Fishing the Fifty

My Quest to Fish All 50 States


Most serious fishermen probably think of one fish when they think of Georgia fishing:  George Perry’s 22-pound, 4-ounce largemouth bass.  However, while deciding when and where to fish for my trip, Shane Watson’s site ( sold me on targeting trophy freshwater stripers on Lake Lanier near Gainesville, Georgia.  Shane was inducted into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in 2010 and I was very fortunate to fish with him personally.


I caught my first striper (a 34-inch, 17-pounder) within 30 seconds of putting the bait in the water, giving Georgia the distinction of being the quickest state completed.  (Ohio would later tie this record for quickness.)  I caught eight more stripers after that, with the longest being 35 inches and the heaviest three being 20, 20, and 22 pounds. (Georgia’s minimum for an Angler Award is 25 pounds or 36 inches, so I just missed the latter criteria by one inch.) Of the nine stripers I caught, all but two were between 33 and 35 inches.  I also caught four spotted bass, with the longest being 19 inches.  The excellent fishing coupled with the beautiful 75-degree Georgia weather made for a fantastic trip.

Welcome to Georgia

My first Georgia fish, caught immediately, 34 inches, 17 pounds

Lake Lanier

Tough to lay rubber on the Georgia asphalt when this is your rental car

34-inch, 20-pound striper

35-inch, 20-pound striper

19-inch, four-pound spotted bass

34-inch, 22-pound striper, my heaviest Georgia fish