Trip Ideas

Eight State Parks Perfect for a Weekend Fishing Trip

Get away for a weekend to these Georgia state parks, where the fish are always biting and the scenery never fails to impress.

  • Red Top Mountain State Park

    Photo by John Creek

Many of Georgia's 45 state parks offer excellent fishing opportunities, and you can't beat the price, either! For the cost of a fishing license and a $5 parking pass, you're free to fish all day.

Wondering where to start? Check out these top eight Georgia state parks for weekend fishing trips (shown on this handy map), and plan your trip today!

Don Carter State Park, Gainesville

Don Carter State Park in Gainesville, Georgia

Bordering Georgia's largest lake, Lake Lanier, Don Carter State Park is a popular fishing destination for anglers, who take to its almost 700 miles of shoreline to catch crappie and bass. You can fish on the shoreline everywhere except for the beach area, and you have access to docks and piers. On-site overnight lodging is available in either cottages or the campground, and several boat slips are available.

Red Top Mountain State Park, Cartersville

Red Top Mountain Iron Hill Trail - Eric Champlin

Located near Atlanta, Red Top Mountain State Park is a convenient fishing spot if you want to get out of the city for a weekend. You can fish from banks, docks and boats in your search for a trophy bass, catfish, crappie or blue gill from Lake Allatoona. (Tip: The Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manage brush piles along the Bethany Bridge Fishing Jetty to provide excellent cover, and within easy casting distance of the jetty are 200 sunken Christmas trees that attract fish.)

Elijah Clark State Park (Lincolnton) and Mistletoe State Park (Appling)

Mistletoe State Park on Clarks Hill Lake in Appling, Georgia

Located on Clarks Hill Lake, Elijah Clark State Park and Mistletoe State Park provide excellent fishing opportunities for Largemouth bass, sunfish, catfish and crappie. Both parks have boat ramps, service piers, fishing piers and tons of bank space for anglers. If you want to borrow any equipment, Mistletoe participates in the tackle loaner program, allowing anglers to checkout rods, reels and tackle box equipment for the day. 

Richard B. Russell State Park, Elberton

Richard B. Russell State Park in Elberton

Owned and operated by the U.S Army Corps of Engineers, Richard B. Russell Lake boasts 540 miles of shoreline and nine boating access areas. Anglers at Richard B. Russell State Park say the best fishing happens in the Beaverdam, Coldwater and Van Creek areas. Book a campsite, and plan on making your fishing trip a long weekend. Before heading out, anglers should check current fishing regulations for size and daily creel limits for Georgia-South Carolina Border Waters.

George T. Bagby State Park & Lodge, Fort Gaines

Fishing at George T. Bagby State Park in Fort Gaines, Georgia

If you're looking for a new boat angling spot, George T. Bagby State Park & Lodge is your place. There are numerous boat ramps located throughout, and you can get by with even kayaks or canoes. This lake has great Largemouth bass and crappie fishing opportunities. Area biologists also say catfish and hybrid fishing can be extremely good throughout the area. Hybrids school and are located at different areas and times. People often catch them by trolling baits until they find them and then cast or use live bait from there.

High Falls State Park, Jackson

High Falls State Park in Jackson. Photo courtesy Georgia Department of Natural Resources

Also located near Atlanta, High Falls State Park provides a unique river and lake environment, so you can experiment with tactics from fly-fishing to baiting catfish in essentially the same location. An old powerhouse below the dam and falls has some quiet coves and hiding places for bass. (Note, fishing from the shore and docks is limited to those locations on park property as all private resident docks are off limits.)

Florence Marina State Park, Omaha

Heading out for a day of fishing at Florence Marina State Park in Omaha, Georgia

Day or night, Florence Marina State Park is a great place to fish for the favorites: bass, catfish and crappie. This state park features a lighted fishing pier, a camper's dock and one of the only deep water marinas on the Chattahoochee River. You can fish anywhere on the shoreline except for the marina itself or on the lake by boat. The park offers Jon Boats for rent and full hook-up campsites with power, water, sewage and cable. You can also rent cabins in the park.

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