The state of Georgia is arguably the best in the country when it comes to bass fishing. There are a number of sizable public-access lakes where anglers can catch largemouth bass in the Peach State.
One of the reasons Georgia is considered a prime state for bass fishing is the fact that it features lakes of all kinds compared to other states, which might only have one specific type of waterway. The northern hills of Georgia are home to deep-water mountain lakes, but the lower section of the state has its share of shallow, swampy lakes.
This article will list our top picks for the best bass fishing lakes in Georgia, as well as some important details to consider if you plan on visiting them.
1. Clarks Hill Lake
Clarks Hill Lake offers the best overall bass fishing experience in Georgia, and it’s a prime destination for catching trophy bass throughout the year. Officially known as J. Strom Thurmond Reservoir, this waterway stretches more than 71,000 acres and is situated in the Savannah River Basin on the state’s South Carolina border near Augusta.
This man-made reservoir has a reputation for offering deeper water, as the average depth is around 37 feet. Clarks Hill Lake is a regular stop along the professional fishing circuits and was home to the 1973 BASSMASTER Classic bass tournament series. It’s not unusual to catch multiple bass in the 3 to 5-pound range on this lake, and most anglers consider spinnerbaits and deep-diving crankbaits to work best on Clarks Hill.
2. Lake Hartwell
Lake Hartwell is another top choice for the best bass fishing in Georgia. This lake is located further north along the Georgia-South Carolina border and features more than 56,000 acres of prime bass fishing habitat. Many professional anglers consider Lake Hartwell to be among the best in the Southeast when it comes to largemouth bass fishing.
Much like Clarks Hill Lake, this waterway is well-known for its deep channels and is a favorite destination for winter bass fishing when fish are typically found in depths of 20 feet or more. This lake sits along Interstate-85, making it very easy to access for bass anglers. Most fishermen consider jigs and shaky heads the best lures for bass fishing on Lake Hartwell during cooler weather, but swimbaits and crankbaits work well if you can locate bass feeding on schools of shad.
3. Lake Eufaula
Lake Eufaula can be a very challenging place for anglers to fish at times, but it is considered one of the top destinations for trophy bass fishing in the Southeast. Located along the western edge of Georgia, the lake’s official name is Walter F. George Lake, and is fed by the famous Chattahoochee River. This lake is a massive labyrinth of islands and coves that stretch across more than 105,000 acres of mostly shallow water.
Due to its size and reputation for producing big bass, Lake Eufaula is a common stop for most professional fishing trails. It’s no secret that topwater lures are king at Eufaula during the late spring, summer, and fall seasons. Bass will usually take refuge under boat docks (see here for tips on fishing docks) to avoid the heat, and night fishing is preferable during the summer months.
4. Lake Seminole
Our list of the top lakes for the best bass fishing in Georgia wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Lake Seminole. This waterway sits along the state’s southern border and offers drastically different kinds of fishing opportunities compared to Georgia’s deeper water lakes to the north. Lake Seminole is formed by the joining of the Chattahoochee River and Flint River and offers more than 37,500 acres of shallow water bass fishing habitat with an average depth of just 10 feet.
It’s not uncommon to catch shoal bass alongside largemouth, and the Texas rig or Carolina rigged worms are often used to catch bigger fish throughout the year. With so much shallow cover and feeder creeks, it’s easy to see why Lake Seminole is a regular stop on the BASSMASTER Elite series.
5. Lake Oconee
To the east of the capital city of Atlanta is Lake Oconee, a slightly smaller yet action-packed reservoir of about 19,000 acres. The lake is fed by the Oconee River and features some deep water channels and plenty of submerged timber.
Bass feed on mostly shad throughout the cool months but will seek out crawfish and just about anything else during the summer on Lake Oconee. This lake is known for having an abundance of access points and an open shoreline that’s perfect for bank fishing. The best chance of catching big fish on Lake Oconee is to target depth changes with a variety of lures like jerk baits, Carolina rigs, jigging spoons, and others.
6. Lake Sinclair
Lake Sinclair is just 26 miles south of Lake Oconee and contains much of the same type of structure and depth ranges you might expect in Oconee. This waterway is just over 15,330 acres and offers more than 400 miles of shoreline.
Anglers who regularly fish this lake know that the biggest bass will bite in the early spring (pre spawn time) around the mouths of coves before fishing pressure ramps up. In addition to largemouth bass fishing, anglers can catch everything from white bass to flathead catfish on this reservoir that’s known as a popular destination for kayak fishing.
7. West Point Lake
Another lake along Georgia’s western border that is considered to be a big bass haven is West Point Lake. This waterway is just under 26,000 acres and is fed by the Chattahoochee River as it runs south of the Peach State’s capital city.
While West Point Lake might not be the largest body of water in the state, it can be a challenge to anglers that haven’t fished here. Spotted bass have overtaken largemouth in population numbers over the last few decades, but West Point Lake is still a notable stop along many professional fishing circuits like the FLW and others.
8. Lake Blackshear
One of the lesser-known best bass fishing lakes in Georgia is Lake Blackshear, which sits in the middle of the southern portion of the state. Blackshear is not a massive lake and is only 8,700 acres, but it offers outstanding habitat for largemouth bass, as well as spotted bass. Lake Blackshear is formed by the Flint River, and its long, narrow shape makes it very easy to navigate.
Boat anglers on Lake Blackshear know that the best time to catch big bass on this waterway is to venture up the creek channels where the Flint River runs into the lake.
9. High Falls Lake
High Falls Lake tends to be considered one of the best-kept secrets in Georgia when it comes to bass lakes. It may only be 650 acres in size, but there’s nothing small about the big fish species found in these waters.
10. Lake Lanier
Just a short drive from Atlanta is Lake Lanier, which is another great destination for largemouth bass and spotted bass, among other species. You’re probably more likely to see more pleasure boats instead of bass boats during the summer, but the fall season is when Lake Lanier really shows out.
This lake is packed with giant striped bass and hybrid bass species, but it’s known for producing monster bass. The Lake Lanier largemouth bass record is a whopping 17-pound, 9-ounce giant, and anglers usually catch big bass on swimbaits in Lanier’s waters.
11. Lake Allatoonaa
Known for its beautiful picturesque views, Lake Allatoona is another top bass fishing lake that’s only a short one-hour drive from Atlanta. This waterway is roughly 12,000 acres in size and features plenty of largemouth bass and big spotted bass as well.
Unlike most lakes to the south of Atlanta, Lake Allatoona consists of large rocks in its depths instead of submerged timber. The best lures for this lake during any part of the year will be a Ned rig and jig-and-pig.
12. Lake Burton
Lake Burton is another scenic waterway that’s located in the far northeast corner of the state and is considered to be among the best bass fishing in Georgia. It’s less than 3,000 acres in size but is well-known for having some of the best striped bass fishing in the Southeast due to a healthy population of blueback herring.
Anglers can catch largemouth bass throughout the year on Lake Burton using shaky heads, jigs, or crankbaits. This lake is also known as one of the better smallmouth bass fishing spots in the state.
13. Nottely Lake
Nottely Lake makes a strong case for being the best bass fishing destination in north Georgia, although it’s part of the Tennessee Valley Authority water system. This 4,000-acre lake is a popular kayak fishing location, but there’s plenty of room for a bass boat as well.
The steep mountains the lake was formed in create a somewhat deep water haven for big bass. Live bait is often used here to catch everything from crappie to smallmouth bass. Largemouth will usually bite anything resembling a crawfish or shad in Nottely Lake.
14. Lake Blue Ridge
Lake Blue Ridge offers more than 3,300 acres of some of the best bass fishing in Georgia, along with incredible views of the surrounding Appalachian Mountains. This lake remains at a cooler temperature throughout the year thanks to a number of cool mountain streams running into the waterway.
Anglers usually catch largemouth bass and smallmouth bass using a variety of soft plastic worms and lizards on Lake Blue Ridge.
15. Lake Jackson
Lake Jackson was created in 1910, making it one of the oldest reservoirs in the Peach State. This lake sits just an hour south of Atlanta and is just over 4,750 acres. It’s home to a number of different fish species that are targeted by anglers throughout the year.
Largemouth will usually bite crankbaits and spinnerbaits on Lake Jackson during the warmer months of the year until the fall seasons.
16. Montgomery Lake
Montgomery Lake is a tiny body of water connecting to the Ocmulgee River in the heart of South Georgia. This lake may not offer any boat ramps, but it is famously known as the lake where the world record largemouth bass was landed in 1932 by George Perry.
The bass was a 22-pound, 4-ounce behemoth, and anglers have not yet managed to top it despite nearly a century passing since it was caught.