flatheads. Flint access is pretty good. Beware of the rapids that can become dangerous at high water between Gay and Thomaston away from the shoals.


Big Lazer Creek

Big Lazer Creek

Big Lazer Creek is located in Talbot ton, County Talbot. There are excellent facilities here. Fishing pier, fish cleaning station, boat ramp, and access to canoeing are available. Restrooms and picnic areas are available to visitors, and campsites are available to those who wish to extend their stay. This 195-acre water body is full of bluegill, catfish channel, largemouth bass, and crappie. The Lake has about 15 acres of standing timber, and fish attractors are installed around the fishing pier, which increases your chance to land a monster! Early morning fish with top-water baits to fool hungry bass around the shoreline. Try swimming around the later in the day Dense wood or pitch edges of weedless baits in thick cover. Shell cracker and bluegill will be the prey of choice for many anglers from late April and early May. For these species, live crickets and worms will pay dividends. Bream can be found spawning on beds once the water temperatures warm up in May. Bobbers will be tempted to bite as they defend their nests aggressively. Check out this excellent Big Lazer Creek Fishing Guide for the complete low-down on how to fill your creel at this location before going for some excellent fishing tips.


Flat Creek

Flat Creek

A trip to Flat Creek is an absolute must for anglers looking to land shell cracker or bluegill! That said, in these waters, you will also find catfish channels, largemouth bass, and black crappies thriving. Houston County is home to 108-acre Lonice C. Barrett Lake, Flat Creek, south of Perry, and is able to offer some genuinely excellent bream fishing to anglers. For bream, from March to June, you'll find the best bite. In the early spring, redear usually bite better. The largemouth bass population is best hunted in areas of cooler, deep water during the summer months. For the best catfish bite, from May to July you have to visit. Excellent facilities at Flat Creek include a concrete boat ramp, fish cleaning station, picnic areas, restrooms. Most of these amenities are adapted for disability.

Georgia's laid-back, scenic state offers some truly memorable year-round fishing experiences. Choose from man-made, well-stocked lakes full of bass, crappy, and bream, or head to the beautiful Golden Islands for redfish and tarpon.

End the day with a glass of local wine, a delicious meal, and some fisherman's tales at one of the many restaurants in the state, while planning your return trip to the heaven of this exceptional angler.

Share your comments below or tell us about a fishing destination in Georgia you love!

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