One of the primary reasons people venture to Lake Lanier in Georiga is the excellent fishing opportunities it offers. Beyond fishing, it is conveniently located just a short drive from the city of Atlanta, making it a perfect weekend getaway. Anglers can find a multitude of species to catch both from the shoreline or by boat. Let’s look at the types of fish in Georgia and particularly in Lake Lanier.

So What Kind Of Fish Are In Lake Lanier?

When asked what fish are in Lake Lanier the list goes on and on which is why it is excellent for fishing. Below is a breakdown of fish species in Lake Lanier.

The Bass Family

Lake Lanier has a multitude of bass species. Bass is one of the most highly targeted freshwater fish in the southeast. The variety includes largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, striped bass, hybrid striped bass, yellow bass, white bass, spotted bass, and Guadeloupe bass. 

Some of the more popular basses for anglers are the largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and striped bass. Most would consider the smallmouth bass to be a fish of the north, but they are common in Lake Lanier. Because bass is so prevalent anglers come from across the country to fish in lake lanier.

Catfish Species

Catfish are also prominent in Lake Lanier. The large varieties include the Blue Catfish and the Flathead Catfish, which can exceed 75 pounds. These are some of the largest types of fish in Lake Lanier. Be sure to bring stout fishing gear to battle these bottom dwelling monsters.

The smaller catfish include the yellow bullhead, black bullhead, and channel catfish. Most catfish make excellent table fare in addition to a great fight on rod and reel. 


One type of trout found in Lake Lanier is the rainbow trout. Rainbow trout have beautiful coloration and make a great picture when caught. The population is slim, but anglers do stumble upon them from time to time when trolling spoons or casting stick baits.


Both the White Crappie and the Black Crappie are residents of the Georgia lake. Crappie are aggressive feeders who readily strike baits. Crappie is both great on light tackle fishing equipment and ideal for a meal. 


When it comes to entertaining the kids, think sunfish. They are small in size but perfect for children to have non-stop action. There are numerous types of sunfish in the lake. These include the longear sunfish, redear sunfish, redbreast sunfish, warmouth, and green sunfish. Little hooks tipped with crickets or nightcrawlers beneath a bobber will do the trick.

A fish that is not in the same family but similar in size is the bluegill. The bluegill is ideal for both experienced and inexperienced anglers. 


The gar is a unique-looking fish with razor-sharp teeth. The long and slender bodies have narrow and pointed mouths forward of the face. Three types of gar live in the lake. They are the Florida gar, shortnose gar, spotted gar, and longnose gar. Although the gar appears as a dangerous fish in Lake Lanier, it is not an aggressive fish to be concerned about an attack while swimming.


Much like smallmouth bass, the walleye is primarily known as a northern fish which is why people are surprised when it makes the list of what kind of fish are in Lake Lanier. Walleye are considered one of the best-tasting freshwater fish. They don’t handle the sun well, so walleye tend to lurk deep during the day and venture nearshore for food in the evening. 


Two species of carp reside in Lake Lanier. The grass carp and common carp are both prevalent. Although carp are not often targeted frequently, they are crucial to the lake’s ecosystem. Carp fish help to control the level of algae and weeds. 

Lake Lanier Baitfish

With the many predator fish in the lake, they all require a substantial amount of food. Lake Lanier has many baitfish species, including gizzard shad, threadfin shad, fathead minnow, golden shiner, blacktail shiner, and Texas shiner. Anglers use many of these types of small fish as bait.

When it Comes To Lake Lanier Fish Species Anglers Have An Abundance Of Options

Depending on how long you’re staying in the Lake Lanier area, you maybe be able to target multiple fish species in one trip when fishing Lake Lanier. Each type requires specific techniques that are not always universal for all Lake Lanier fish. Ask a local bait and tackle shop for advice. They can guide you in selecting the correct tackle and bait. No matter what type of fish you are after, Lake Lanier fishing will be entertaining for the whole family.