by Andrew A. Cox
The summer vacation time period is now drawing to a close. For many families, children will be restarting school for the new school year. In the South, we usually have several months of continuing pleasant weather with temperatures actually cooling to some degree. Accordingly, it is not too late to consider shorter family oriented day, overnight, or weekend trips. With some planning, fishing for the child, adolescent, or adult anglers in your family can be incorporated into family trips. Such trips may be an opportunity to introduce children in your family to the joys of fishing.
When on overnight family outings, some may stay in a hotel or motel. However, this may be a good time to explore and enjoy camping. There are many good camping destinations close to Georgia and Alabama residents. Some of these are close to or have fishing opportunities available for you and your family to sample. Though more expensive, there are lodges and self-contained outdoor lodging that have outdoor activities to include fishing on their premises.
Accordingly, with some research and planning, you and your family can enjoy close by fishing and outdoor activities during this late summer, early fall period of time. Families residing in middle or north Georgia and Alabama can access many good waters within three hours or less driving time.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources manages ten public fishing areas around the state. These waters have good fish populations, a variety of fish species, and good access for the boating or bank angler. The Department also has excellent written information describing various lakes, rivers, and streams across the state to include access, dominant fish species, fishing forecasts, and other information of interest to the prospective angler. This information can be accessed via http://georgiawildlife.com/fishing.
Other Georgia fishing opportunities are available in the reservoirs constructed for public drinking water. Many of these are located within the Atlanta metropolitan area. Some of these reservoirs allow fishing and provide boating access, usually without the operation of an outboard engine.
The Alabama Department of Wildlife Resources has a similar website (www.outdooralabama.com). This website provides information describing rivers, streams, reservoirs, and lakes across Alabama. This allows the prospective angler to identify and plan trips to Alabama waters within easy driving distance from your home.
Alabama also maintains twenty-three public fishing lakes located in twenty counties. Some of these are quite large with boating access. Some have specialized angling regulations. These lakes provide excellent fishing success with some located within easy driving distance for Georgia anglers.
Both Georgia and Alabama have an extensive system of state parks and state lands. Many of these have fishing, lodging, camping, as well as other activities that families can enjoy. State government Internet websites are available describing these state parks, facilities, available activities, as well as any costs that may be required. Lastly, you can explore access, activities, and potential overnight lodging available on Georgia Power and Alabama Power reservoirs and properties. Power company websites are also available describing these outdoor opportunities.
This time of year continues to provide opportunities for you and your family to take a break from your daily routine and enjoy fishing and the outdoors. You may provide opportunities for your family and children to create memories that they will carry with them throughout their lifetime. Enjoy the great outdoor opportunities available to us in Georgia and Alabama.
Author’s Note: Dr. Andrew Cox is a contributing writer to outdoor publications and newspapers. He is a member of the Georgia Outdoor Writer’s Association. He has been fishing the waters of Georgia, Alabama, and north Florida for over forty years. Dr. Cox financially supports his fishing habits as Professor Emeritus at Troy University, Phenix City, Alabama. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.