Suggested summer fishing goal – visit as many of Georgia’s 11 Public Fishing Areas (PFAs) as you can before the season ends.
PFAs are managed for fishing by the Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, and most offer additional experiences to keep the whole family entertained.
“If you haven’t made the effort to visit at least one Georgia public fishing area, this is definitely the year to make it happen – and we even challenge you to visit multiple PFAs,” says Scott Robinson , Head of WRD Fisheries Management. “These places provide a great experience and while fishing is the main attraction, many PFAs in Georgia also offer other family activities such as hiking, bird watching, picnics and camping.”
PFA waters range from lakes of several hundred acres to ponds less than an acre, with some designated as children’s fishing ponds. Anglers can fish from a boat, along the shore or from a pier in most places.
Many PFAs have picnic tables, nature and wildlife viewing trails, fish cleaning stations, archery ranges, and restrooms. There are camping opportunities on some PFAs (from primitive to RV camping) for those who wish to stay overnight in the area. All PFAs are open seven days a week and, with the exception of the Rocky Mountain PFA, also allow night fishing year-round.
Plan to visit one (or more) of the following Georgia PFAs today:
PFA of the Rockies (Floyd County): Includes two lakes totaling 559 acres. Species: largemouth bass, bluegill and bluegill, channel catfish, crappie and walleye. Additional amenities: beach and swimming area, camping opportunities, hiking trails, picnic shelters. Note: A $5 parking pass is required to visit this PFA.
McDuffie County PFA (McDuffie County): Includes seven ponds ranging from five to 37 acres, a trophy bass catch and release pond, a hatchery and an education center. Species: largemouth bass, bluegill, red bass and channel catfish. Additional amenities: camping opportunities (tent and RV), picnic tables, archery range.
Big Lazer Creek PFA (Talbot County): Includes a 195 acre lake. Species: largemouth bass, bluegill, channel catfish, red bass, red bass and crappie. Additional amenities: primitive camping opportunities.
Marben Farms PFA (Jasper/Newton counties): Includes 20 ponds ranging from 1 to 95 acres, a wildlife management area and the Charlie Elliott Education Center. Species: Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, Bluegill, Crappie and Channel Catfish. Additional amenities: wild camping opportunities, archery and shooting range, nature trails, picnic tables, covered pavilions.
Ocmulgee PFA (Bleckley County): Includes a 106-acre lake. Species: largemouth bass (catch and release), crappie, bluegill and red bass. Additional amenities: nature trail, picnic tables.
Dodge County PFA (Dodge County): Includes a 104 acre lake. Species: largemouth bass, bluegill, red bass, channel catfish and crappie. Additional amenities: wild camping opportunities, group shelter, nature trail, archery field, picnic tables.
Evans County PFA (Evans County): Includes three lakes ranging from eight to 84 acres. Species: largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, bluegill, brown bullhead and channel catfish. Additional amenities: camping opportunities (tent and RV), event center, archery range, covered pavilion, boardwalk nature trail.
Flat Creek PFA (Houston County): Includes a 108-acre lake. Species: Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, Bluegill, Crappie and Channel Catfish. Additional facilities: Pavilion with picnic tables and barbecues, archery field.
Hugh M. Gillis PFA (Laurens County): Includes a 109 acre lake. Species: largemouth bass, bluegill, red bass, channel catfish and crappie. Additional amenities: wild camping opportunities, picnic tables, nature trail.
Paradise PFA (Berrien County): Includes 60 lakes totaling 525 acres. Species: Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, Bluegill, Crappie and Channel Catfish. Additional amenities: tent camping, nature trail, picnic area.
Silver Lake PFA (Decatur County): Includes over 30 lakes and ponds totaling 537 acres. Species: largemouth bass, bluegill, red bass, channel catfish. Additional amenities: wild camping opportunities, picnic areas, hiking trails, geocaching.
Whatever activity you choose to engage in at a Georgia PFA, make sure you have a valid fishing or hunting license or Lands Pass. Obtain a license online at GoOutdoorsGeorgia.com, purchase a license over the phone at 1-800-366-2661, or visit a license provider (list of providers available at GoOutdoorsGeorgia.com).
For more information on PFAs in Georgia or for detailed PFA guides and maps, visit georgiawildlife.com/allpfas.