Sunday, March 14, 2010

Go Fish! Angling Opportunities Plentiful in Georgia

Spring is on the way, and as the weather warms and people begin venturing outside, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) encourages families to get outdoors and Go Fish!  Whether you are fishing for trout in the mountains, bass on a lake, or red drum on the coast, Georgia has a place for you.

“There are year-round fishing opportunities in Georgia,” said DNR Commissioner Chris Clark.  “And beyond that, fishing gives everyone a chance to participate, from kids trying for their first fish to the angler who wants a serious challenge.”

Opportunities for First-Time Anglers

Research shows that most people are introduced to fishing by a family member, and most consider a family member to be their best fishing friend.  For adults who want to give children their first angling opportunity, consider joining other first-timers at a Kids Fishing Event.  Held throughout the state, these popular events provide instruction from knowledgeable professionals and are meant to make a child’s fishing experience fun.  To celebrate that first catch, be sure to print off a “My First Fish” certificate and frame it together with a photo.  Tips on taking children fishing, kids fishing events and the “First Fish” certificate can be found at (select “Fishing,” then “Kids Fishing”).

Know Where to Go

Looking for a place to Go Fish? Georgia’s ten public fishing areas are outstanding family-friendly examples, and there is one within an hour’s drive of all residents.  These areas are managed for fishing, with bass, catfish and bream the main species to target. Many of these areas also provide other activities, such as hiking trails, picnic areas, camping and more.  Visit and select “Fishing” and then “Public Fishing Areas.”

State Parks Offer Great Fishing Opportunities

Many of Georgia’s state parks also provide great fishing opportunities, and 25 of them even allow visitors to borrow fishing equipment as part of the Fishing Tackle Loaner Program.  Anglers and their families can also enjoy the parks’ nature trails, picnic areas, playgrounds and ranger programs.  For a relaxing getaway, state park visitors can stay overnight in rental cottages, hotel-style lodge rooms and cozy campgrounds.  Visit for more information.

Head to Georgia’s Coast for More Angling Opportunities

Saltwater fishing calling your name?  Be sure to check out angling information on red drum, sea trout, flounder and more at the Coastal Resources Division website - and click on Saltwater Recreational Fishing.  Also visit to learn more about saltwater fishes of Georgia.  Along the coast, state parks such as Crooked River and Skidaway Island offer affordable places to stay.

Fishing Prospects

Want to find out how the fishing is on a water body near you?  Experienced and beginner anglers will find helpful information in the annually updated Georgia Fishing Prospects.  These documents detail the “need-to-know-info” on more than 30 lakes and 18 rivers, including best bets and species specific techniques.

Catch one for the Record Books?

Anglers have two opportunities to receive recognition for great catches with the Angler Award Program and the State Record Program. Angler awards recognize those who catch a fish that meets or beats established weights (for kept fish) or length limits (for catch and release).  State records recognize those who catch a fish that beats a current state record.  For more information on these programs, visit and select “Fishing” and “Angler Resources.”

“Go Fish, Georgia” is the latest in a series of outdoor adventure tips from DNR Commissioner Clark that highlight affordable getaways, outdoor activities close to home, and creative ways to support conservation in Georgia.  The series is part of DNR’s “Get Outdoors, Georgia” initiative, which encourages citizens to lead healthy, active lifestyles in the great outdoors and includes hiking, biking and paddling clubs, as well as outdoor events.

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