August 8, 2008

Peak times for cats, fishing that is

Submitted by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources

SOCIAL CIRCLE — Fishing for catfish is a summertime tradition in Georgia. From the experienced angler attempting to land a new state record to the grandfather taking his grandson on a first-time fishing trip, catfishing opportunities are abundant. With summertime nearing its peak, the Wildlife Resources Division is highlighting the hot weather hot spots and offering tips on technique and equipment for anglers of all skill levels. “Trying to reel in a catfish is a favorite pastime of many anglers in Georgia, and we are fortunate that we have so many locations where this experience is enjoyed,” says John Biagi, the division’s chief of Fisheries Management. “Catfish typically are found in waters close to home, require relatively simple gear and taste great on the dinner table - all good reasons to get out and fish!”

Georgia’s plentiful public waterways are home to several species of catfish, including channel, white, blue, flathead and bullheads (consisting of several similar species - yellow, brown, snail, spotted and flat). The larger species, blue, channel and flathead catfish, can grow to exceed 100 pounds.

Following are summer’s hot spots:

• Lake Nottely - Contains good populations of channel and white catfish (averaging one pound or less) and fewer, but larger flathead catfish (weighing up to 40 pounds).

• Lake Tugalo - Contains an abundant population of white catfish.

• Lake Marbury (Fort Yargo State Park) - Supports an excellent population of channel catfish.

• Lake Oconee - Supports high numbers of channel, blue, flathead, white and bullhead species of catfish.

• Flint River - Great location for flathead (5-30 pounds) or channel catfish.

• Andrews Lock and Dam (Chattahoochee River) - Best location in southwest Georgia for catching a flathead catfish exceeding 20 pounds.

• Lake Seminole - Good catches of channel catfish available throughout the summer.

• Lake Blackshear - Excellent channel catfish spot. Best places are the main lake and below Warwick Dam.

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