WEST POINT LAKE
Size: 25,864 acres
Location: Covers a 35-mile stretch of the Chattahoochee River between Franklin, Ga., and West Point, Ga.
Most popular fish species: Spotted bass, largemouth bass, striped bass, white bass and crappie.
Access: Boats can be launched at several places, including Clark Recreation Area Boat Ramp, Dewberry Ramp, Earl Cook, Glass Bridge, Long Cane, McGee Bridge, Pyne Park, Ringer Access, Rocky Point, Sunny Point, Veasey Creek, West Over Look, White Water Access and Yellow Jacket Boat Ramp.
License: Though most of the lake is located in Georgia, Alabama fishing license holders may fish legally anywhere except the portion of the reservoir upstream of the Highway 109 bridge on the Chattahoochee River arm.
Cool fact: A Bassmaster Elite Series tournament was held on West Point last year from May 2-5. Veteran professional angler Skeet Reese won the $100,000 first-place prize with a four-day weight of 46.6 pounds.
Websites: highlandmarina.com, georgialakeinfo.com/ westpointe, westpointlake. info, georgiawildlife.com/Fishing/WestPoint.
BARTLETT’S FAIRY (LAKE HARDING)
Size: 5,860 acres
Location: Chattahoochee River impoundment located just below West Point Lake and just above Goat Rock Lake.
Most popular fish species: Largemouth bass, shoal bass, striped bass, crappie and catfish.
Access: Several boat ramps are available for public use, including Blands Landing, Blanton Creek Boat Ramp, Chattahoochee Valley Recreational Park, Idle Hour Park, Long Bridge Boat Ramp, Po’ Boys Boat Ramp and Sandy Point Landing.
License: Both Alabama and Georgia fishing licenses are recognized for all waters of Bartlett’s Ferry.
Cool fact: Bartlett’s Ferry is one of the few impoundments in the country where a species of fish known as the shoal bass can be caught. The fish, which have an olive-colored tone to their skin, usually reside in areas with current. Some local anglers use specialized jet boats to make long journeys into creeks off the main lake where the fish can be caught.
Websites: lakeharding.com, facebook.com/Lake. Harding, harding.uslakes. info.
GOAT ROCK LAKE
Size: 940 acres
Location: Located 10 miles above Columbus on the Chattahoochee River along the Georgia-Alabama border.
Most popular fish species: Largemouth bass, spotted bass, striped bass, redear sunfish (shellcracker), bluegill, crappie and catfish (blue, channel and flathead).
Access: Goat Rock Marina, located on Flat Rock Road, offers free public access with a small fee for parking.
License: Both Alabama and Georgia fishing licenses are good for all waters of Goat Rock.
Cool fact: Since Goat Rock Lake is relatively small with hydroelectric dams on each end, it has more of a constant current than lakes three and four times its size. Some anglers believe the largemouth and spotted bass on the lake fight a little harder because they are born and raised in that current.
Websites: georgiawildlife.com/Fishing/GoatRock, goatrock.lakesonline.com.
Size: 2,150 acres
Location: Located on the Chattahoochee River between Columbus and Phenix City.
Most popular fish species: Largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish (shellcracker), channel catfish.
Access: Good public access is available at Lake Oliver Marina, located at 5501 River Road, Columbus. Ramps are also available at Goat Rock Recreation Area, and Goat Rock Dam on the Alabama side of Lake Oliver.
License: Both Alabama and Georgia fishing licenses are acceptable for all waters of Lake Oliver.
Cool fact: Constructed in 1959, the dam that forms Lake Oliver produces enough electricity to light more than 22,000 Georgia homes each year.
Websites: columbusga.org/marina, oliver.uslakes. info, georgiawildlife.com/Fishing/Oliver.
NORTH HIGHLANDS LAKE
Size: 131 acres
Location: Flows between Columbus and Phenix City on the Chattahoochee River.
Most popular fish species: Shoal bass, channel catfish, blue catfish, flathead catfish and drum.
Access: No public boat ramps are available. But bank fishing is allowed, and small crafts can be launched from the shoreline.
License: Both Alabama and Georgia fishing licenses are acceptable for the small fishery.
Cool fact: One of the smallest public lakes in the Chattahoochee Valley, the lake annually produces some of the largest shoal bass in the country. Jigs, spinnerbaits and buzz baits will often produce strikes around isolated patches of swift water.
Websites: brownsguides.com/v/north-highlands-lake. LAKE SEMINOLE
Size: 37,500 acres
Location: A Chattahoochee River reservoir located in the southwest corner of Georgia along its border with Florida.
Most popular fish species: Lake Seminole has a little bit of everything, including largemouth bass, striped bass, hybrid bass, white bass, shellcracker, crappie, chain pickerel, several species of gar and plenty of bowfin. The lake is perhaps best known for its later Winter/early Spring “sight fishing” when largemouth bass are bedding in clear, shallow water.
Access: Several privately owned marinas offer excellent boat ramps, including Wingate’s Lunker Lodge (229-246-0658), Seminole Lodge (800-410-5209), Spring Creek Resort (229-861-3247), Trail’s End Resort (229-861-2000) and Bainbridge Marina (229-246-3507).
License: A Georgia fishing license is acceptable for most waters, but some areas do require a Florida license. Visit georgiawildlife.com for clarification.