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Lake Eufaula

Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division logo

Fish and Fishing in
Lake Eufaula
(Walter F. George Reservoir)
"Bass Fishing Capital of the World"

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Overview
Most anglers south of the Mason-Dixon Line think of Lake Eufaula when they hear the phrase “Bass Fishing Capital of the World.”   Even though the largemouth bass population at Eufaula Reservoir has had its ups and downs since the hey days of the 1960s and 1970s, this lake is still considered one of the true gems of the south. Walter F. George Dam was completed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1962, forming the 45,181-acre impoundment on the fertile Chattahoochee River. The reservoir extends from the Walter F. George Dam at Ft. Gaines, Georgia, northward to Phenix City, Alabama.  Since this lake is shared by Georgia and Alabama, these states agreed that either a Georgia or an Alabama fishing license may be used when fishing Lake Eufaula.


Bass angler
Larger bass were more abundant and in better condition in 2013 as fish in the 15- to 20-inch size range increased 21% from 2012.

Black Bass
Spring electrofishing samples in 2013 indicated that Eufaula largemouth bass were fairly abundant and adequately represented in all size groups. Approximately 56% of the largemouth bass collected were longer than the 14 inch minimum length limit, and over 5% were longer than 20 inches.

Largemouth bass sampled in 2013 exhibited healty body conditions.  This may be attributed to an abundant threadfin shad population as indicated by summer shad sampling in 2012 and 2-13.

One- to two-pound spotted bass are becoming more abundant in the main river portion of Lake Eufaula, but anglers still catch mostly largemouth bass when fishing the backwaters of the major creeks.

Largemouth bass have to be at least 14 inches long to be legally harvested at Eufaula, but spotted bass have no size restrictions.  Anglers may keep spotted bass up to the ten black bass/person creel limit. Anglers at Lake Eufaula are encouraged to harvest largemouth bass between 14 and 18 inches and spotted bass less than 18 inches to decrease the abundance of these bass and promote better quality bass fishing . The number of fingerling bass seen in late May on Lake Eufaula indicated a strong bass spawn in 2012 in spite of low reservoir conditions.

Hybrid Striped Bass
Questions were raised at several public meetings about the rate and the necessity of stocking hybrid striped bass into Lake Eufaula each year by either Georgia or Alabama. Hybrid striped bass are a cross between white bass and striped bass, and while they exhibit very fast growth they seldom live longer than 5 years in the wild and are not able to naturally reproduce. Alabama DCNR and Georgia DNR stock 6 hybrid striped bass fingerlings per acre annually. Hybrids have been stocked into Lake Eufaula since the 1980s at rates varying from 4 to 10 per acre.

A weekend roving creel survey was initiated in the spring of 2012 so anglers could voice their opinion about the hybrid striped bass stocking program. Anglers were surveyed as they fished on the lake.  Two surveys were conducted in the spring, two in the summer, and two in the fall. Of the 159 anglers interviewed during the surveys, most of the anglers indicated they fished the lake more than 10 times each year (45%), and usually fished for black bass (43%). Three percent of the anglers interviewed stated they usually fished for hybrid striped bass, and 6% were fishing for hybrids at the time of the interview. Forty percent of anglers stated they had fished specifically for hybrids in the past year.

 


Hybrid angler
A happy Lake Eufaula angler displays a young hybrid striped bass caught near Cheneyhatchee Creek, June 2012.

When asked to rate how important the hybrid striped bass stocking program was to them, 42% rated it as “very important,” 35% rated it as “somewhat important,” and 23% rated it as “not important.” From the survey it was apparent that while a few anglers do not like hybrid striped bass and would prefer they were not stocked, most anglers enjoy catching them, especially when the hybrids are schooling in the summer and fall.

Anglers report good catches trolling crankbaits around the Old Creek Town area, the Causeway, or in front of the W. F. George Dam. Hybrids are also excellent table fare when the dark strip of meat along the middle of the fillet is removed.


Crappie Anglers
Fall is a great time to fish for crappie on Lake Eufaula, as shown by these fine specimens collected from submerged woody debris in 6 to 12 feet of water, October 2012.

Crappie
Black crappie
were abundant during the October 2013 sampling collection, but the majority of the fish were small. Fall samples from the last two years revealed few crappie over 13 inches (over 1 pound), as most fish observed were between 6 and 9 inches long.

This sampling data verifies what most crappie anglers experienced over the past two years: crappie were fairly easy to catch, but big crappie were hard to find. Lake Eufaula does not receive enough crappie fishing pressure to justify a minimum length limit, so any crappie big enough to clean is big enough to eat.

Quarter pound crappie taste just as good as one pound crappie, but remember the limit is 30 crappie per angler. The peak of the crappie spawn in this part of the state usually last from mid-March until mid-April, but sometimes anglers can still catch shallow crappie into May. Once the water temperature exceeds the mid 70s, it is time to fish deeper brush piles or get out the lights to fish at night.
Bream
Bream fishing at Lake Eufaula is not as good as it was when large mats of aquatic vegetation were growing in the lake in the mid-2000s, but fishing is still decent year after year.  During the spring, anglers caught good numbers of 7- to 9-inch shellcrackers along weed beds and woody debris around the edge of creek channels.  By the summer, most anglers reported better catch rates fishing wigglers on the bottom along 4- to 5-foot deep humps and ledges just off the deeper creek channels.

Catfish
The catfish population are still abundant inLake Eufaula. While most anglers enjoy catching a lot of catfish on rods and reels, jug fishing has also become very popular.

Jugs with 2- to 6-foot long droppers fished in coves are very effective, but anglers have to be careful to keep up with their jugs to prevent littering. Jugs fished at night should be encircled with reflective tape so they will not be lost in the dark.

The most popular bait choices are cut-bait, shrimp, or chicken liver. Channel catfish are still the most abundant catfish species, but blue catfish numbers are increasing, with some really big ones being caught both in the main reservoir and below the dam.

Flathead catfish have been reported for several years below the dam, but this year several were reported being caught in the main lake. The size and creel limit regulation for big blue and flathead catfish throughout Alabama do not apply at Lake Eufaula since these species are not native to the Chattahoochee River. There are no harvest restrictions on any catfish species at Lake Eufaula. Anglers are strongly encouraged not to release any flathead catfish back into Lake Eufaula.


girl with a channel catfish
Jug fishing for catfish can be a fun family activity as shown by big smiles on Lake Eufaula in July of 2012. 

Attractions
The major city on the reservoir is Eufaula, Alabama, located along U.S. Highway 431. Eufaula contains a variety of restaurants, hotels, and shopping centers. The city also boasts a wealth of historic attractions and festivals that can be accessed by contacting the Eufaula Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-524-7529, or on-line at www.eufaulachamber.com. Many beautiful homes and developments are found along the reservoir from the Eufaula area south to the dam, but it is nature's beauty that captures the imagination in the northern section of the lake.

The undeveloped northern section of Lake Eufaula falls within the 11,160 acre Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), headquartered on Highway 165 approximately 10 miles north of Eufaula. The Eufaula NWR provides visitors with excellent opportunities for hiking, hunting, fishing, or observing wildlife. The Eufaula Refuge Manager can be contacted at (334) 687-4065. The Eufaula NWR is bordered on the south by Lakepoint State Park.

Lakepoint State Park Hotel LobbyThe picturesque 1,220-acre Lakepoint State Park offers year round hotel, cabin, and camping accommodations, an 18-hole golf course, 2 boat access sites, boat rental, a fully stocked marina, and many more attractions.  A $12,000,000 renovation was completed in August of 2009.  It is easy to see why Lakepoint State Park hosts fishing tournaments nearly every weekend. The park also has catch-and-release facilities available for tournament organizations to reserve. The Lakepoint State Park headquarters is located off Highway 431 seven miles north of Eufaula, and can be contacted by calling (334) 687-8011.

It is illegal to possess blueback herring Duane Raver's Blueback Herring courtesy of the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Alabama as they affect populations of other fish. Regulations designate legal capture methods for bait and specify additional species that may not be used for bait.

Links (disclaimer):

Fishing license information may be found at: www.outdooralabama.com/fishing/freshwater/license/. Instant licensing is available via the Internet (2% fee), via the telephone by calling 1-888-848-6887 ($3.95 fee), or at 900 vendors and probate offices in Alabama. All youth age 15 and younger fish for free.

Possession and creel limits for Alabama public waters are listed at: www.outdooralabama.com/fishing/freshwater/regulations/; Lake Eufaula borders both Alabama and Georgia, so special limits apply: www.outdooralabama.com/fishing/freshwater/regulations/chattahoochee.cfm. In addition, largemouth bass must be at least 14 inches in total lengh.  Please keep spotted bass, which do not have a size limit. A total of ten black bass may be kept.
The US Corps of Engineers has a map of fish attractors and a list of marinas.

Bass fishing quality at Lake Eufaula is assessed from bass club tournament results at www.outdooralabama.com/fishing/freshwater/where/reservoirs/quality/.
If you are a member of a bass club, please consider being a part of our Bass Angler Information Team. We use information from clubs to help better manage your lakes for fishing.

State fish management information and Alabama reservoir location, size and elevation are listed at: www.outdooralabama.com/fishing/freshwater/where/reservoirs/

Find official information on Lakepoint State Park at www.alapark.com/LakePointResort/.
Eufaula's Lakepoint State Park is part of the Alabama Bass Trail.

Contact the following fishing guides:
Reed Montgomery, www.fishingalabama.com/ 1-205-663-1504, ALABASSGYD@aol.com
Capt. Sam Williams, www.hawksfishingguideservice.com, bass, crappie, bream and catfish, 1-334-687-6266 or 334-355-5057, hawk184@earthlink.net

Information concerning the U.S. Corps of Engineers is listed at: www.sam.usace.army.mil/.  The
State of Georgia provides information on Walter F. George Lake (Lake Eufaula). They list a link to "Walter F. George" Lake.

Get information about the Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge at: www.fws.gov/eufaula/.

When fishing up river, Lakepoint State Park has a full marina and food at the lodge. Midway up the lake; you can go into Taylor Creek and find food and gas; and at the dam, George T. Bagby State Park on the Georgia side has a full marina and food. You can tie up at any of these locations.

Most of Lake Eufaula does not have problems with chemical contamination of fish, but the Cowlikee Creek embayment has a consumption advisory.  Information on the consumption advisory may be found at the Alabama Department of Public Health Web site, www.adph.org. Consumption advisory information is found under "A-Z Contents" and looking for "Fish Consumption Advisories." 

Siluette of a bank angler at Lakepoint State Park, Lake EufaulaIt shall be unlawful to intentionally stock or release any fish, mussel, snail, crayfish or their embryos including bait fish into the public waters of Alabama under the jurisdiction of the Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries as provided in Rule 220-2-.42 except those waters from which it came without the written permission of a designated employee of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources authorized by the Director of the Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries to issue such permit. The provisions of this rule shall not apply to the incidental release of bait into the water during the normal process of fishing.

The Fisheries Section's District IV biologists can answer specific questions about Lake Eufaula by sending mail to Ken.Weathers@dcnr.alabama.gov , Rob.Andress@dcnr.alabama.gov or calling 334-347-9467.

Prepared by: Fisheries Section, Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. This site is presented for information only the Fisheries Section cannot be responsible for the quality of information or services offered through linked sites, disclaimer. To have your site included, send your URL, email address, or telephone number to the Fisheries Web Master, Doug.Darr@DCNR.Alabama.gov. The Fisheries Section reserves the right to select sites based on relevant and appropriate content, of interest to our viewers. If you discover errors in the content or links of this page, please contact Doug Darr. Thank you.

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