July 28, 2006
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
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
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
· Andrews Lock and Dam (Chattahoochee River) Best location in
southwest Georgia for catching a flathead catfish over 20 pounds.
The current state record blue catfish (67 lbs. 8 oz.) was caught
· 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 (83 lbs.) caught here. The current state record
channel catfish (44 lbs. 12 oz.) also was caught on this river.
· Satilla River Excellent fishing available for channel catfish,
white catfish and several species of bullheads.
· 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 Georgia.
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 heavy 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
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 fishing for catfish in Georgia, visit the
WRD website at