The beauty and serenity of Sweetwater Creek State Park help the fishers relax.
Despite it being an overcast, rainy March day, Andy Daniels knew the birthday gift he was giving his mother, Seleta, would mean a lot to both of them.
“I love to fish,” said Seleta Daniels. “I’m disabled and haven’t been able to fish for several years, and my son other there said to fish as long as I can stand. I love it.
“I’m one of them that the rain don’t matter, the worms don’t matter,” she continued, “no matter what we have to do to catch the fish, we’ll do it. We used to take my son when he was little, and now he takes us when we’re older.”
Besides rekindling a fond fishing memory for his mother on her birthday, Andy Daniels of Newnan said Sweetwater’s central location makes it ideal.
“It’s easy to get to,” he said.
Sweetwater Creek State Park’s 191,096 visitors in fiscal year 2010 brought in an estimated $12 million to the Lithia Springs area, according to a brochure provided by Friends of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites. The 215-acre George Sparks Reservoir highlights the 2,549-acre park, which is just 15 minutes from downtown Atlanta.
One of the key features at Sweetwater Creek is its bait shop, which is scheduled to return to daily service starting April 1, bait shop customer service representative Mary Cornett said. The bait shop opens at 7 a.m.
Catfish, bass, bream and carp are available in the lake.
Cornett, a six-year bait shop employee, said the type of bait used by fishers varies depending on the season, "what’s biting and what you’re fishing for.”
The park added six more paddle boats this year to triple its fleet. The popular boats can be rented for $3 per person for 30 minutes and can seat as many of four people. The lake also has John boats for rent for $10 an hour and canoes for experienced users for $5 an hour.
“The park is very family orientated,” Cornett said. “(It offers) paddling boats, fishing, picnicking and trails. It’s just so relaxing. Older people come out here. It’s just not the downtown kind of style.”
In addition to bait, the shop also offers snacks, drinks, ice cream, sardines, Vienna sausage and duck food for the park's friendly feathered residents.
The state-funded year-round park has seven full-time employees and three part-time positions, Cornett said.
For more information about the park, click here or call the park at 770-732-5871. Sweetwater Creek State Park charges $5 for parking.