Public Fishing Areas (PFAs) are great places for family outings! You can fish from the bank or a boat, picnic, hike, watch wildlife, and enjoy the outdoors. Good bank fishing opportunities are available at all PFAs and many of them have special kids fishing areas for young anglers.
Please Read Before Fishing a PFA
- Anglers 16 years of age and older must possess a valid Wildlife Management Area (WMA) license and a current fishing license to fish, except a WMA license is not required to fish at Rocky Mountain Recreation and Public Fishing Area.
- If you have a Sportsman’s license, 3-Day Hunting/Fishing License, Senior Lifetime license or Honorary license you are not required to have a WMA license to fish on a PFA.
- Remember, not all PFAs have the ability to sell licenses on site. Please call each PFA for details.
Length and Daily Limits:
Unless a pond or lake has been posted as having a different length limit or daily limit, the following apply:
- Largemouth bass: 14 inches minimum
- Largemouth bass 5
- Bream or sunfish (of any one species or a combination) 15
- Channel catfish 5
- All other species see Game Species Daily Limits.
- Grass carp must be released immediately.
Hours of Operation
Public Fishing Areas hours of operation are Wednesday through Sunday, sunrise to sunset.
Georgia Outdoor Recreational Pass (GORP)
Beginning January 1, 2012, the Georgia Outdoor Recreational Pass (GORP) is required to use 32 properties owned by Georgia Wildlife Resources Division. This includes all Public Fishing Areas except for Rocky Mountain PFA. If you are ages 16 to 64, you must have a GORP or one of the following to access the PFAs:
- 3-Day Fishing/Hunting License
- Sportsmen’s License
- Lifetime or Honorary License
- Wildlife Management Area License
Traditionally, these properties—Wildlife Management Areas and Public Fishing Areas—have been supported financially by revenue from hunting and fishing licenses as well as federal funds from the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. While WMAs and PFAs are managed primarily for wildlife habitat, uses such as hiking, horseback riding and other activities are also allowed. The GORP offers these users a way to contribute to the upkeep of the properties.
- GORP 3-Day: $3.50
- GORP Plus Fishing 3-Day (residents only): $3.50
- GORP Annual: $19
- Small Group, 3-Day: $10
- Small Group, Annual: $35
For a complete list of GORP User Fee Areas, visit georgiawildlife.com. Transaction fees apply.
Hunting on Public Fishing Areas
There are hunting opportunities available at several PFAs located around the state. Refer to the Hunting Regulations Guide for a complete list of PFA hunting opportunities and regulations or visit www.gohuntgeorgia.com.
Fishing on Department Fish Hatcheries
Unless otherwise posted, fishing is not allowed on state owned fish hatcheries. While most fish hatcheries have designated ponds for fishing, Department owned hatcheries can set creel limits, hours, dates, age limits, and other conditions. Please call the hatchery for more information regarding fishing opportunities and rules.
Fishing on Wildlife Management Areas
Unless otherwise posted, fishing is allowed on WMAs according to statewide regulations. Alcohol use is prohibited on WMAs except in designated camping areas. Refer to the Hunting Regulations Guide for a complete list of WMA regulations.
Fishing Without Permission
It is unlawful to fish on someone else’s property without permission. Conservation Rangers and other law enforcement officers are charged with enforcing this law. Always ask permission before entering private land.
Permission is not required to fish in the Chattahoochee or Oconee National Forests, on Wildlife Resources Division Public Fishing Areas (PFAs) or Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), or in Georgia State Parks (gastateparks.org) as long as all applicable state regulations are followed.
BIG LAZER CREEK
Talbot County, 478-825-6151
Fish Species: Largemouth bass, Bluegill and Redear sunfish, Channel catfish, Crappie. Live fish (minnows) are allowed for bait.
Water: 195 acre lake.
Facilities: Concrete two-lane boat ramp, fishing pier, fish cleaning station, restrooms, picnic tables, primitive camping, some facilities accessible to persons with disabilities.
Directions from Talbotton: East on US Hwy 80 for 4 mi.; left on Po Biddy Road for 6.4 mi.; left on Bunkham Road; left into area.
CHARLIE ELLIOTT WILDLIFE CENTER/MARBEN PFA
478-825-6151 or 770-784-3063
Fish Species: Largemouth bass, Bluegill, Redear sunfish, Crappie, Channel catfish. Live fish (minnows) are allowed for bait.
Water: 20 ponds, totaling 293 acres, ranging in size from 1 to 95 acres.
Facilities: Kids only ponds, concrete boat ramps (6 lakes), boat docks, restrooms, fishing piers, fish cleaning station, picnic areas, primitive camping, some fishing areas accessible to persons with disabilities.
Note: Check information board for lakes that are open for fishing when you visit.
Directions From Mansfield: South on GA Hwy 11 for 2.7 mi.; left on Marben Farm Rd. Follow signs.
478-374-6765 or 229-426-5272
Fish Species: Largemouth bass, Bluegill, Redear sunfish, Channel catfish, Crappie.
Water: 104 acre lake.
Facilities: Concrete boat ramps, fishing pier, fish cleaning station, restrooms, picnic tables, nature trail, some facilities accessible to persons with disabilities.
Directions From Eastman: South on US Hwy 23/341 for 3 mi.; left on County Rd. 49 for 0.6 mi. to lake.
Area temporarily closed for repairs. Expected to reopen Summer 2013.
For more, visit http://georgiawildlife.com/node/2920
HUGH M. GILLIS
478-296-6192 or 912-285-6094
Fish species: Largemouth bass, Bluegill, Redear sunfish, Channel catfish, Crappie. Water: 109 acre lake and two 1 acre KFE ponds.
Facilities: Concrete boat ramps, fishing pier, fish cleaning station, restrooms, picnic tables, some facilities accessible to persons with disabilities.
Directions From East Dublin: East on US Hwy 80 for 10 mi.; left on Keens Crossing Rd. for 1.4 mi., PFA entrance on right.
McDuffie County, 706-595-1619
Fish Species: Largemouth bass, Bluegill, Redear sunfish, Channel catfish.
Water: 7 ponds varying in size from 5 to 37 acres. Rodbender Lake is open the 1st–7th of each month.
Facilities: Concrete boat ramps, courtesy docks, restrooms, picnic tables, tent and RV camping in designated areas (fee is $15–25 per site per night), some facilities accessible to persons with disabilities.
Directions From Thomson: South on Hwy 17 to US Hwy 278; left (east) for 5.6 mi.; right on Ellington Airline Road for 2.8 mi.; right on Fish Hatchery Road for 0.8 mi.
Area temporarily closed for repairs. Expected to reopen Spring 2014.
For more, visit http://www.georgiawildlife.com/node/3145
Berrien County, 229-533-4792 or 912-285-6094
Fish Species: Largemouth bass, Bluegill, Redear sunfish, Channel catfish, Crappie, Brown bullhead.
Water: 68 lakes encompassing 525 acres of water.
Facilities: Restrooms, fish cleaning station, picnic area, concrete boat ramps, tent camping ($10 per site per night; pay a drop box; no reservation needed; first come first serve), group camp ($20 per night; 20 person minimum; call for reservations), fishing pier, boat dock, some facilities accessible to persons with disabilities.
Directions From Tifton: East on US Hwy 82 for 8 mi. to Whitley Road near Brookfield; follow signs from US Hwy 82 to the area.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN RECREATION & PUBLIC FISHING AREA
Floyd County, 706-802-5087
Fish Species: Largemouth bass, Bluegill, Redear sunfish, Channel catfish, Black crappie, Walleye.
Water: Two lakes (202 and 357 acres). Heath Lake is open the 1st–10th of each month only.
Facilities: Concrete boat ramps, fishing jetties, restrooms, picnic shelters, scenic overlooks, hiking trails, tent and RV camping, group primitive camping, group picnic area, biking trails, some facilities accessible to persons with disabilities.
Fee: Daily or annual Rocky Mtn. PFA parking permit required (one per vehicle) WMA license not required.
- It is illegal to possess alcoholic beverages.
- No one may rappel, rock climb or hang glide.
Directions From Rome: North on US Hwy 27 for 10.4 mi.; left on Sike Storey Road 0.4 mi.; left on Big Texas Valley Road 5.4 mi. to entrance.