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Fishing in Georgia

Fishing Regulations Icon Georgia Fishing

From the deep waters of the Gulf Stream across a wide expanse of open Atlantic Ocean through winding tidal rivers to remote marshes, coastal Georgia offers a diversity of inviting places for the saltwater angler. Whether you fish from the surf, a fishing pier, or a boat, there is always something ready to tug on your line.

Coastal Georgia is a place blessed with abundant and diverse natural resources and awe inspiring beauty. Yes, there are no-see-ums, horseflies, and mosquitos at certain times of the year, but anyone willing to endure a bit of discomfort finds a paradise of golden green marshes, lush maritime oaks, rolling sand dunes, winding tidal creeks, and the vast expanse of the open Atlantic Ocean.

Anglers in particular find coastal Georgia an exciting and welcoming destination. Red drum, spotted seatrout, flounder, tripletail, tarpon, and whiting are abundant and accessible to inshore anglers. Those willing to venture into the Atlantic Ocean find mackerel, barracuda, amberjack, grouper, snapper, sailfish and even marlin. Each species presents a different challenge to the angler. Some are excellent table fare while others are valued most for their fight and released when caught.

Twice-a-day tides of 6 to 9 feet make coastal Georgia a challenging environment for the boater and angler. Fortunately, tides are predictable and savvy boating anglers never take to the water without knowing the timing of high and low tide. Tidal rivers and creeks easily traversed during high tide are waiting to snare the careless boater at lower tide stages leaving them stranded on a sandbar. Experienced coastal anglers have a mental list of fishing spots that are accessible and productive at high tide and those that can be safely reached and effectively fished at low tide. The Coastal Resources Division has maps of productive inshore fishing spots in each coastal counties and tide prediction tables available upon request. Public fishing piers and public boat ramps are found in all Georgia estuaries offering everyone a place to wet a line. The location and features of these sites can be found at www.coastalgadnr.org.

In addition to knowing the tides and productive fishing spots there are six more things that will make you a responsible and successful saltwater angler:

1) Buy a fishing license. Funds from this license support fish management, boating and fishing access projects, and conservation law enforcement; 2) buy a marine habitat license plate for your vehicle or trailer. Funds from this purchase will increase fish habitat in coastal Georgia. Visit www.coastalgadnr.org/LicensePlate for details); 3) practice catch and release (take a camera); 4) use the right tools for the job (properly tackle for the fish you’re after, wet gloves, rubber landing net, hook removal devices and descending device if you’re fishing in deep water); 5) be courteous to your fellow anglers; and 6) take a kid fishing!