The Largemouth Bass is the most widely distributed of the black bass in Georgia. While we could send you anywhere to knock one off your bass slam list, we want to send you home with a bigun! This week we’ll help you land a lunker with the help of our Fisheries Biologists, Tim Bonvechio, Chris Nelson and John Kilpatrick.
How big do they get?
Between 12–28 inches long. Did you know Georgia is current world record holder for Largemouth Bass? The monster bass was caught in 1934 on Montgomery Lake and weighed a whopping 22.4 pounds.
Where you can find them:
Public access points:
The black bass capital of the world provides endless opportunities for public access to Largemouth fishing. If you grab your bait and tackle and head to any freshwater fishing hole in the state you’re likely to land at least one Largemouth. If a trophy bass is what you’re after then any of these locations won’t disappoint.
There’s no need to panic! You’ll love the fishing her especially in the winter and early spring as the water begins to warm. Panic pond is located on Silver Creek Lake WMA in Southwest Georgia. You’ll have access to a 15 acres of natural trophy bass habitat known for a steady supply of lunkers. Anglers are allowed to harvest one Largemouth Bass (minimum length of 24 inches) per day, but can take unlimited photos of other worthy catches! Panic Pond is accessible via the main entrance to Silver Lake WMA, located approximately one mile west of Hwy. 310 on Silver Lake Road. The pond is open September through June every Saturday through Monday.
Tired Creek Lake is a new fishing lake in Grady County that opened to the public in May 2018. The property may be young but hasn’t disappointed. On opening weekend, one lucky angler reeled in a 14 pound Largemouth. The property has a $10 access fee for non-Grady County residents. The lake has plenty of brush, so bring heavy tackle. Bass were stocked into the Tired Creek 3 years ago and most average in the 4 to 6 pound range.
This 1370 acre reservoir in Walton County is stocked with Georgia DNR grown bass and quality habitat. For $10 a vehicle, you can fish all day. The boat ramp is located on Social Circle-Fairplay Road and has no additional charge for vehicles pulling trailers. Keep in mind that boats with gas motors aren’t allowed though, so make sure you only haul in an electric or self-propelled vessel.
This newly renovated 106-acre reservoir in Bleckley / Pulaski County is managed with trophy Largemouth in mind. It’ll need a few years to develop into its full potential, but bass in the lake currently average 2 to 4 pounds. Don’t be surprised to reel in a 7 pounder though! Remember though –Largemouth are catch-and-release only at this public fishing area lake.
Steven Bell Lake at Dodge County PFA is a producer of big Largemouth. The current lake record is a 15.8 pounder caught in 2002. This fishing spot regularly produces quality bass in the 5 to 8 pound range. Be sure to note the special size limits in effect at Dodge County PFA when you get there.
Georgia’s 10 PFA’s are all intensively managed and provide excellent fishing experiences. They’re also available to fish at night through September 30th. Head over to our recent PFA blog before you go to get the scoop on tips and tricks unique to each area.
View an interactive map of where to find Largemouth Bass and public access points highlighted in this blog. If you’re looking for other boating and fishing opportunities around the state, check out the new Georgia Outdoors Boating and Fishing app, here.
How to Fish Them:
There’s 3 things to keep in mind when targeting Largemouth: cover, cover, and more cover! Early in the morning, fishing top-water baits around the edges of the thicker brush may fool hungry bass. Later in the day, try fishing swimming lures around the edges of the thicker timber or pitching weedless baits right into the thick cover.
Lures you should use:
Largemouth bass are hard-hitting ambush predators that can be targeted using a variety lures. The plastic worm is a classic largemouth bass bait that works great in the summer time. It can be rigged on jighead or weedless on a “Texas” rig. This time of year, topwater lures that float on top and are twitched or jerked to give them action work great early in the morning and late in the evening. During the day, fish tend to go deeper or into heavy cover and can be caught on plastic worms, crankbaits, or spinnerbaits. Sinkers in the 1/8 ounce to 3/8 ounce are the most common, with heavier weights more effective in fast current or deep water and the lighter weights more effective for shallow water.
Recommendations from John:
“Try a State Park Lake or Public Fishing Area. All the State Park Lakes in Georgia have Largemouth Bass in them, and all of our Public Fishing Areas have great largemouth bass populations. For up-to-date fishing information and big fish caught around the state, be sure to sign up for Fishing Updates!”
So you want to catch a bass slam in Georgia? Learn about the Georgia Bass Slam.