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National Hunting and Fishing Day is Saturday, September 23

September 21, 2017

The United States has long been home to those who appreciate the outdoors, with hunting and fishing enjoying great popularity.

Since 1972, the 3rd Saturday in September has been recognized as National Hunting and Fishing Day by presidential proclamation. The governors of most states, including Georgia, likewise issue proclamations celebrating the day.  

This year, the event will be observed Saturday, September 23.

In honor of the day, Georgia residents may fish on any public waters without paying for a fishing or trout license.

The Wildlife Resources Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources is also featuring events in each region of the state:

Northwest Georgia
Outdoor Adventure Day
James H “Sloppy” Floyd State Park

Open to all ages. Activities include: fishing, archery, laser shot, canoeing, live animal displays, snake show, and climbing wall. There also will be camping and fly fishing demos. Hot dogs and drinks provided on a first-come, first-served basis. The event is free. However, there is a $5 parking fee.

Northeast Georgia
Outdoor Adventure Day
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Unicoi State Park

Open to all ages. Activities include: trout fishing and instruction, skeet, air gun shooting, archery, and live animal displays. The event is free. However, there is a  $5 parking pass fee.

Northeast Georgia
Kids Fishing Event
9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Buford Dam Lower Pool

Open to kids 15 and younger (must be accompanied by an adult). Bait provided. A limited number of fishing poles will be available. (Kids are encouraged to bring their own, if possible.) Fly tying, fishing demos, and the JAKES Take Aim trailer will be available for additional fun. The Georgia Wildlife Resources Division will stock trout for the event.

Central Georgia
Kids Fishing Event
8 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Big Lazer Public Fishing Area – Special Event Pond

This event is for kids 5 and under. Participants will need to bring their own bait and fishing gear. Also, bring a cooler to put your catch in. There will be a prize drawing after the event.

Central Georgia
Kids’ Fishing Event
8 a.m. - noon
Marben Public Fishing Area-Clubhouse Pond at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center

Kids age 15 and under are invited to come hook a catfish during a fun day of fishing at Clubhouse Pond. Catfish creel limits apply. Fishing is for kids only. (Children 14 and under must be supervised by an adult.) Fishing gear will be available to those who need it.

Central Georgia
Outdoor Adventure Day
8 a.m. - noon
McDuffie Public Fishing Area

Kids fishing is for ages 15 and under. (An adult must accompany children.) For further fun, kids can “take a shot” at the archery shooting booth.

South Central Georgia
Outdoor Adventure Day/JAKES Day
Fishing Activities 7:30 a.m. - noon
JAKES Day Activities 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Paradise Public Fishing Area

Fishing activities begin at 7:30 a.m. Adult/child fishing event at Lakes Cup. Saucer (for kids 15 and under). Instructional bass fishing excursions for teens in a newly renovated pond. JAKES Day events include: BB gun, skeet shooting ranges, fishing simulator, archery range, ABAC Forestry Wildlife display, casting contest, and K-9 search and rescue demos. There will be a free lunch provided by the National Wild Turkey Federation and a prize drawing at 2 p.m.

South Central Georgia
Kids’ Fishing Event
8 a.m. - noon
Hugh M. Gillis Public Fishing Area

This event is for youth age 15 and under. An adult must accompany children.

These are the featured events around the state. Contact the Georgia Department of Natural Resources for information on other park and wildlife areas and events happening after National Hunting and Fishing Day.

Take the Pledge

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources is asking adults to pledge to introduce hunting or fishing to someone this year. Prizes are available.

After Saturday, Find Your Next Hunting or Fishing Adventure

If you’re looking for inspiration, consider following the Wildlife Resources Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources on social media. The Division’s Facebook page and Twitter feed include plenty of ideas, tips, and advice for both new and experienced hunters and fishers. The Division also offers numerous fishing and hunting education resources.

Jon Suggs

About the Author

Jon Suggs is the Content Strategist for Digital Services Georgia. He writes on a variety of topics for

Jon is a Georgia native and former journalist who has worked in state government for more than a decade.

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