If a fishing trip is not on your summer list of “things to do,” you need to plan one. How do you pick a spot?
You could start with one of Georgia’s available public fishing areas (PFA) to make that happen. PFAs are managed for fishing by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division, but also offer opportunities to entertain the whole family.
“There is a public fishing area located closer to you than you might think, easily within a reasonable drive for most residents,” said John Biagi, Chief of the Fisheries Management Section of the Wildlife Resources Division. “Fishing is the main attraction for most visitors, but Georgia’s PFAs also offer other family-friendly activities such as hiking, bird watching, picnicking and camping.”
Waters on PFAs vary from lakes several hundred acres in size to ponds less than one acre with some designated as kids-only fishing ponds. Anglers can fish from a boat, along the shoreline or from a pier at most locations. Many areas have picnic tables, nature and wildlife observation trails, fish cleaning stations and restroom facilities. Some offer primitive campsites for those wishing to stay overnight on the area, and many facilities are accessible to persons with disabilities.
Make plans to visit one of the following PFAs today:
· Rocky Mountain PFA (Floyd County). Includes two lakes totaling 559 acres. Species: largemouth bass, bluegill and redear sunfish, channel catfish, crappie and walleye.
· McDuffie County PFA (McDuffie County): Includes seven ponds ranging from five to 37 acres, a trophy bass catch and release pond, fish hatchery and an education center. Species: largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish and channel catfish.
· Big Lazer Creek PFA (Talbot County): Includes a 195-acre lake. Species: largemouth bass, bluegill, channel catfish, and crappie.
· Marben Farms PFA (Jasper/Newton counties): Includes 22 ponds ranging from one to 95 acres, a wildlife management area and an education center. Species: largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, crappie and channel catfish.
· Dodge County PFA (Dodge County): Includes a 104-acre lake. Species: largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, channel catfish and crappie.
· Evans County PFA (Evans County): Includes three lakes ranging from eight to 84 acres. Species: largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill and catfish.
· Flat Creek PFA (Houston County): Includes a 108-acre lake. Species: largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, crappie and channel catfish.
· Hugh M. Gillis PFA (Laurens County): Includes a 109-acre lake. Species: largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, channel catfish and crappie.
· Paradise PFA (Berrien County): Includes 60 lakes totaling 525 acres. Species: largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, crappie and channel catfish.
· Ocmulgee PFA (Bleckley County): This PFA currently is closed for renovation, but keep an eye out for information about it re-opening in the future.
Need information about what type of license to have before visiting? Visit www.georgiawildlife.com/PFA/WhatToKnow. Licenses may be bought online or find a list of retail license vendors at www.georgiawildlife.com/licenses-permits-passes or buy it by phone at 1-800-366-2661.
For more information on PFAs in Georgia or for detailed PFA guides and maps, visit www.georgiawildlife.com/fishing/public-fishing-areas.