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12 Best Fishing Lakes in Georgia

If you enjoy fishing and are making plans for a vacation, why not visit the best fishing lakes in Georgia.

a fishing lake in georgia

We’ve created a list of lakes in Georgia, including man-made reservoirs like Clark’s Hill Lake and Lake Sinclair, famed for its tournaments.

There are more than 30 lakes and 25,000 rivers in the state of Georgia. The rivers often power small hydroelectric stations.

Georgia is known for the legendary largemouth bass caught in 1932, weighing in at over 22 pounds.

a fishing lake in georgia

This record makes Georgia one of the best places for competitive freshwater fishing. The largemouth bass is considered one of the three state fish.

Top 12 Georgia Fishing Lakes

  1. Clark’s Hill Lake
  2. Lake Lanier
  3. Lake Oconee
  4. Lake Seminole
  5. Lake Blackshear
  6. High Falls Lake
  7. Lake Allatoona
  8. Lake Hartwell
  9. Lake Jackson
  10. Lake Eufaula
  11. Lake Sinclair
  12. West Point Lake

Clark’s Hill Lake

Clark’s Hill Lake is a reservoir at the border of Georgia and South Carolina in Lincolnton, Georgia. It is located upstream of Augusta, Georgia. It is situated between Kentucky Lake on the Tennesse River and Lake Mario on the Santee River. 

Clark's Hill Lake

It has an area of 71,000 acres and 400 miles of shoreline. It’s the third-largest artificial lake east of the Mississippi River. The lake has crappie, bluegill, catfish, and bass like largemouth, white, striped, and hybrid bass.

There are many bass tournaments offering spectator participation in addition to anglers’ events.

Jigging spoons are used near drop-offs, humps, or ledges in up to 30 feet of water. Anglers also use redfins, Norman lures, or roostertails behind the boat at a distance of 80-100 feet.

Lake Lanier

Lanier is a reservoir in the northern part of Georgia. It was formed when the Buford Dam was completed on the Chattahoochee River.

Lake Lanier

It’s known for having the greatest spotted bass and striper fishing in the southeastern region. Lake Lanier also has panfish like crappie and shell cracker.

Anglers prefer live baits such as blueback herring and large gizzard shad, but flukes and bucktail jigs also are used effectively as bait.

It has an area of 38,000 acres of water and a shoreline of 692 miles when at a normal level. Lake Lanier has fish such as spotted bass, striped bass, largemouth, and walleye. 

Lake Oconee

Lake Oconee is located on the Oconee River by Greensboro and Eatonton. The Georgia Power company finished the Wallace Dam construction in 1979, creating Lake Oconee. The lake runs through Georgia’s Putnam, Greene, and Morgan counties.

Lake Oconee

Lake Oconee features 374 miles of shoreline with a surface area of 19,971 acres. The Wallace Dam separates Lake Oconee from Lake Sinclair. Lake Oconee is known for waterskiing, boating, swimming, and fishing.

Lake Oconee has hybrid striped bass, blue catfish, striped bass, white bass, flathead catfish, largemouth bass, channel catfish, and white bullhead.

Fishermen prefer live shad as the best bait but find rooster tails and spoons are also helpful.

Lake Seminole

Located on the southwest corner of Georgia along the Florida-Georgia line, Lake Seminole is maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Lake Seminole

Lake Seminole joins the Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers. Lake Seminole has a shoreline of 376 miles with 37,500 acres of water.

Lake Seminole has largemouth bass, bluegill, catfish, redear sunfish, crappie, striped bass, and chain pickerel, to name a few.

The lake has other wildlife such as alligators, various waterfowl, and snakes. The lake is also known for its goose hunting.

Lipless crankbaits, spinnerbaits, creature baits, lizards, and stickbaits are effective baits in the spring. Buzzbaits, hollow-belly frogs, and walking baits are successful baits used in the summer.

Lake Blackshear

A man-made lake on the Flint River in Georgia, Lake Blackshear has an area of 20 miles. The width varies, but areas of the lake are seldom more than one mile wide.

Lake Blackshear

The lake covers 8,500 acres. The Georgia Veterans State Park is on the east side. In addition, the Lake Blackshear Resort & Golf Club offers guests beautiful views of the lake.

Lake Blackshear still has living Cypress trees in the center. The stumps beneath the water at the northern half of the lake above the Highway 280 bridge are popular with anglers but risky for boaters.

Lake Blackshear has white bass, redear sunfish, largemouth bass, bluegill, and channel catfish. The most successful baits are shallow-running crankbaits.

High Falls Lake

High Falls Lake has an area of 650 acres. The park features central Georgia’s largest waterfall. Once the location of the town of High Falls. It became a ghost town when it was bypassed by the railroad. 

High Falls Lake

You can see the shoals below the damn at the remains of the bridge on Old Alabama Road. You’ll discover scenic views of the waterfall on Towaliga River.

Take a historic hike leading to the foundation of the old grist mill and the old powerhouse ruins.

The shallow lake has good fishing, with largemouth bass, catfish, bream, white bass, and both kinds of crappie.

Anglers prefer minnows on yellow and purple jigs. Having a boat is helpful for fishing due to the limited bank access.

Lake Allatoona

Lake Allatoona is located in northwestern Georgia. The reservoir is situated mainly in southeastern Bartow County and southeastern Cherokee County.

The nearest city by the Allatoona Dam is Cartersville. You can visit Red Top Mountain Park, which is located on the shores of the peninsula of the lake. 

Allatoona Dam, a concrete gravity dam constructed in 1946 and located on the Etowah River, was authorized by the Flood Control Acts of 1941 and 1944.

Owned and operated by the U.S. Corps of Army Engineers, the dam and power station opened for operation in 1950.

The lake has spotted bass, largemouth bass, and striped bass. Spinnerbaits, crankbaits, swimbaits, or plastic worms are effective bait for the fish in Lake Allatoona.

Lake Hartwell

A man-made reservoir on the South Carolina-Georgia border, Lake Hartwell is a popular recreation lake. It is situated on the Savannah River and includes parts of the Tugaloo and Seneca rivers.

Lake Hartwell

This 56,000-acre lake has a shoreline of 962 miles. I-85 divides Hartwell Lake, making it easy to access for visitors.

Lake Hartwell has catfish, striped bass, spotted bass, crappie, bluegill, largemouth bass, and smallmouth bass.

Anglers utilize baits such as shad patterns, spinnerbaits, and curly tail grubs when fishing for bass in rocky structures.

In addition, shallow water baits such as trick worms, spinnerbaits, super flukes, and Rattlin’ Rogues are good to use during the spawning period around wood debris in pockets and backwater covers.

Lake Jackson

One of the oldest reservoirs in Georgia, Lake Jackson, is 44 miles southeast of Atlanta. The lake is located in a rural area covering three counties, including Jasper, Newton, and Butts.

Lake Jackson

Once generating electricity for the city of Macon, the Lloyd Shoals damn was built in 1910 by Central Georgia Power Company.

This smaller lake still generates electricity for water sports, wakeboarding, boating, and fishing. Jackson Lake was formed by the junction of the Yellow, South, and Alcovy rivers.

Moreover, Tussahaw Creek is a major tributary of the lake. Further down the Lloyd Shoals Dam, the Ocmulgee River serves as an outlet for the lake.

Lake Jacks has catfish, rainbow trout, crappie, perch, saugeye, northern pike, wipers, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and walleye. Live bait such as redworms, mealworms, and crickets work great here.

Lake Eufaula

This 46,000-acre lake reaches 85 miles north of the Walter F. George Lock and Dam. It is situated on the Chattahoochee River on the Alabama-Georgia state line.

Lake Eufaula

With 640 acres of shoreline, visitors enjoy camping and trophy fishing. The lake is mostly operated and controlled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Reportedly an excellent place to catch fish, Lake Eufaula has fish species such as spotted bass, largemouth bass, striped bass, black bass, common bream, channel catfish, and bluegill.

Many baits for catching fish work in Lake Eufaula. Plastic bodies, crank, and spinnerbaits are popular with anglers on Lake Eufaula.

Lake Sinclair

Lake Sinclair is located near Milledgeville, with 15,330 acres of water. The 417 miles of shoreline, coves, and inlets offer beautiful scenic views.

Lake Sinclair

Lake Sinclair has many local and national fishing tournaments. Furthermore, the Oconee Springs Park is a popular fishing spot beneath the dam by Milledgeville.

The mild climate in the fall and winter make it an excellent place to catch fish. Lake Sinclair has flathead catfish, channel catfish, and blue catfish. The lake also has both largemouth and smallmouth bass, so make sure you know the difference!

Shallow docks have larger fish that prefer creature bait in June bug or other dark color patterns. Crawfish baits, green pumpkin, red flake, June bug, redbug, and blueberry produce good results.

West Point Lake

West Point Lake has a shoreline of 604 miles and covers 25,864 acres. The lake is about 50 miles away from Georgia cities like LaGrange, Columbus, Peachtree City, Newnan, Carrollton, and part of Atlanta.

West Point Lake

The lake has easy access on both sides, but crossing the lake can be difficult because there are just two bridges crossing the main channel.

However, a trip to Franklin or West Point will allow you to cross the river without going directly over the lake.

The lake has smallmouth and largemouth bass, bluegill, channel, catfish, and striped bass.

Fishing jigs, worms, crankbaits, and spinners are effective in West Point Lake, with spotted bass taking to live bait like nightcrawlers, minnows, and crayfish.

Final Thoughts

Lakes in Georgia have much to offer anglers searching for the perfect vacation. You’re sure to find a favorite fishing spot, tournament, or park.

In Georgia, there’s a fishing challenge for everyone. You can enjoy the excitement of a fishing tournament or find the perfect backdrop for your fishing trip.

The historic landmarks and beautiful locations make for the perfect morning or afternoon.

With so many lakes in Georgia offering great fishing, you only need to decide which lake you would like to visit first.

Alternatively, if you’re planning on spending some time up north in Ohio, you’ll definitely want to check out these incredible places to fish, too.

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