10 Easy Access Fishing Spots in AthensPosted on August 12, 2016
The summer weather has everyone itching to get outdoors. We have found 10 hot spots that are sure to crank up that summer heat and satisfy the need to wet a hook and catch some fish. There are endless opportunities for all, from bank fishing and non-boat-owning options to boat launching availabilities. So, turn off the TV, get off the couch and put up that “Gone Fishing” sign on your door to enjoy some summer fun.
- Bear Creek Reservoir– Bear Creek Reservoir is a 505-acre impoundment owned by Upper Oconee Basin Water Authority. The impoundment has limited bank-fishing opportunities. This location also gets a good rating for kid-friendly fishing. Primary access for fishing is by boat, private boats are allowed, and hours and dates are restricted and change seasonally.
- Bell’s Lake– Bell’s Lake is a privately owned pay lake outside of Watkinsville. The banks are clear all around the lake and you can drive right down to the edge. It costs $5 per day, hours are 8 a.m-6 p.m. and there’s a six-fish limit. You can bank launch a small boat, and the cows and their patties are a bonus.
- Broad River– The Broad River is one of the great-untapped fishing resources in the Athens area. For the size of the fishery, it gets a minimum amount of pressure and offers a broad selection of species of fish to target – including the local version of the redeye bass, the Bartram’s bass.
- Crows Lake and Catfish Farm– This is another pay facility, which is located just outside Jefferson. Fishing here is as near a sure thing as you can get, but can get rather pricey, as you pay for your fish by the pound, and there is no catch-and-release of catfish (without paying a premium).
- Commerce Watershed Lake (Commerce Water Supply Lake)– As the name suggests, this lake is part of the Commerce water supply system. Bank access is good and boats without gas motors can be launched. Fishing tends to be hit or miss. The lake spans 213 acres.
- Fort Yargo State Park– Fort Yargo State Park has a 216-acre lake, which in the past has provided excellent fishing. Right now, the lake has been lowered significantly for maintenance, and fishing is temporarily on hold. When the lake is full, bank access is excellent, plus there are all the amenities one expects at a state park. Private boats are permitted and rental boats are available. The kid-friendly rating is excellent, due to the fishing and other activities for youngsters if they get bored.
- Lake Herrick, University of Georgia– This lake is located at the intramural fields on College Station Road and is open to the public for fishing at no charge. The lake gets pretty heavy pressure, but has good vehicle access and good access to the water. No private boats are allowed, but there are canoes available for rent to students and university personnel.
- Oconee River, Middle– Sort of playing games here with the name, so that both Oconee Rivers can be listed together. The Middle Oconee River has excellent access at Ben Burton Park, which is located on Mitchell Bridge Road, parallel to the bypass on Athens’ north side.
- Oconee River, North– The North Oconee River is one of the great-untapped fishing resources in the area. The construction of the North Oconee River Greenway has opened a section of the river that was previously inaccessible. Access is still spotty, but catching some fish there is just about a given if a little effort is extended. For the sport fisherman, the North Oconee River presents a classic river fishery where small spinner baits can catch a wide assortment of fish. The best access points are:
- Dudley Park: Dudley Park is about two blocks from downtown, bounded by Oconee Street and South Peter Street. A sewer construction project off the Greenway just south of the perimeter has created new bank access. There is some bank access up and down the length of Dr. Martin Luther King Parkway.
For more details about these locations, click here.
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