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Lake Information for Allatoona Lake


This 11,860-acre U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) impoundment of the Etowah River is 30 miles north of Atlanta on I-75. The lake receives heavy use by boaters, skiers and anglers given its close proximity to Atlanta. Fishing early and late daylight hours, and at night, are effective ways to avoid the crowds and catch wary fish.

Facilities and Parks: 

Numerous COE facilities and a Georgia State Park located around the lake provide anglers convenient boat ramp access and parking, as well as camping opportunities.

Fishing Description: 

When it comes to black bass, angler catch rates in Allatoona continue to be better than most Georgia reservoirs, yet average bass size tends to be smaller. One reason is that spotted bass, which attain smaller adult size than largemouth bass, dominate the black bass fishery, making-up approximately 80-90 percent of the black bass population. The average spot will be 10-12 inches in 2008, while older fish will measure out in the high teens and low twenties. The less abundant largemouth bass will typically weigh in at around 1.25 lbs, but a few more over 5 pounds may be caught in 2008. Target largemouth in the Little River and Etowah arms of the reservoir, as this is where the best largemouth habitat exists. You also may find largemouth in the 400+shoreline trees toppled into the lake last year for fish habitat - a program that will continue in 2008. Spotted bass tend to remain in deeper habitats than largemouth. Drop shot and spooning are both good ways to target these fish. Anglers should try both techniques in and around the 36+ deepwater locations that WRD and COE has placed in the reservoir. These locations are typically in 25-30 feet of water at full pool and best fished from fall through spring. Updated fish attractor location maps can be downloaded and printed here.

Fishing Tips, Tactics, How-To info: 

Anglers fishing Allatoona from July-September should concentrate their efforts in water no deeper than 30 feet, as dissolved oxygen is rarely satisfactory for fish at greater depths that time of year.

Anglers can expect crappie fishing to be consistent with years past. The average crappie should be around 10 inches and weigh about 0.5 lb., though larger crappie tipping the scales over 1 pound will be caught. Most crappie anglers focus their efforts during the spring spawn, when the fish concentrate in shallow water. Early spring is an excellent time to catch a trophy "slab" as the females will be laden with eggs and in excellent condition prior to the spawn. Besides jigging or live bait fishing over structure, anglers should try slow trolling small artificials in these same areas. Trolling is a good way to cover a lot of water and locate schools of feeding fish. Popular areas to catch spring spawn crappie include the Kellogg, Illinois, and Stamp Creek areas of the lake. During the summer months, crappie will concentrate in deeper water, where anglers can catch them by targeting brush piles and other fish attractors located on humps and channel ledges. Night fishing with the use of lights and light tackle around docks and bridges will likely be an anglers best chance at consistently boating finicky summer crappie. As summer gives way to cooler fall and winter temperatures, crappie will begin feeding more actively. Target these fish near old river channel edges found in many of Allatoonas coves.

WRD annually stocks striped bass in Allatoona at a rate of 2.5 fish per surface acre. Severe drought conditions last summer may have reduced the number of large stripers that will be caught in Allatoona this year. On the plus side, additional striper fingerling stocking last year has created an abundance of young stripers in the reservoir for 2008. Overall striper fishing is best from October-June and trolling live shad is an anglers best approach to consistent catches. Stripers will be found in the main body of the lake in winter, but migrate to upper reaches of the lake on their spring spawning run. As summer heats up smaller stripers (<10 lbs.) will be found in the main lake, but larger linesides will likely migrate far up the Etowah River seeking coolwater in which to beat the summer heat. Enticing a summer bite from these large fish can be extremely difficult as they slow their feeding rates during this time of year. With the onset of fall and cooling lake waters, these large stripers migrate back into the main lake body and feed voraciously as they pack on pounds lost during the hot summer months.

Increased stocking rates of hybrid striped bass by WRD in recent years continues to be successful! Based on sample data, hybrid abundance in Allatoona continue to remain high, rivaling some of Georgias best-known hybrid lakes. The average hybrid will be in the 2 lbs. range this year but plenty of 5-8 lbs. fish also will be caught. Hybrids can be caught year-round, but summer is best for boating large numbers. Regardless of season, anglers seeking these hard fighters must locate their primary food source, shad. Using depth finders, locate schools of shad while keeping a sharp eye open for schooling hybrids boiling the waters surface as they feed on shad in the morning and early evening. White spinners, spoons and crankbaits will produce summer fish, but serious hybrid fisherman will slow troll with 4-6 inch live shad on simple free-line or down-line rigs. In the winter months live shad will continue to be effective, but anglers wishing to use artificials can try trolling umbrella rigs or vertical jigging with spoons. In terms of location, the mile of lake above and below the popular Galts Ferry boat ramp is a year-round hotspot for Allatoona hybrids.

Bluegill, redbreast sunfish and redear sunfish are all present in Allatoona. Bluegill are the dominant sunfish species. However, they typically average 5 inches in length and few individuals over 7 inches are present. Anglers are encouraged to harvest bluegill to increase growth rates of those remaining. Redear are less abundant than bluegills, but tend to be larger. Redear will speckle the bottom of shallow coves with their nests from early to mid-summer. These nests can be fiercely defended by hand size males that dont think twice about jumping on a lure or bait passing close by.

Channel and flathead catfish are available. While channel catfish are more abundant, flatheads tend to grow to a much larger size. Pursue channels and flatheads on the rocky bedrock banks in the Etowah River arm using chicken livers and live bait fished on the bottom. The numerous rip-rapped shoreline banks are also good areas to hunt big Allatoona catfish.

Carp are numerous, widely distributed and grow to moderately large sizes. They are typically found cruising shallow flats and in the backs of coves, especially around submerged timber. Carp are strong fighters and will give a worthwhile battle to those pursuing them. Gar are numerous in Allatoona. Though not generally considered good eating, these toothy fish are strong fighters and can be great fun to catch. Gar can be caught using a number of techniques ranging from live shad or minnows fished just below a bobber to sight fishing with hook-less minnow type lures made from frayed rope sections. Such lures rely on the gars numerous pointed teeth to become entangled in the frayed strands of rope during the strike.

Channel Catfish
Largemouth Bass
Spotted Bass
Striped Bass
Optional Information
Surface area: 
Allatoona Lake
Lake type: 

Businesses Located Nearby

Bait & Tackle

    Blackstock Bait & Tackle
  • 346 Nw Broad St - Fairburn, GA
  • (770) 964-7038
    Bart's Bait & Tackle
  • 8126 Highway 136 W - Talking Rock, GA
  • (706) 253-2248

Boat Rental

    Georgia Boat Sales
  • 5989 Groovers Landing Rd Se - Acworth, GA
  • (770) 974-4456

Vacation Rental

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