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Take Me Fishing!
Catfish angling appeals to broad audience
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SOCIAL CIRCLE -- There are great opportunities all across the state for catfish angling, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Wildlife Resources Division.
To help track down the right location to go fishing for cats, WRD has put together information on some recommended places to fish, equipment, techniques and more.
There are several kinds of catfish in the state, including flathead, channel, blue, bullheads and white.
Here are some hot spots:
• Ocmulgee River -- dominant catfish species are flathead and channel catfish, on both upper and lower portions of this river.
• Altamaha River -- great location for flathead catfish. The current state record flathead catfish (83 lbs.) and the current state record channel catfish (44 lbs., 12 oz.) were caught on this river. While not eligible for record status due to catch method, flathead catches up to 90 lbs. using bush hooks (a line attached to a bush or tree limb) have been reported from the Altamaha.
• Satilla River -- excellent fishing available for channel catfish, white catfish and several species of bullheads.
WRD recommends anglers use a medium weight rod with either a spincasting or a spinning reel. The species and the size of fish should dictate the fishing line used. For example, if channel and white catfish are your choice, WRD recommends 8-14 lb. test line and medium size hooks (6 or 8) under a bobber and fished on the bottom. If you are trying to land a large flathead, heavy tackle is a must. Large spinning or casting tackle with at least 20-50 lb. test line with weights to keep bait on the bottom. Baits that work best for channel, bullheads and white catfish include worms, liver, live minnows, cut bait and stink bait. Recommended flathead bait includes live goldfish, bream and shiners.
Anglers on rivers should target deep holes that contain rock or woody structures during the day and shallow sandbars and shoals near these deep holes at dusk, dawn and night.
Reservoir catfish often can be found on flats adjacent to river channels during the day, while catfish often roam to feed at night and can be found in shallow water.
Anglers can experience good catfishing throughout the year, but the best time of year to fish for various species of catfish is from early spring through the peak of summer.
For more information on fishing for catfish in Georgia, visit

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