Get hooked on one of Georgia’s 11 public fishing areas

Marben Public Fishing Area is a 6,400-acre area with 20 ponds ranging in size from 1 to 95 acres.

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Marben Public Fishing Area is a 6,400-acre area with 20 ponds ranging in size from 1 to 95 acres.

Many spots have areas designated for kids only, plus other activities

Outdoor activities are the safest way to beat boredom during the coronavirus pandemic, especially ones far from maddening crowds.

Georgia has 11 public fishing areas managed by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.

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"A Georgia Public Fishing Area is likely within a reasonable drive for families and makes a great place for a day, or longer, trip," Thom Litts, WRD fisheries management chief, told the Chattanoogan. "Even though fishing is the main attraction for most visitors, Georgia's PFAs also offer other family-friendly activities such as hiking, bird watching, picnicking and camping."

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Big Lazer Creek

Big Lazer Creek PFA is a 195-acre lake on the 5,900-acre Big Lazer Creek Wildlife Management Area. It’s open to fishing year round and is great if you’re fishing for bluegill, channel catfish, crappie and largemouth bass.

In addition to fishing, the PFA offers:

  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Geocaching
  • Primitive camping
  • Shooting
  • Wildlife viewing

1541 Bunkham Road

Talbotton, GA 31827

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Dodge County

Open year-round, Dodge County PFA in Eastman features a 104-acre lake known for its largemouth bass. You can also catch bluegill, redear sunfish and channel catfish.

This PFA also offers:

  • Archery
  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Geocaching
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife viewing

325 Dodge Lake Road

Eastman, GA 31023-9242

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Evans County

Evans County PFA is a 372-acre area of three lakes with largemouth bass, bluegill, brown bullhead, redear sunfish, channel catfish and crappie. According to the Georgia DNR, Lakes Longleaf, Wood and Bidd Sands attract more than 5,000 anglers each year, with almost 4,000 more guests visiting the PFA.

In addition to fishing, the PFA offers:

  • Archery
  • Camping
  • Canoeing
  • Geocaching — not allowed during managed hunts
  • Hunting
  • Boating
  • Wildlife viewing

4757 Area Line Road

Claxton, GA 30417

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Flat Creek

Flat Creek PFA in Houston County has 108-acre Lonice C. Barrett Lake that is stocked with bluegill, redear sunfish, crappie, channel catfish and largemouth bass. The DNR says the lake’s woody habitat attracts many types of fish, especially in the summer.

In addition to fishing, this PFA offers:

2340 Highway 41 South

Perry, GA 31069

Hugh M. Gillis

Hugh M. Gillis is one of Georgia's newest PFAs. It has a 109-acre lake that offers flier, crappie, largemouth bass, bluegill, channel catfish and redear sunfish.

In addition to fishing, this PFA offers:

  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Canoeing
  • Geocaching — not allowed during managed hunts
  • Hunting
  • Primitive camping
  • Wildlife viewing

580 Keens Crossing Road

Adrian, GA 31002

Marben

Marben PFA is in Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center and Clybel WMA. The 6,400-acre area has 20 ponds ranging in size from 1 to 95 acres. The ponds are stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill, channel catfish, crappie and redear sunfish. The Dove Pond, open June–August, is designated for anglers ages 16 and younger only. Kids can keep five catfish each.

In addition to fishing, this PFA offers:

  • Archery
  • Biking
  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Geocaching — not allowed during managed hunts or before 10 a.m. during turkey season
  • Hiking
  • Horseback riding
  • Hunting
  • Lake fishing
  • Primitive camping
  • Shooting
  • Wildlife viewing

3123 Shepard Road

Mansfield, GA 30055

McDuffie

McDuffie PFA has seven ponds ranging from 5 to 37 acres. They are stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill, channel catfish and redear sunfish.

In addition to fishing, this PFA offers:

  • Archery
  • Camping
  • Canoeing
  • Geocaching — not allowed during managed hunts
  • Hunting
  • Boating
  • Wildlife viewing

4695 Fish Hatchery Road SE

Dearing, GA 30808

Ocmulgee

Ocmulgee PFA has a 106-acre lake that is managed so anglers have a great experience from the shore or from a boat. The lake contains crappie, largemouth bass, bluegill, white crappie and redear sunfish.

In addition to fishing, this PFA offers:

  • Archery
  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Geocaching
  • Hiking
  • Shooting
  • Wildlife viewing

408 Ocmulgee PFA Road

Cochran, GA 31014

Paradise

Paradise PFA might just live up to its name. With 68 lakes on 1,351 acres, Paradise is managed for all outdoor lovers, whether fishing, boating or exploring the landscape. Fish species include largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, channel catfish, crappie and brown bullhead.

In addition to fishing, this PFA offers:

  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Canoeing
  • Archery
  • Geocaching
  • Wildlife viewing

536 Paradise Drive

Enigma, GA 31749

Rocky Mountain Recreation

Although the beach is closed temporarily, the Rocky Mountain Recreation and Public Fishing Area, near the Chattahoochee National Forest, has two lakes. Anglers can catch largemouth bass, bluegill, channel catfish, redear sunfish, crappie and walleye.

In addition to fishing, the area offers:

  • Archery
  • Biking
  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Canoeing
  • Geocaching — not allowed before 10 a.m. during turkey season
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Swimming
  • Wildlife viewing

4054 Big Texas Valley Road NW

Rome, GA 30165

Silver Lake

Silver Lake PFA in Decatur County has more than 30 lakes and ponds totaling 537 acres, making it one of the largest in the state. Silver Lake has two boat ramps and a handicap accessible fishing pier.

In addition to fishing, this area has:

  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Geocaching
  • Hiking trails
  • Horseback riding
  • Primitive camping
  • Wildlife viewing

520 Lake Lane

Bainbridge, GA 39817