The Upper Chattahoochee River in Georgia attracts thousands of outdoor enthusiasts each year. Campers and hikers from across the country make their way to this beautiful natural paradise and bask in its wonder, but what the Chattahoochee is perhaps best known for is its massive population of bass. If you decide to go catching trout, take a look at our trout fishing gear article.
Bass have been attracting avid fisherman from all over the country each year. Located approximately 90 minutes southwest of Atlanta, this is a great day trip or weekend getaway for nature lovers living in the city.
As one of the best-known rivers in Georgia, it’s no surprise that the Chattahoochee River has become a hotspot for both locals and tourists. With a healthy population of bass up for grabs, this year should be no different.
While there are a variety of great spots to cast your line on the Upper Chattahoochee, there is no better spot than the mainstream of the Chattahoochee River. You can also head upstream to Lake Lanier and home to the shoal bass.
To catch a shoal bass you’ll need live bait—crayfish, crickets and worms have proven most effective. Artificial lures may work as well (we recommend small in-line spinners).
Lightweight spinning gear is recommended and used by most anglers during the popular summer months, though fishing here has grown in popularity year-round, particularly from late fall to early spring.
Fly fishermen have also become part of the Chattahoochee bass fishing culture and tend to arrive primarily during summer. Most anglers use waders instead of taking out a boat, which will save time and costs as you begin your fishing adventure.
The shoal bass live in rocky habitats where the water is flowing fairly quickly, so focus on these areas as you start your day. Be warned, the shoal bass will fight back—this will not be an easy catch.
Weighing as much as 8 pounds and measuring up to 24 inches in length, this species is agile and will not give up without a good fight. For this reason, it’s recommended shoal bass fisherman use a five or six weight fly rod.
While the shoal bass is a popular catch for many the river is home to many other species of bass. The Largemouth, Altamaha, Chattahoochee, Smallmouth and Spotted Bass all call this section of the river home, so make sure you bring lots of bait.
The Chattahoochee River National Recreational Area totals 48 miles and includes 15 land units. Each of these land units has a list of entrances which can be found here.
The best point to access these fish is the Upper Chattahoochee River above Lake Lanier. If anglers do prefer to wade, Buck Shoals and Mossy Creek are the best places to cast your line.
Please be advised that a good portion of the land along these streams are privately owned; you may need permission from landowners before accessing these streams.
As with any water sport, conditions may vary; it’s important to check the weather conditions before heading out onto the water. Current conditions and alerts can be found on the National Park Service website.