Georgia Fishing Charters
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Top Fishing Charters in Georgia
Island Angler Charters
Captain Ken’s Fishing Expeditions
Captain Matt Starling
Fish Slayer Fishing Guide
Extreme Stripers Guide Service
Lanier Striper Expeditions
Fishing in Georgia
“Georgia fishing” – a term that almost defines exquisite freshwater fishing, topped off with vastly underestimated saltwater fisheries. Its reputation is thanks to the now legendary 22 lbs 4 oz Largemouth Bass caught there in 1932. This record is now one of the Holy Grails of freshwater competitive fishing. Georgia’s amazing reputation is added to by the 9 huge US Army Corps of Engineers reservoirs teeming with various species of Bass, Catfish, Crappies, and Breams. Welcome to freshwater paradise.
It’s not all about rivers and lakes though. Georgia has a productive coastline teeming with Redfish, Spotted Seatrout, Flounder, Tarpon, and other prestigious inshore fish. They’re all proper fighters. Don’t think the Georgian muscle is all in the streams – get ready to hear the reels scream along the coasts of Georgia, too!
If you’re a fan of spending days among the gorgeous forests of Georgia while wading for (hopefully) trophy Trout, you’ll enjoy the amazing fishing this state has to offer. The state of Georgia stocks more than 1 million Trout in its waters each year, in anticipation of the thousands of anglers who’ll flock to these waters looking for the perfect bite. The fishing is especially hot during the stocking period that runs from March to mid-September.
For fishermen who like some salt on their tongue, this state is home to the largest saltwater marsh in the eastern US. Many anglers drive on by down the I-95 heading south to Florida without ever stopping at this amazingly productive fishing area. The large marshes are the perfect home for Spotted Seatrout, Redfish, Flounder, and some really big Silver Kings, among other salty species. The Golden Isles are especially well-known for their amazing Redfish action, with Bull Redfish appearing in fall.
We couldn’t talk about fishing in Georgia without mentioning the incredible Bass that live in this state. Bass fishing is so good here that the state of Georgia has the official Georgia Bass Slam – catching 5 out of 10 species of Black Bass will net you a small prize and recognition on their official page!
Don’t mistake Georgia for a freshwater-only state, because it has amazing saltwater and brackish fishing. The state is home to over 400,000 square miles of salt marshes – it’s the largest saltwater marsh in the eastern United States. The bite is hot with amazing inshore fishing in this area. The waters are teeming with Redfish, Spotted Seatrout, Whiting, Flounder, Sheepshead, and even some Tarpon! Offshore anglers can enjoy themselves too — the state is famous for its Black Seabass fishing, as well as Snappers, Groupers, Kingfish, and Sharks swimming around in the mix.
Georgia’s vast salt marshes are topped off with many islands that allow for easy fish-feeding. These barrier islands offer the perfect place for saltwater beasties to come in from the South and rest up. All the while, you can get an amazing bite off of Bull Redfish, prehistoric Tarpon, or “Gator” Trout! There are 15 islands off of the 110-mile long coast of Georgia, but the top stars of fishing are Jekyll Island, St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Cumberland Island, and Tybee Island. You can find everything on these islands, from romantic getaways, to the bleeding edge of luxury tourism, all accompanied by loads of that famous Southern charm.
If you’re looking for a time-frame to book your trip in, inshore fishing is red-hot from the middle of May to December for most species. If you’re a fan of Spotted Seatrout or Redfish you want to go from September to December. For Silver King fanatics, June to mid-October is the best time to hit the water.
The island was once the favored winter retreat of the richest in the US, like the Rockefellers, Pulitzers, and Vanderbilts. Located some 70 miles south of Savannah, it’s the premier fishing island in Georgia. The island has a unique location to offer anglers who are looking to cast from dry land: “The Fishing Pier”. The Pier extends 360 feet into St. Simons bay, allowing anglers to get right out there for the best cast, without even needing a boat. For anglers who love the sway of the waves, Jekyll Island offers many offshore charters. You can get right to the hottest offshore fight from this island – it’s in the ideal position for casting off into the deep blue where you can target Mahi Mahi, Kingfish, Barracuda, and other speedy predators.
This island has been voted the #1 romantic and favorite beach town by Travel + Leisure Magazine in 2014. You can continue the romantic getaway with some exciting offshore fishing – there are numerous artificial reefs and structures up to 45 miles off the coast of Georgia. If you’re still not convinced about a romantic fishing getaway, the fishing pier is the heart of this gorgeous village. Besides, what’s more romantic than witnessing a magnificent sunset with your significant other on the blue sea?
If a blend of family-friendly fun and good fishing is your taste, Tybee Island is your fishy cup of tea. Also known as “Savannah’s Beach”, this small island community gladly accepts tourists and anglers alike. Most of the fishing is done from the beach or in inshore fresh waters, but Tybee Island is home to offshore fishing charters, eager to tighten your lines on big pelagic beasts, such as Blue Marlin, various Tunas, and others. The offshore action is especially hot during the summer.
Georgia’s largest lake is an impressive 71,000 acres. This makes its Bass fishing truly excellent, with the Striped Bass being the biggest catch, followed by Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass. It’s viewed as possibly one of the best lakes in the state, due to its balance of structures and fish fertility. Additionally, it’s less frequented by anglers; possibly due to the fact it’s over a 100 miles away from Atlanta.
Lake Lanier is classified as a mountain lake, despite its nearly 39,000 acre size – the water clarity and quality is just that good. It’s a prime location to go after Spotted and Striped Bass, as well as Crappies. Winter time is the best period to target Striped Bass, but there’s good fishing in late fall and early spring too. Luckily, the Spotted Bass is good all year-round. If you’re a spring fisherman you can go after the White Bass. Crappies are good in the winter around major marinas. This is a popular spot to hold fishing tournaments, a testament to the quality of the fishing. There is something for everyone, all through the year!
Public fishing spots
Most of Georgia’s fresh waters fall on private property, leading to a very limited chance for anglers to just jump in and fish. Luckily, Georgia has 10 public fishing spots: Big Lazer Creek PFA, Dodge County PFA, Evans County PFA, Flat Creek PFA, Hugh M. Gillis PFA, Marben PFA, McDuffie PFA, Ocmulgee PFA, Paradise PFA, Rocky Mountain PFA. These waters are open 7 days a week, from sunrise to sunset. Certain catch and size limits apply, as well as other regulations that differ from other waters. You can check the specific regulations for your chosen PFA online.
Need to know
Charter captains on saltwater charters often provide their customers with fishing licenses, but you should always double-check with them before your trip starts. If you’re not covered by a captain, fishing in Georgia requires a state license for everyone above the age of 16. You can purchase the Georgia fishing license online for the approximate price of $15 for residents and $50 for non-residents. Fishing mountain Trout requires a separate license. You don’t need a Trout fishing license in state parks, but you must have a license if you wish to keep it. The catch limit is 1 Trout per day and 3 Trouts per year maximum. The Trout fishing regulations also vary from county to county, you’re advised to check them out here.
Georgia Fishing Seasons
While the weather may be unfriendly, the Redfish bite around the Golden Isles will keep your blood pumping throughout the cold! Lake Seminole will warm your heart with its exciting and productive Bass fishing.
Lake Lanier is a popular winter destination due to the Striped Bass bite, which is really good during the cold months. You can also find Crappies here and in other lakes near the marinas and other larger structures.
Largemouth Bass and Crappies can be caught in shallower waters on warmer days. For saltwater anglers the main target will be the Whiting, while Flounder starts creeping in during this month.
Clarks Hill Lake sees Crappies moving in during early April and late March. The Bass move into spawning pockets during April, they can be caught with a variety of different baits.
Tripletail starts to move in the waters of Jekyll Island in May. Other saltwater fishing is picking up speed really quickly during this month – you can expect to go inshore for some reel-screaming action!
If you’re a Tarpon fanatic this is the month you should be in Georgia, St. Simons and Jekyll islands have been hubs of Tarpon action in the past several years. Blacktip Sharks are a popular target in June as well.
The Tarpon are moving into coastal rivers and inlets during this month, they can be seen rolling and feeding on the surface. Flathead Catfish can also be caught in holes on outside bends of the Altamaha River.
Blue Catfish are mostly targeted during August, with the state record (over 80 lbs) Catfish caught in August. They’ll go for live Bream or cut Shad, if you present it near the bottom. You can also go after Carp at Clarks Hill Lake.
Bull Redfish are moving in the sounds during September, the perfect time to go after that trophy fish! You can catch Flounders even from piers, as well as Whitings. Spotted Seatrouts and Tarpon are kicking in in greater numbers too.
Tarpon are moving out this month, hurry up if you’re looking to tick one off of your catch list. Time to go for trophy Brown Trouts in the Chattahoochee River. Bass, Catfish, and Crappies are all popular targets to go after.
If you’ve got some ice in your veins you can go wading down the Toccoa River for the gorgeous Rainbow Trout. Spotted Seatrouts bite really well during November, but that also depends on the weather.
Bass fishing is the name of the game in December, just know that bait choice is crucial during this period – you find the right bait and you’ll have a much easier time with the fish. Look for schools of baitfish to tip you off where to target.
Georgia Fishing Calendar
What People Are Saying About Georgia
"Half Day Trip with Captain Matt Starling"
Make sure to also spend time exploring downtown Savannah.
"Excellent 12-Hour Trip"
I enjoyed my fishing trip out of Fort McAllister; however, we did not catch any grouper which was a targeted fish on this trip.
Take plenty of sunscreen, hat, sun glasses, and listen to the Captain.
"Family fishing at its best"
Review the local fishing guides and reports. Sometimes you just have to put the boat in the water and go fishing
Top Fishing Techniques in Georgia
Top Targeted Species in Georgia
- Size 10 to 30lbs
- Food Value Good
- Game Qualities Good
- Habitats River, Lake, Inshore, Nearshore
- Size 3 to 12lbs
- Food Value Good
- Game Qualities Good
- Habitats Inshore, Nearshore, Flats, Backcountry
- Size 25 to 80lbs
- Food Value None
- Game Qualities Excellent
- Habitats Inshore, Flats, Backcountry
- Size 1 to 5lbs
- Food Value Excellent
- Game Qualities Average
- Habitats Inshore, Nearshore, Flats, Backcountry