Monday, May 7, 2012

Fishing Hard Labor Creek State Park

Nathaniel, Asher and I spent a fun day exploring the waters of Georgia's Hard Labor Creek State Park in Nathaniel's johnboat. The park's two lakes, Lake Brantley and Lake Rutledge, both provide boating and bank-fishing opportunities, and park literature notes that both lakes are stocked with bass, bluegill, shellcrackers and catfish. Of the stocked species, we caught bass and bluegill. We also caught a couple of crappie and a couple of other sunfish.

Both lakes impound Hard Labor Creek. Brantley is the smaller of the two lakes and is close the park's main day-use areas, campground and cabins. It is extremely shallow, and I've only seen its waters heavily stained. Rental boats provide extra access to anglers who don't want to fish from the bank. Lake Rutledge doesn't have rental boats, but it does have a boat ramp. That, along with it's larger size, seem to cause it to get more attention from fishermen who aren't necessarily camping in the park or staying the cabins. It also offers more depth variety and can be less stained.

We heard good reports about the crappie, catfish and bluegills from a neighbor in the campground, and while we didn't catch anything very large, we saw enough fish and enough promise that we'd gladly return to Hard Labor Creek to give its waters another try.