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Old 07-23-18, 07:02 PM   #1
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Default Summer Fishing News - PFAs are Great Family Areas; Catching Catfish; Ga Bass Slam

From: Cummings, Melissa
Sent: Monday, July 23, 2018 11:59 AM
To: Cummings, Melissa <>
Subject: News Releases: Summer Fishing News - PFAs are Great Family Areas; Catching Catfish; Ga Bass Slam

Following are three news releases from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division. Releases can be found online at

Also follow Wildlife Resources Division through:
• Facebook (
• Twitter (
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• Blog (
• YouTube (
• Georgia Wild, a free e-newsletter ( )

For more information, contact

Melissa Cummings, communications/outreach specialist – 706-557-3326;





SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. (July 23, 2018) – Looking for a new fishing spot? You can start with one of Georgia’s 10 available public fishing areas (PFA)! PFAs are managed for fishing by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division, but also offer opportunities to entertain the whole family.

“For most folks in Georgia, there is a public fishing area located closer to you than you might think, and likely within a reasonable drive for most residents,” says Matt Thomas, WRD Fisheries Management Chief. “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 PFAs have picnic tables, nature and wildlife observation trails, fish cleaning stations and restroom facilities. There are camping opportunities on some PFAs (from primitive camping to RV) for those wishing to stay overnight on the area, and many facilities are accessible to persons with disabilities. All PFAs are open seven days a week, and with the exception of Rocky Mountain PFA also allow night fishing through Sept. 30.

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.

· Ocmulgee PFA (Bleckley County): Includes a 106-acre lake. Species: largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, and redear sunfish.

· 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, bullhead and channel catfish.

Need a license before you go? Visit to purchase a license online or to view a list of retail license vendors, or buy a license by phone at 1-800-366-2661.

Want to win an amazing fishing trip? All new license customers between June 1 and July 31 will be entered to win one of two amazing guided fishing trips that include gear and accommodations! More info at

For more information on PFAs in Georgia or for detailed PFA guides and maps, visit



SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. (July 23, 2018) – A favorite activity of many families is enjoying a day of fishing and then cooking up a “mess” of catfish for dinner. Whether you are a new or experienced angler, you can find fantastic catfishing opportunities in Georgia, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.

“There are plentiful opportunities in Georgia for anglers to toss out a line for catfish,” says Matt Thomas, WRD Fisheries Management Chief. “They require relatively simple gear and are a great way to introduce someone new to fishing, especially kids, so get out and go fish!”

Georgia’s public waterways are home to several species of catfish, including channel, white, blue, flathead and bullheads (consisting of several similar species – yellow, brown, snail, spotted and flat). The larger species, blue catfish and flathead catfish, can sometimes grow to exceed 100 pounds and give you a shot at catching a true monster fish.

As summertime gets closer to its peak, WRD highlights some warm weather hot spots and offers tips on techniques and equipment for anglers of all skill levels:

  • Lake Nottely - near Blairsville, contains good populations of channel catfish (averaging one pound or less) and fewer, but larger flathead catfish (weighing up to 40 pounds).
  • Lake Lanier – supports lots of small channel catfish (1-2 lb) lake wide and fewer flathead catfish (10-40 lb), which can be found up the Chattahoochee and Chestatee arms of the lake.
  • Carters Lake-Home to good numbers of keeper-size channel catfish. Blue and flathead catfish are present in lower numbers, but can exceed 20 pounds. Rocky areas in the Coosawattee River arm of the lake are best.
  • Lake Oconee, near Madison – Supports high numbers of channel, blue, flathead, white and bullhead species of catfish.
  • Flint River – Great location for catching five to 30-pound flathead catfish or channel catfish, though most channel cats will weigh between two and five pounds.
  • Chattahoochee River above West Point Lake – in the last few years, the number and size of flathead catfish caught above West Point has increased significantly.
  • Goat Rock Lake – this lake constantly produces good numbers of harvestable-size channel cats.
  • Central Georgia’s public fishing areas (Big Lazer PFA, Flat Creek PFA, Marben PFA and McDuffie PFA) – some of the best locations for channel catfish on these areas are located at the dam. A medium weight rod with either a spincasting or spinning reel recommended.
  • Andrews Lock and Dam (Chattahoochee River) – Best location in southwest Georgia for catching a flathead or blue catfish exceeding 20 pounds.
  • Lower Chattahoochee River near GA Hwy. 91 southwest of Donalsonville – Recent surveys conducted during summer months indicate that channel, blue and flathead catfish can be found here in abundance.
  • Lake Seminole, near Donalsonville – Good catches of channel catfish available throughout the summer.
  • Lake Blackshear, near Cordele – Excellent channel catfish spot. Best places are the main lake and below Warwick Dam.
  • Lake Walter F. George, near Columbus – Excellent fishing for channel catfish in the main lake and in the upper end (above Florence Marina) for both channel and blue catfish.
  • Altamaha River – Great location for several species of catfish, including flathead, channel and an expanding population of blue catfish. The Altamaha boasts three state record catfish: an 83 pound flathead, a 44 lb, 12 oz channel cat and a 93 pound blue catfish landed by Richard Bennett last fall. In June 2017, a 101-pound flathead was caught on a limb line on the lower river.
  • Satilla River – Excellent fishing available for channel catfish, white catfish and several species of bullheads. Some of the best white catfishing in the state is on the lower Satilla, near Woodbine and in White Oak Creek. A piece of shrimp on the bottom near a runout on an outgoing tide is a sure bet! The non-native flathead catfish has expanded over the last two decades into most of the middle and lower river areas and are a regular catch.
  • Southeast Georgia public fishing areas (including Evans County PFA, Paradise PFA, Hugh M. Gillis PFA and Dodge County PFA) – Some of southeast Georgia’s best locations for channel catfish. Anglers also can find bullhead catfish at some of these PFAs, including Paradise and Dodge.
  • St. Marys River – Healthy populations of channel and white catfish are available.
· Ogeechee River - Excellent fishing for channel catfish and several species of bullheads throughout the river with higher numbers of white catfish closer to the estuary.
· Savannah River - This river has a high density of channel catfish and bullheads throughout the system. White catfish are very abundant near the estuary. Flathead catfish have also populated the Savannah and harvest of this invasive species is encouraged.

As a rule, the species and size of catfish dictate the fishing line used. If targeting channel and white catfish, fisheries biologists recommend eight to 14-pound test line and medium-sized hooks (size 2 to 1/0) under a bobber or fished on the bottom.

For anglers trying to land a large flathead, heavy tackle is a must – large spinning or casting tackle with at least 20 to 50-pound test line, large hooks (3/0 to 7/0), and heavy weights to keep bait on the bottom.

Best baits for channel, bullheads and white catfish are worms, liver, live minnows, shrimp, cut bait and stink bait. Recommended flathead baits are live bream and shiners.

In general, anglers should target rocky shorelines, rip-rap areas and points. Catfish love holding near cover. When fishing rivers during the day, anglers should look to deep holes containing rocky or woody cover. During dusk, dawn and at night, anglers should concentrate on shallow sandbars and shoals nearby the deep holes fished during the day, as catfish frequently move shallow to feed during low light conditions.

Though most species of catfish are active throughout the day, the best summer fishing is at dusk and during the night. Catfish can be caught year-round, with the best bite typically from early spring through the peak of summer.

Need a license before you go? Visit to purchase a license online or to view a list of retail license vendors, or buy a license by phone at 1-800-366-2661.

For more information on fishing in Georgia, visit the


SOCIAL CIRCLE, GA (July 23, 2018) – Catch five different bass species and you have a Georgia Bass Slam! This program recognizes anglers with the knowledge and skill to catch different species of bass in a variety of habitats across the state, while also stimulating interest in the conservation and management of black bass and their habitats, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.

“Black bass are the most sought after species in North America, and for the Georgia Bass Slam we recognize ten different black bass,” says Matt Thomas, Chief of the WRD Fisheries Management Section. “The Slam challenges anglers to explore new habitats and different techniques to go beyond the species they normally target.”

Georgia’s ten (10) recognized native black bass species are largemouth, smallmouth, shoal, Suwannee, spotted, redeye, Chattahoochee, Tallapoosa, Altamaha and Bartram’s. Anglers can find out more about these eligible bass species, including images, location maps and more at

How Can You Participate? To qualify for the Georgia Bass Slam, fish must be caught within a calendar year, must be legally caught on waters where you have permission to fish, and anglers must provide some basic information on the catch (length, weight-if available, county and waterbody where caught) accompanied by several photos of each fish. Anglers will submit information to for verification. Complete rules posted at

What is Your Reward? Well, besides bragging rights among all the anglers and non-anglers you know, you will receive a certificate worthy of framing, two “Go Fish Education Center” passes, some fantastic and fun stickers (for vehicle windows/bumpers) to advertise your achievement. Anglers also will be recognized on the WRD website, at the Go Fish Education Center (, and through a variety of social media platforms. In addition, all successful submissions will go into a drawing for an annual grand prize!
For more information, visit


Melissa Cummings
Communications and Outreach Specialist

Wildlife Resources Division
(706) 557-3326 | M: (404) 323-9724

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