The 12 Best Fishing Lakes in Georgia (And the Types of Fish to Expect!)

Great view of Blue Ridge Lake, Georgia, USA. Popular tourist attraction. Dramatic scene. Clouds, mountain, lake.
© KevinYOLO/

Written by Lev Baker

Updated: July 23, 2023

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Are you ready to cast your line and reel in some great catches? Georgia boasts over 30 stunning fishing lakes, each offering its own unique charm and an array of fish species. Whether you prefer the vastness of Lake Sinclair, or the thrill of Lake Hartwell, Georgia has a fishing spot for every angler. 

Picture graph of the 12 Best Fishing Lakes in Georgia.
Every kind of setting you could hope for is available at the fishing lakes of Georgia.

If you’re a fishing enthusiast, you absolutely must visit these 12 fishing lakes in Georgia!

1. Lake Allatoona

Aerial view of Lake  Allatoona just after the sunset

Lake Allatoona is the perfect spot for fishing, boating, and more.


Located around 30 miles from Atlanta, Lake Allatoona offers a delightful getaway for outdoor enthusiasts seeking fishing, boating, and nature experiences. This expansive 12,000-acre reservoir entices visitors with its 270 miles of shoreline, which can be explored both by boat and, in certain areas, from shore.

Fishing from the bank is popular, as well as using kayaks and canoes. With over two dozen boat launch ramps, larger pleasure and fishing boats have convenient access to the lake. Furthermore, marinas, restaurants, stores, tackle shops, camping facilities, lodging, and other amenities cater to visitors, whether on a fishing trip or an extended family vacation. 

Furthermore, anglers will be thrilled to discover a diverse range of fish species, including crappie, bass, bluegill, catfish, striped bass, sunfish, and hybrid stripers. The lake’s varied topography, including boat docks, bumps, humps, points, creek channels, islands, ledges, and brush, provides ample cover for both fish and baitfish. 

2. Lake Lanier

Boats and yachts docked and sailing in the marina on Lake Lanier with lush green trees and and powerful clouds at sunset in Cummings Georgia USA

Georgia’s largest lake is Lake Lanier, a popular fishing spot in the state.

©Marcus E Jones/

Lake Lanier, also known as Lake Sidney Lanier, is Georgia’s largest lake, encompassing a vast 39,000 acres and boasting an impressive 692 miles of shoreline. 

With nearly fifty parks, including 23 designated for swimming, Lake Lanier offers abundant recreational opportunities. Specifically renowned for its excellent striped bass fishing, it remains a favorite among striper anglers. 

Located in the upper-central part of the state, the lake features several islands that serve as prime fishing spots. While there are areas with public access for bank fishing, the lake truly shines for fishing from a boat. Numerous boat launch ramps cater to fishing boats, pleasure boats, and pontoon boats, providing ample parking space. To further enhance your fishing trip or vacation, Lake Lanier offers a range of amenities. You’ll find convenient marinas, well-stocked bait stores, delightful restaurants, and a variety of camping and lodging options.

Beyond its reputation as a great striper fishery, Lake Lanier also supports healthy populations of bass, catfish, crappie, walleye, perch, sunfish, and gar. Additionally, it is stocked with rainbow trout.

3. Lake Hartwell

Lake Hartwell Sunset

Lake Hartwell is known for its bass population.

©Facing West Images/

Stretching across the border of South Carolina and Georgia, Lake Hartwell is a beloved destination for outdoor enthusiasts in the American Southeast.

With nearly 1,000 miles of shoreline and breathtaking lake islands, the natural beauty of this lake will leave you in awe. However, it’s fishing in Lake Hartwell that truly steals the show. Renowned as a premier bass fishing lake, it has attracted legendary anglers throughout the years.

Over 50 boat launch ramps provide convenient access, while campgrounds, RV parks, and various lodging options cater to visitors. Furthermore, marinas, well-stocked stores, delightful restaurants, and the option to rent boats are all available at the lake.

Anglers can target a variety of fish species, including catfish, bass, crappie, bluegill, walleye, striped bass, sunfish, and hybrid stripers.

4. Lake Seminole

Beautiful view at Lake Seminole

Lake Seminole’s shoreline spans 376 miles, so anglers can choose to fish by the bank or on a boat.

©Norm Lane/

Nestled in a stunning natural setting, Lake Seminole offers anglers and outdoor enthusiasts an ideal destination for unforgettable fishing adventures or family vacations in the great outdoors. Spanning 37,000 surface acres, this fertile fishery straddles the Florida-Georgia border in the southwest corner of the state.

With an impressive 376 miles of shoreline, anglers can choose to fish from a boat or the bank. Swimming is not allowed due to the presence of alligators in the area. Few primitive launch areas, along with seventeen boat launch ramps, cater to visitors.

The lake’s thriving aquatic vegetation also serves as a vital habitat for baitfish and bass, making it an excellent bass fishing spot. In addition to bass, Lake Seminole is home to hybrid stripers, striped bass, catfish, sunfish, chain pickerel, crappie, and largemouth bass.  

5. Clarks Hill Lake

Clarks Hill Strom Thurmond Dam looking down river

Clarks Hill Lake is a perfect spot for both fishing and hunting.


Spanning an impressive 71,000 acres along the eastern border of the state, Clarks Hill Lake, also known as Lake Strom Thurmond, is renowned as one of the top 20 bass-fishing lakes in the Southeast. With a vast shoreline stretching 1,200 miles, including 400 miles in Georgia, this reservoir offers abundant fishing spots. It is also one of the most renowned lakes in Georgia for hunting!

While much of the shoreline is accessible only by boat, there are areas where fishing from the bank or launching a canoe or kayak is possible. Campgrounds with boat launch ramps and scattered boat ramps provide additional convenience. The lake is also surrounded by easily accessible dining, lodging, shopping, camping, and marinas, with boat rentals available as well. 

Alongside excellent bass fishing, Clarks Hill Lake supports healthy populations of hybrid striped bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish, sunfish, stripers, and chain pickerel.

6. Lake Oconee

Lake Oconee, Georgia, USA from above in the afternoon.

In Lake Oconee, you can fish for catfish, bluegill, crappie, and more.

©Sean Pavone/

Boasting breathtaking beauty and offering a multitude of outdoor activities, Lake Oconee in Georgia stands out as an extraordinary destination for fishing and more.

Recognized as one of the premier bass-fishing lakes in the state, it is equally perfect for a memorable family vacation. With its abundant amenities, the lake caters to sightseeing, boating, camping, hiking, and of course, fishing. 

Spanning 19,000 acres, Lake Oconee provides ample fishing opportunities along its 376 miles of shoreline, accommodating both boat anglers and those who prefer fishing from the bank. 

The lake is home to a diverse range of fish, including catfish, bluegill, crappie, stripers, white bass, striped bass, hybrid, and sunfish.

7. Lake Jackson

Jackson lake river in Georgia

Lake Jackson has many boat launches and ramps.

©Quentin Manning/

Steeped in history for over a century, Lake Jackson continues to delight anglers with its bountiful fish populations and the promise of satisfying fish fry gatherings. This 4,700-acre lake remains a cherished destination for memorable family vacations and exciting weekend fishing trips.

Nestled in the upper-central part of the state, Lake Jackson offers a mix of private land and designated areas for public access, allowing for bank fishing or launching canoes and kayaks. Moreover, the lake features several convenient boat launches, including ramps at the marinas. 

Anglers can target a variety of fish species, including spotted bass, largemouth bass, channel catfish, white crappie, white catfish, bluegill, striped bass, redear sunfish, redbreast sunfish, and hybrid striped bass. 

8. Banks Lake


Banks Lake spans 4,000 acres and is a popular fishing spot in Georgia.

©Michael Rivera / CC BY-SA 3.0 – Original / License

Situated within the Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge, the serene Banks Lake is a beloved fishing destination in Georgia. Spanning 4,000 acres, the lake offers ample opportunities for anglers to cast their lines.

The refuge provides convenient amenities, including a bait and food store, restrooms, a boat ramp, and an accessible fishing dock. With approximately 20 miles of shoreline, there’s plenty of space to explore. Beyond fishing, visitors can engage in nearby activities such as hiking, camping, and birdwatching. Live bait or soft plastic lures are recommended for a successful fishing experience.

The ideal times to visit are during the mild spring and fall seasons when temperatures range from the comfortable mid-60s to mid-70s °F. Summers can be hot, with temperatures soaring into the 90s, so plan accordingly. 

Fish species to target at Banks Lake include redbreast sunfish, smallmouth bass, white crappie, bluegill, black crappie, largemouth bass, and chain pickerel. 

9. Carters Lake

Two Kayakers hanging out in a cove in Carter Lake, Elijay, Georgia.  September 20, 2019.  Picture taken with a drone

If you’re after big game fishing, go to Carters Lake.


Renowned for its abundance of trophy spotted bass, hybrids, stripers, and walleye, Carters Lake stands out as one of Georgia’s premier lakes for big game fishing. Spanning 3,200 acres, this reservoir nestled in the northwest corner of the state also offers popular camping options, yet boating and fishing steal the spotlight. 

Boaters and anglers can revel in exploring the expansive 62 miles of shoreline. With a marina, rental boats, bait and tackle shops, restaurants, and nearby lodging, convenience is at your fingertips. Choose from a variety of boat ramps for easy access. On the lake’s shores, opportunities abound for hiking, mountain biking, picnicking, and even beach fun. 

As for fishing, Carters Lake presents a diverse array of species to target, including spotted bass, blue catfish, flathead catfish, black crappie, walleye, redear sunfish, white crappie, rainbow trout, green sunfish, bluegill, redbreast sunfish, rock bass, warmouth, largemouth bass, spotted sunfish, and striped bass. 

10. High Falls Lake

High Falls Lake

High Falls Lake is adjacent to High Falls State Park and is famous for its largemouth bass.

©Sergey Maksienko/

Surrounded by dense pine woods, High Falls Lake is a picturesque 650-acre gem. Situated between Atlanta and Macon, this hidden treasure is adjacent to High Falls State Park, offering a serene backdrop for boating, camping, fishing, and hiking. 

The crystal-clear waters of High Falls Lake draw bass anglers to explore over 20 miles of shoreline in search of their catch. The fishing dock provides an excellent opportunity to introduce children to the sport. Two boat ramps grant easy access to the lake, with a maximum horsepower limit of 10, creating a tranquil haven for paddlers. 

High Falls State Park also features picnic areas, a campground, and rentals for kayaks, canoes, and paddleboats. While swimming is prohibited in the lake and river, visitors can enjoy a refreshing dip in the spacious pool. 

High Falls Lake is renowned as one of Georgia’s premier largemouth bass-fishing lakes, and it is also home to flathead catfish, bream, crappie, channel catfish, bluegill, striped bass, and redear. 

11. Lake Blue Ridge

Great view of Blue Ridge Lake, Georgia, USA. Popular tourist attraction. Dramatic scene. Clouds, mountain, lake.

There are no horsepower limits on Lake Blue Ridge.


Set amidst the scenic Chattahoochee National Forest in north-central Georgia, Blue Ridge Lake captivates with its natural beauty. Spanning 3,300 acres, this pristine lake offers a playground for outdoor enthusiasts, enticing them with boating, camping, and fishing opportunities. 

With its diverse fish population and expansive 65-mile shoreline, anglers can indulge in their passion and explore plentiful fishing spots. Accessible to the public, multiple boat ramps cater to various watercraft types with no limitations on horsepower. Those seeking rental boats can rely on Lake Blue Ridge Marina for a wide selection.

Blue Ridge Lake is a haven for anglers, presenting a wide variety of fish species to pursue. The lake offers smallmouth bass, walleye, spotted bass, rainbow trout, bluegill, brown trout, green sunfish, redear sunfish, redbreast sunfish, rock bass, white bass, spotted sunfish, largemouth bass, warmouth, and yellow perch.

12. Lake Chehaw

Flint River

The Flint River, along with Kinchafoonee Creek and Muckalee Creek, flows into Lake Chehaw.


Located on the northern outskirts of Albany, Lake Chehaw is another hidden gem—a relatively shallow 1,400-acre reservoir built to generate hydroelectricity in the heart of south-central Georgia. 

Its picturesque shoreline stretches over 30 miles and features three convenient boat ramps. Tackle stores, bait shops, restaurants, and lodging options are readily available near the water’s edge. Whether you prefer exploring the tranquil backwaters and feeder creeks with a canoe or kayak or cruising in style with a pontoon, powerboat, or bass boat, Lake Chehaw caters to all fishing preferences. While camping options are not available on-site, you’ll find suitable campsites just a short drive away.

Lake Chehaw is renowned for its top-notch fishing, boasting prized species such as crappie, hybrid stripers, bream, bass, catfish, striped bass, and sunfish. 

Summary of the Best Fishing Lakes in Georgia

LakeLocationTypes of Fish
Lake AllatoonaCherokee & Bartow CountyBass, sunfish, crappie & sunfish
Lake LanierLumpkin, Dawson, Hall, Gwinnett, & Forsyth CountiesStriped & spotted bass
Lake HartwellHart CountyBass, crappie, walleye & catfish
Lake SeminoleSeminole CountyPanfish, catfish, largemouth bass & striped bass.
Clarks Hill LakeLincoln CountyHybrid striped bass
Lake OconeeGreene CountyLargemouth bass, white bass & striped bass
Lake JacksonButts, Newton & Jasper CountiesCatfish, sunfish, crappie & bass
Banks LakeLanier CountyLargemouth bass, crappie & bluegill
Carters LakeMurray & Gilmer CountiesSpotted bass & striped bass
High Falls LakeMonroe CountyChannel catfish & largemouth bass
Lake Blue RidgeFannin CountySmallmouth & spotted bass
Lake ChehawDougherty CountyCatfish, striped bass & hybrid stripers

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About the Author

Lev is a writer at AZ Animals who primarily covers topics on animals, geography, and plants. He has been writing for more than 4 years and loves researching topics and learning new things. His three biggest loves in the world are music, travel, and animals. He has his diving license and loves sea creatures. His favorite animal in the world is the manta ray.

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