Everything you need to know about 4 of Cobb’s best fishing spots

photographed and written by Jennifer Carter

LAKE ACWORTH

INSIDE TIPS: Know Before You Go…

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Located in northwestern Cobb County, Lake Acworth has long been a favorite location for both on-shore and boating fishermen who are looking to snag channel catfish, largemouth bass, bluegill, red ear sunfish, crappie, carp and bullheads. This 260-acre lake is open year round.

One of the best places to start exploring Lake Acworth is Cauble Park (located on Beach Street on the north side of the lake) with its plentitude of fishing points on the shoreline, public restrooms and a boat launch. There is also a separate launch for canoes and kayaks. It should be noted that only battery-powered trolling motors are allowed on the lake and no gas-powered components may be used.

Because of this, fishing from kayaks, canoes and paddleboards becomes much easier because you’re not competing with the wake of motorized fishing crafts.

James Albright, a Cobb County resident for 34 years and Acworth’s director of parks, recreation and community resources, also recommends the “spillway” located off of Highway 92 where the water flows over the sub-dam from Lake Acworth into Lake Allatoona as a premiere fishing spot for those in-the-know. This area can be accessed by a couple of gravel “pull offs” on the side of the highway.

Cooler fall waters promise prevalent crappie fishing, according to James, but he also mentions the online message boards of the Georgia Outdoor News Network as a great resource to find out what’s currently biting.

Know Before You Go:
1. You must possess a valid Georgia Fishing License to fish in Lake Acworth.

2. There is one public boat ramp in Cauble Park, as well as kayak and canoe launches in both Cauble and South Shore Park. Only boats using electric trolling motors are allowed.

3. Cauble Park’s parking is free Monday through Friday. If you are not a city of Acworth resident, then a weekend fee of $10 (cash only) will be charged per vehicle during the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. from the first week in May through Labor Day. Park hours are 6 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Address: Cauble Park, 4425 Beach St., Acworth
Park Information: http://cityofacworth.org/index.php/parks-par


LAKE ALLATOONA

INSIDE TIPS: Know Before You Go…

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Known as Allatoona Lake by the road signs to get you there and Lake Allatoona to most everyone else, this vast body of water stretches across three counties (Cobb, Cherokee and Bartow) and covers over 12,000 acres. With that said, there are so many nooks, crannies, coves and so-called “secret” fishing holes that I would’ve felt lost without consulting an expert on the matter.

Rick Shoup, a native fisherman of Allatoona for 30 years and owner of Fish Allatoona Guide Service, was gracious enough to allow me to accompany an early spring expedition that he had planned with a group of KSU students who were desperate for a little lake-break from their studies.

He chose the Little River/Cherokee Mills boat ramp in Cherokee County as our pre-dawn meeting place, and we were barely past the Bells Ferry Road bridge when, under Rick’s tutelage with bait and timing, crappie and the white bass began to practically jump in the boat with us (during the fall months when the water starts to cool, expect to catch stripers, hybrids, spotted bass, and crappie). I’d heard the joke about Allatoona being called the Dead Sea, but the number of fish in Rick’s boat proved otherwise.

The bass tend to prove elusive to those fishermen who are unfamiliar with migration patterns, according to the guide, but he recommends concentrating around the Iron Hill area (southern end of the lake) for best success.

Know Before You Go
1. You must have a valid Georgia fishing license, which you may purchase online at http://www.georgiawildlife.com/licenses-permits-passes.

2. Striper Soup Bait & Tackle (located in downtown Acworth) is a great resource to buy threadfin shad and other bait on your way to the lake.

3. If you plan to park in a day-use area, be sure to bring along some cash.

4. If you’re new to fishing in Allatoona, you might benefit from a professional guide service.

Visit http://www.fishallatoona.com for rates, info, and fishing reports.
Address: Allatoona Operations Management Office
1138 GA Highway 20 Spur
Cartersville, GA 30121
Lake Information: 770-386-0549
Email: Web.Allatoona@usace.army.mil
Georgia Department of Natural Resources:
http://www.gofishgeorgia.com/Fishing/Allatoona
US Army Corps of Engineers: http://www.sam.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Recreation/AllatoonaLake/BoatingFishing.aspx
Fish Allatoona Guide Service:
http://www.fishallatoona.com/


CHATTAHOOCHEE RIVER

INSIDE TIPS: Know Before You Go…

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Endearingly referred to as “The Hooch” by metro-Atlantans, the Chattahoochee River offers some of Georgia’s best fishing opportunities for catching bass, catfish and particularly trout. In fact, its cool waters, rarely surpassing 50 degrees, make it the perfect habitat for trout and by default, avid fly fishermen.

For my very first Chattahoochee excursion, I opted to rely on the expertise of Kennesaw resident Davie Crawford, a professional river guide and owner of Deep South Fly Anglers (www.deepsouthflyanglers.com). He is extremely well-versed in the special regulations accompanying trout fishing in the Hooch (there are many), and he offers patient fly fishing instruction to anglers of all skill levels during his guided river float trips. He also provides all the fly rods, reels, flies and snacks needed for the outing.

For our late summer fishing trip, we launched from Medlock Bridge Park in Duluth, but Davie assured Cobb Life readers that during the Chattahoochee’s “delayed harvest” beginning in November, there would be prime opportunities for fly-fishing in Cobb County later this fall. (Delayed harvest is a management strategy designed to provide high quality catch-and-release trout fishing from Nov. 1 through May 14.)

The delayed harvest section of the Chattahoochee, running through Cobb, begins at Sope Creek and ends at the Highway 41 bridge at Paces Mill. Roughly four miles long, this stretch is managed by the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (CRNRA) and offers great trout fishing during this time.

Rainbow trout were biting well that morning, which made the trip truly enjoyable. But just as pleasing was being able to witness the majestic natural surroundings of the Chattahoochee: the morning fog rolling in during the sunrise, the diverse bird life, and the sound of the river flowing through the rocky shoals.

I highly recommend scheduling a fishing trip on the Hooch soon, whether the fish are biting or not.

Know Before You Go:

1. A valid Georgia fishing license is required for anglers ages 16 and older. Additionally, all resident anglers ages 16 to 64 and nonresident anglers ages 16 or older must have a trout stamp. Visit the Georgia Department of Natural Resources website at http://www.georgiawildlife.com/node/1307 for more information.

2. Since the Chattahoochee River is a designated trout stream from Buford Dam to the mouth of Peachtree Creek, including Bull Sluice Lake, special trout regulations apply. The use of live bait-fish in the river is prohibited within the park. Seining the river for bait-fish is also prohibited within the park. Anglers must fish with only one rod per person. Anglers are also required to possess a trout stamp even if they are fishing for other species. Learn all about fishing regulations from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources website.

3. Always remain aware of rising water levels when you’re boating on the Chattahoochee. Conditions can change quickly and become dangerous.

4. If you’re new to fly-fishing, or to the Chattahoochee, you might benefit from hiring a professional guide. Deep South Fly Anglers (www.deepsouthflyanglers.com) is licensed, insured, and permitted by the National Park Service (Chattahoochee River National Recreational Area) to provide guide services. All Deep South Fly Angler guides are CPR\First Aid certified.

Mailing Address for the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area: 1978 Island Ford Parkway Sandy Springs, GA 30350
Phone: 678-538-1200
Info: https://www.nps.gov/chat/planyourvisit/fishing.htm
Professional Chattahoochee River Guide Service: http://deepsouthflyanglers.com/


SOPE CREEK

INSIDE TIPS: Know Before You Go…

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Sope Creek, a tributary of the Chattahoochee River, is an extremely picturesque 11-mile stream that begins in Marietta and flows through a section of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.

Tucked away in a residential neighborhood on Paper Mill Road, the Sope Creek Park hosts miles of trails that lead you through a cool shady forest, past pre-Civil War ruins of a paper mill said to have been destroyed by Union soldiers, and finally to the cascading rapids at the bottom of the hill, (trail maps are conveniently located at the trailhead in the parking area).

Fisherman often prefer to stick close to the Paper Mill Road bridge while in the park, hoping to snag shoal bass, bream and sun fish. If trout fishing is what you’re after, your best bet is to drive to where Sope Creek empties into the Chattahoochee near Columns Drive.

Based on the scenery and historical value of the park alone, the hike is definitely worth it.

Know Before You Go:

1. If you plan to hike from the Sope Creek Park parking lot, remember to bring $3 in cash. The parking pass is located at the trailhead.

2. Please note that there are no public restrooms, so make sure you stop somewhere beforehand.

3. Be aware that the hike down to the creek is relatively easy, but back up the hill may prove more strenuous. Make sure to bring plenty of water and stay hydrated while hiking.

3. For trout fishing during the delayed harvest (November 1-May 14), target the section of Sope Creek off Columns Drive downstream to U.S. Highway 41. During this season, only single-hook artificial lures and flies are permitted between Sope Creek and Cobb Parkway. Popular access points include Cochran Shoals, Whitewater Creek, and Paces Mill.

For more information on fishing regulations, visit http://www.georgiawildlife.com/sites/default/files/uploads/wildlife/fishing/pdfs/trout/DH_infosheet.pdf
Address: Sope Creek Trail Parking Area, 3760 Paper Mill Road, SE, Marietta, GA 30067
Phone: 678 538-1200
Website: https://www.nps.gov/chat/index.htm

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