*Updated on August 31, 2022
Columbia County’s proximity to Clarks Hill Lake creates an abundance of public lands and natural resources full of incredible wildlife. Check out our hunting and fishing guide below for locations to hunt and/or fish and the species you can expect to find in Columbia County.
Georgia offers a Free Fishing Day in honor of National Hunting and Fishing Day on September 24, 2022. On this day, residents do NOT need a fishing license or a trout license to fish on any public waters in the state including lakes, streams, ponds and public fishing areas.
Hunting and Fishing Licenses
In an effort to preserve the natural resources and conservation efforts of the State of Georgia, anyone born after January 1, 1961 must first complete a hunter education course before purchasing a Hunting License. There are a few exceptions. More details on course registration and information can be found here.
You can purchase fishing and/or hunting licenses online from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources or one of the following locations:
- Academy Sports (4210 Washington Rd, Evans, GA 30809)
- Ace Hardware (5127 Wrightsboro Rd, Grovetown, GA 30813)
- Mistletoe State Park (3725 Mistletoe Rd, Appling, GA 30802)
- Pair of Jacks (6600 Washington Rd, Appling, GA 30802)
- Pollards Corner (6007 Clarks Hill Rd, Appling, GA 30802)
- Walmart (4469 Washington Rd, Evans, GA 30809)
- Walmart (510 Steiner Way, Grovetown, GA 30813)
- Walmart (260 Bobby Jones Exwy, Martinez, GA 30907)
Hunting Seasons in Georgia
There are many game species in Georgia but the most popular in our area are deer, turkey, dove, waterfowl, small game and non-native/invasive species.
- Archery, September 10, 2022- January 8, 2023
- Primitive Weapons, October 15, 2022- January 8, 2023
- Firearms, October 22, 2021- January 9, 2022.
Limit: 12 per season, statewide*
- April 1 – May 15, 2023.
Limit: 2 gobblers per season. Daily bag of 1.
- September 3- Oct 9, 2022
- November 19- November 27, 2022
- December 19, 2022 – January 31, 2023
Limit: 15 per day, 45 in possession
Water Fowl & Migratory Bird Season**
- Ducks, November 19- November 27, 2022
- December 10, 2022 – January 29, 2023
Limit: 6 per day, 18 in possession
- Opossum & Racoon, August 15, 2022 – February 28, 2023 *Public Land
- Rabbit, November 12, 2022 – February 28, 2023; 12 per day.
* For additional species, regulations and limits, visit here.
*** Additional regulations here.
Where to Hunt
Keg Creek Wildlife Management Area
This 800-acre property offers hunting opportunities for deer (archery only), turkey and small game. There is no fee to access the land but a valid Hunting or Fishing License is required. Visit here for an interactive map. Camping is not allowed on this property.
Corp of Engineers Recreation Areas for Hunting
There are approximately 55,000 acres of public land around Clarks Hill Lake that are suitable for hunting. Over 1,000 of these acres are in Columbia County. All Georgia hunting regulations apply to these lands and waters. Hunters must also possess a valid Georgia Hunting License and applicable permits.
- Below Dam Quail Habitat Demonstration Area– 335 acres
- Lake Springs– 240 acres
- Ridge Road West– 620 acres
While Clarks Hill Lake is known for its excellent Large Mouth and Striped Bass fishing, other excellent game fish include Bluegill, Crappie, White Bass, Channel Catfish, Redbreast sunfish and Flathead Catfish.
Where to Fish
Fishing can be enjoyed by boat, kayak, canoe and from the shore at any of the numerous campgrounds or day-use facilities.
Facilities with Boat Ramps: Wildwood Park (mega boat ramps), Mistletoe State Park, Petersburg Campground, Ridge Road Campground, Winfield Campground, Pointes West Army Resort, and Lake Springs Recreation Area.
Facilities with a Fishing Dock or Pier: Lake Springs Recreation Area, Clarks Hill Marina, Petersburg Campground.
Where to Stay
Photo Credit @itssunnyj via Instagram