The fishing season in Georgia can be defined in many different ways. Fishing regulations are one of the two ways. The second is are the seasons in which various species of fish are migrating through to be caught. No matter which season, they should be followed closely to have more success catching and avoiding breaking the law. Just what is the fishing season in Georgia

Why Are Some Fish More Abundant During Certain Seasons

Some fish will migrate based on the weather or for spawning purposes. Additionally, some will travel long distances while others stay close to home. 


In the northern parts of the state, trout will enter streams to spawn during the fall and winter months. Spawning habits are ritual and repeat year after year. 

Water Temperature

Beyond spawning, fish also migrate due to water temperatures. The type of fish present is highly dependent on the fishing season.  Offshore pelagic species follow water temperatures and move north of Georgia during the summer and south of Georgia through the winter. 

Inshore saltwater species are also highly impacted by temperature. Coastal Georgia sees a significant increase in the number of bluefish and sheepshead that are present. Some species migrate long distances while others venture into deeper water within close proximity. 

How Fisherman Plan Fishing Seasons

Fishermen can become quickly educated by searching the internet about what type of fish are common in the area you’re fishing during particular seasons. Research is highly recommended to avoid planning a fishing trip when the fish you would like to target is not there. 

Also, keep in mind that although the fish species you’re after doesn’t migrate, they will likely have different habits as the water reaches peak high and low temperatures. The lures and baits can change drastically. 

What are Seasonal Fishing Regulations

Seasonal fishing regulations are in place to protect fish populations in one of two ways. The first is spawning season, and the second is to reduce overfishing. 

Spawning Season

Seasonal fishing regulations exist to help protect fish during the year’s active spawning times. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has few to no restrictions for both freshwater and saltwater relating to spawning season. 

Population Control

Overfishing should be avoided. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources does take measures to prevent the over-harvesting of fish in both saltwater and freshwater. While saltwater regulations are based on the species, the freshwater laws are specific to the body of water. 

Why is There a Fishing Season In Georgia

Depleting fish populations can have a devastating impact beyond what many would think. It goes far beyond reduced catches by an angler. The overfishing of saltwater and freshwater species can result in damage to the ecosystem. Predators and prey have a balance, and that balance must be kept in check. 

In addition to fish, other life forms such as shellfish, crustaceans, algae, weeds, and more are also impacted when populations are skewed. Everything beneath the surface works together to keep the environment in check and allow for thriving conditions. 

Where Can Fishing Season Regulations Be Found

Before heading out to fish, a license should always be obtained by those who are sixteen years old and up. Beyond a fishing permit, the angler should be aware of the size, seasons, and limits of the body of water they are fishing. 

The information can be found on the internet. Eregulations does a great job of defining both the freshwater and saltwater regulations. Carefully read through the details and be sure that the body of water you will be fishing does not have special rules in place. It’s never a bad idea to print out a copy and bring it along with you as a reminder when you are excitedly reeling in fish. 

It’s Time To Head Out Fishing In Georgia

Now that the difference between fishing season regulations and actual fishing seasons is clear, get out on the water and catch some fish. Plan the time of year your fishing to target specific species if they migrate seasonally. Have a regulations sheet handy to make sure you are throwing legal-sized fish in the box. These few tips will help steer you clear of trouble and maximize your chances of catching the fish you seek.