Wherever you are in Georgia - there probably is a great catfishing
opportunity located near you! Angling for catfish has a broad appeal
because there are elements that can attract and hook a novice or an
expert, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources,
Wildlife Resources Division (WRD). In order to attract those who are
unfamiliar with catfish or to give those experienced anglers a new
view WRD has put together information on where to fish, recommended
equipment, techniques and more.
Trying to reel in a catfish is a favorite pastime of many anglers in
Georgia, and we are fortunate that we have so many locations where
this experience can be enjoyed, says WRD Chief of Fisheries
Management Chuck Coomer. Catfish typically are found in waters close
to home, require relatively simple gear and taste great on the dinner
table all leading to good reasons to get out and fish!
Georgia is home to several species of catfish, including channel,
white, blue, flathead and bullheads (consisting of several similar
species yellow, brown, snail, spotted and flat). Following is a
breakdown of some catfish hot spots in Georgia:
● Lake Nottely Contains good populations
of channel and white catfish (averaging one pound or less) and fewer
(but larger) flathead catfish (weighing up to 40 pounds).
● Lake Tugalo Contains an abundant
population of white catfish.
● Lake Marbury (Fort Yargo State Park)
Supports an excellent population of channel catfish.
● Lake Oconee Supports high numbers of
channel, blue, flathead, white and bullhead species of catfish.
● Flint River Great location for flathead
(5-30 pounds) or channel catfish.
● Andrews Lock and Dam (Chattahoochee
River) Best location in southwest Georgia for catching a flathead
catfish over 20 pounds.
● Lake Seminole Good catches of channel
catfish available throughout the summer.
● Lake Blackshear Excellent channel
catfish spot. Best places are the main lake and below Warwick Dam.
● Altamaha River Great location for
flathead catfish current state record (67 lbs. 8 oz.) caught here.
The current state record channel catfish (44 lbs. 12 oz.) also caught
on this river.
● Satilla River Excellent fishing
available for channel catfish, white catfish and several species of
● Southeast Georgia Public Fishing Areas
(including Evans Co. PFA, Paradise PFA, Hugh M. Gillis PFA and Dodge
Co. PFA) Some of the best locations for channel catfish in southeast
WRD recommends that anglers use a medium weight rod with either a
spincasting or a spinning reel. The species and the size of catfish
should dictate the fishing line used. For example if channel and
white catfish are your species of choice, WRD recommends 8-14 pound
test line and medium size hooks (6 or 8) under a bobber and fished on
the bottom. For anglers who are trying to land a large flathead,
heavy tackle is a must - large spinning or casting tackle with at
least 20-50 pound test line with weights to keep bait on the bottom.
Baits that work best for channel, bullheads and white catfish
include: worms, liver, live minnows, cut bait and stink bait.
Recommended flathead bait includes: live goldfish, bream and shiners.
Anglers who fish in rivers should target deep holes that contain rock
or woody structures during the day and shallow sandbars and shoals
near these deep holes at dusk, dawn and night. They are active most
of the time but the best summer fishing is going to be at dusk and
during the night. The best time of the year to fish for all catfish
species is from early spring until the peak of summer.
Take Me Fishing A recent national survey indicated that 87 percent of
Americans believe fishing and boating have a positive effect on
family relationships. So take your family fishing and you will always
have something in common.
For more information on catfish fishing in Georgia, visit
Questions, answers and
about fishing for catfish can be found in our
Fishing Discussion Forums.