Georgia Fishing Licenses, Laws, and Regulations
Georgia offers a wide variety of bodies of water. Whether you want to catch trophy-sized fish from giant reservoirs or smaller lakes and rivers, Georgia is the perfect place for you!
The state offers tourists and seasoned anglers a variety of fishing permits to choose from, from short-term to annual licenses, including those for residents and non-residents. The expiration dates of these licenses vary. The links below will help you decide which option best suits your needs. It is advisable to go through each article first before purchasing your own Georgia fishing license.
For a list of state fishing rules and regulations, see the link below. Before embarking on your trip, it is important to familiarize yourself with the logs in Georgia\’s waters to avoid any problems during your trip. These laws protect and conserve fish stocks in the area, protect their habitat, and encourage camaraderie between tourists, locals, and seasoned anglers.
Georgia Fishing Licenses
All proceeds from the fishing licenses are used to fund local programs that promote the protection and conservation of wildlife in the area. These projects help spread marine life and the ecosystem. Your awareness of these efforts will help to preserve the environment for future generations.
The state of Georgia offers one of the most diverse and unique fishing opportunities in the entire United States. There are trout streams that flow through the northern sections and lakes and rivers that run through the state.
There are 70,150 miles of rivers and streams, according to the Georgia River Network. In addition, Georgia has 4.8 million acres of wetlands, 425,382 acres of public lakes and reservoirs, 954 square miles of estuary, and 160 kilometers of coastline. The great thing about the shear volume of rivers is that anglers will never run out of new places to explore.
Georgia is home to the largemouth bass because of the amount the state produces. The state holds the world record for the largest largemouth bass caught at 22 pounds on the Montgomery River.
Nowhere else in the world can you catch 6 out of 7 species of smallmouth bass. Georgia currently has trout, roach, shoal, narrowmouth, fleck, and suwannee bass.
Typically, many fishing operations prevent larger perch from being caught due to nature conservation regulations. However, in George, anglers have the opportunity to catch some of the world\’s big game bass.
You can catch trophy bass that weigh over 13 pounds in the Ocmulgee PFA fishing waters! Additionally, Georgia offers a wide variety of options when it comes to fishing. You will find cold water species such as trout, cold water species such as striped and pikeperch, warm water species such as largemouth bass, blue gills and catfish, and salt water species such as sea trout, redfish, tarpon and sharks.
Fishing Licenses, Laws, and Regulations in Georgia
In addition, fishing is not always something for sport. Many families like to take their children with them for bonds and memories. Georgie makes this easy by offering public fishing spots that are easy and accessible to everyone, and children\’s fishing events that promote excellent catch rates for beginners.
But before you can do any of that, you need to get a fishing license first. In this article, we\’re going to discuss how to get a fishing license, including the rules and regulations to consider.
How do I get a Georgia fishing license?
Similar to many states, you have several options for obtaining a fishing license:
For general fishing licenses, it\’s $ 15 for Georgia state residents and $ 50 for non-residents. If you want to fish in salt water, you must purchase a free salt water information permit in addition to your general fishing license. If you want to catch mountain trout, you need a separate trout license. For more detailed information, see the License Types and Costs section.
What if i lose my fishing license?
If you\’ve spent a lot of money and time getting many different types of licenses, it can be frustrating to have them misplaced or damaged. Fortunately, you can easily reprint them for free. First, go to your Go Outdoors Georgia online account https://license.gooutdoorsgeorgia.com/Licensing/CustomerLookup.aspx. Next, you\’ll need to sign in by entering your name, date of birth, and one of the following:
- The last four digits of your social security number
- Customer number of the Department of Natural Resources
- Driver\’s license or state ID number
- ID number
- US travel visa number
- Green card number
How do I renew my Georgia fishing license?
To renew your licenses, you will need to go to your Go Outdoors Georgia online account to purchase a new one. The fishing license expires one year after the date of issue.
Who needs a fishing license in Georgia?
Under state fishing laws, anyone aged 16 or over, whether resident or non-resident, must have a general fishing license to fish in both fresh and salt water.
Types of Georgia fishing licenses and costs:
To make it easier for you to look up, we\’ve put together tables to help you decide which fishing licenses you need, as well as the cost based on your age and residence.
|Combined hunting and fishing permits||Yearly||$ 30||$ 150|
|Someday||$ 5||$ 30|
|+ Extra day||$ 1||$ 10|
|Hunting and fishing licenses for apprentices||Someday||$ 5||$ 30|
|Fishing licenses||expression||Residents||Not resident|
|Fishing license (residents: 16-64, non-residents: 16+)||Yearly||$ 15||$ 50|
|Someday||See combination||$ 10|
|+ Extra day||See combination||$ 3.50|
|Optional fishing license for young people (under 16 years of age)||Perennial $ 10||–|
|Senior athlete license (65+)||Yearly||$ 7||–|
|Trout license||Yearly||$ 10||$ 25|
|Someday||$ 5||$ 10|
|+ Extra day||$ 1||$ 2|
|SIP approval||Yearly||FOR FREE||FOR FREE|
|Commercial fishing license||Seasonal||$ 20||$ 200|
|Fishing license for the disabled||Yearly||$ 3||–|
|Three years||$ 9||–|
|Access to public land||expression||Residents||Not resident|
|Georgia Lands Pass||Yearly||$ 30||$ 60|
|Sports licenses||Residents 16-64; Non-resident: 16+||Yearly||$ 65||$ 400|
|Someday||$ 25||$ 170|
|+ Extra day||$ 3||$ 20|
|Optional youth sports license||Below 16||Perennial||$ 15||–|
|Senior athlete license (65+)||65 and older||Yearly||$ 7||–|
|One-time honorary veteran\’s license||–||A year||FOR FREE||–|
|Driver\’s license for the disabled||–||Yearly||$ 5||–|
|–||Three year||$ 15||–|
|Lifetime licenses||Age||expression||Residents||Not resident|
|Lifetime athlete license for toddlers||Under 2||Lifetime||$ 500||$ 500|
|Youth athlete license Lifetime||2-5||Lifetime||$ 600||–|
|Lifetime sports license for adults||16-49||Lifetime||$ 750||–|
|Lifetime sports license for older adults||50-59||Lifetime||$ 375||–|
|Senior discount for a lifetime athlete license||60-64||Lifetime||$ 315||–|
|Senior Lifetime Sportsman License||65+||Lifetime||$ 70||–|
|Lifetime hunting license for seniors||65+||Lifetime||$ 35||–|
|Lifetime fishing license for seniors||65+||Lifetime||$ 35||–|
|Free lifetime athlete license||65+||Lifetime||FOR FREE||–|
|Lifetime sports license for military and veterans||16-49||Lifetime||$ 600||–|
|Lifetime athlete license for non-resident grandchildren||2-15||Lifetime||–||$ 1500|
|Shooting with a lifetime license||–||Lifetime||$ 75||$ 75|
Georgia fish size and limits
When it comes to fishing laws and regulations, you need to make sure that you follow these rules at all times to avoid penalties and to preserve the habitat of each fish species as well as their environment. Here are the general guidelines for common fish species.
For this species, the policy is at least 12 inches nationwide, except in the areas below:
- Lake Blackshear: 14 in
- Lake Blue Ridge: no minimum
- Lake Burton: no minimum
- Lake Juliette: no minimum
- Lake Lanier: 14 in
- Lake Oconee: 14 in
- Lake Lindsay Grace: Any mass of trout that is between 15 and 22 inches long must be released immediately. Only one bass may be caught over 22 inches
- Lake Walter F. George: 14 in
- West Point Reservoir: 14 in
- Public fishing areas operated and managed by the Department of Natural Resources: 14 inches
- Lake Lanier: 14 in
- Flint River and its accompanying tributaries below Warwick Dam: 12 in
- Flint River and its accompanying tributaries above Warwick Dam: 15 inches
Striped Bass, White Bass and Hybrid White-Striped Bass:
Only two fish longer than 22 inches may be kept.
- In the areas of North Newport River, Medway River, including Mount Hope Creek, Little Ogeechee River, Ogeechee River downstream of Hwy 22 and downstream of Hwy 96, Altamaha River, Saint Mary\’s River, Satilla River and the tributaries of their rivers, is a minimum of 22 inches required for all fish
- The minimum length is 27 inches on the Savannah River and its tributaries downstream of the J. Strom Thurmond Dam. These areas also have a two-fish limit.
No minimum length limit for trout except in the following waters:
- Brown and rainbow trout: 22 in
- Brown trout: 18 inches
- Noontootla Creek and its tributaries on Blue Ridge WMA
- All trout at least 16 inches
No more than ten freshwater turtles may be caught at a time. There is no closed season for catching and harvesting freshwater turtles. For more information, please visit the following website: http://www.georgiawildlife.com/turtling
Limits of fishing methods
Hooks and lines:
In general there are no restrictions on hooks and lines, except in the following scenarios:
- Trout fishing in trout waters: 1 rod
- Fishing in public fishing spots: 2 rods
- Sport fishing with rubber fish: 2 rods
All sport trotlines must be marked with the owner\’s name and address with visible buoys, submerged at least 3 feet below surface water, and removed after a completed fishing trip. Trotlines are also not allowed on Lake Tobesofkee and any State Park Lake.
The best fishing spots in Georgia
If you are looking for the best fishing spots, you\’ve come to the right place. For large numbers of largemouth bass, we recommend Lake Seminole, which is located along with the Georgia and Florida Board.
For deep sea fishing – such as redfish, snapper, and tarpons – head to the Golden Isles along Georgia\’s Atlantic coast. This location is great for saltwater fishing from the shore, a charter boat, kayaking, and rafting.
For anglers interested in fly fishing, we recommend the Chattahoochee River for some of the best brown and rainbow trout. The record\’s largest brown trout was caught in 2014 at a staggering 20 lbs. If you\’re looking to catch species other than perch, head to St. Simons Island Pier for redfish, flounder, and sharks.