Visit Georgia's Great Lake 45 Minutes North of Atlanta

Fishing Tournaments

Hosting a Fishing Tournament on Lake Lanier

With its proximity to the Atlanta metro area and its nationally known sport fishery, 38,000-acre Lake Lanier in Hall County, near Gainesville, GA, is an ideal location to showcase your fishing tournament. In 2010, Lake Lanier hosted the FLW Outdoors Forrest Wood Cup also known as the World Championship of Bass Fishing and because the lake’s size, facilities, ease of access and warm Southern Hospitality, the event returned again in 2012.
The Lake Lanier Convention & Visitors Bureau is here to serve as a liaison between your group and the Lake Lanier Community. That community has facilities to cater to any size tournament, assuring you that there is plenty of parking, boat ramps, ease of access, restaurants, etc. to ensure a successful event.

Tournament Timing

While fishing tournaments on Lake Lanier can be held year-around, the best fishing seasons are spring (March-May) and fall (September-December). Largemouth, spotted and striped bass and crappie are popular sport fish species for resident and visiting anglers. Bream, walleye and channel catfish are also popular sport fish. For more information on sport fish species and angling opportunities throughout the year, please contact the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division at 770.535.5498.

Tournament Action Steps

1. Locate and reserve a tournament facility based on your group’s needs.

2. Check Host Facility Guide for contact, website & phone number.

3. Obtain a Special Events Permit through the U.S. Army Corps Engineers, which manages Lake Lanier.

Host Facility Guide

The selection of a host site depends on factors that vary according to tournament needs. Below is a list of potential host sites on Lake Lanier and some critical attributes for each facility that may help your selection process. Once you have narrowed your search, you will need to inquire directly with the facility owner/operator regarding site availability and costs/conditions for use.

NOTE: A complete list of Lake Lanier boat ramps can be viewed here:
Special Events Permit
Once you locate the right facility to host your tournament, you will need to check its availability here:


If the site is available, reserve it with the site owner/operator and then apply for a Corps of Engineers Special Events Permit as described here:


Review this application and take note of the Guidelines and Conditions section. Complete the application and forward it to the Corps of Engineers at least 30 days prior to the event date. Current permit cost is $50.

Mail the completed form to:
US Army Corps of Engineers
Lake Lanier Project Management Office, Special Events
P.O. Box 567
Buford GA 30515

Fishing Licenses and Tournament Fish Release Permits
Participating anglers will need to obtain a Georgia fishing license. They are available online, by telephone (800-366-2661), or through numerous local vendors in the counties bordering Lake Lanier (Hall, Gwinnett. Forsyth, Dawson). Licensing information is here:

Tournament organizers collecting and releasing live fish after angler weigh-in may need to obtain a free permit to temporarily possess more than the daily bag limit of fish. That information and permit application are located here:

Lake Lanier CVB Can Help You Further
The Lake Lanier Convention & Visitors Bureau is here to serve as a liaison between your group and the Lake Lanier Community. The Lake Lanier area offers abundant and diverse dining and lodging alternatives that can accommodate any size, style, and budget for a fishing tournament. Come enjoy true Southern Hospitality and experience great fishing just one hour northeast of Atlanta. Our CVB can provide you support with:
• Site visits to facilities, hotels and an overall “Lanier Area Familiarization” experience;
• Tournament directors’ assistance with the RFP process in a timely manner for all tournament groups that will need lodging;
• Promotion of your tournament through our online marketing & social media;
• Speakers Bureau Program

The Lake Lanier CVB does not offer or solicit cash for tournaments. However, we do have in-kind services available, depending on your needs. The greater Atlanta market offers numerous great partnership opportunities for tournament organizers willing to pursue those business and promotional benefits.

Lake Lanier CVB
• Providing assistance to ensure your event casts the perfect line.
Renee Carden, Sales Manager
Lake Lanier CVB
2875 Browns Bridge Road
Phone: 706.708.6648
Fax: 678.696.2496

US Army Corps of Engineers

• Special Events permit, availability of facilities, and general rules and guidelines for Tournament Directors.
Lake Sidney Lanier
1050 Buford Dam Road
Buford, GA 30518


Georgia Wildlife Resources Division

• Fishing licenses, permits, and sport fishing information.

2150 Dawsonville Highway
Gainesville, GA 30501
Phone: 770.535.5498
Fax: 770.535.5953


Download a copy of this guide:

LL Fish Tournament Hosting Guid



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