Fishing on Allatoona Lake and Etowah River in Cartersville

Allatoona Lake – A Natural Retreat just north of Atlanta

Located only 30 miles from Atlanta, Georgia, Allatoona Lake is situated on the Etowah River, a tributary of the Coosa River. Allatoona Lake is the largest of 11 public fishing areas including trout streams in Bartow County. The lake offers great fishing for all ages and skill levels. The lower Etowah River, below Allatoona dam is well-known for striped bass and spotted bass.

What you need to know:

  • For lake levels and temperature call 770-386-0549.
  • Be aware when navigating the Etowah River water levels can increase rapidly downstream from Allatoona Dam. Know your water release schedules!
  • For water release/generation schedules call 706-334-7213 (not long distance from Cartersville).
  • Ages 16 and older must have a current Georgia fishing license in their possession while fishing in freshwater and saltwater, except in private ponds or when fishing from private land.
  • Licenses may be purchased:
  1. In person at Walmart Supercenter or Academy Sports + Outdoors
  2. By phone 800-366-2661
  3. Or online


Local Fishing Tips:

  • Large & Small Mouth Bass – Found in deep water, large minnows proven best bait, locals suggest the Stamp Creek area. Look for spotted bass near rocky points and brush piles.
  • Striped or Hybrid Bass – Best fishing in late winter and early spring in coves and deep cool water, use large minnows.
  • Catfish – The all weather, all area fish. Cove points prove best, night crawlers can’t be beat.
  • Crappie – Best fishing during spring bedding season in cove areas, use minnows or shad bait, locals point to the Wilderness Camp and McKaskey Creek areas.
  • Bream – Spring bedding times are best, use crickets or red wigglers in lake coves.
  • Carp – Sport fishing only, all areas at all times, use artificial bait.


  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Allatoona Lake Project Management Office
    1138 State Route 20 Spur SE
    Cartersville GA 30121
    678-721-6700 or see Allatoona Lake online
  • Georgia Department of Natural Resources
    Wildlife Resources Division Fisheries Offices
    PO Box 519
    Calhoun GA 30703-0519
    706-624-1161 or see

Learn more about launch sites on the Etowah River Trail. For more places to set a hook see Day-Use Areas.