Encompassing 15,300 acres for fishing, water skiing, swimming, boating, or simply dipping your toes in the water, the mild climate of central Georgia makes Lake Sinclair enjoyable from early spring into late Fall. The 400+ miles of shoreline throughout Putnam, Baldwin and Hancock counties are particularly scenic, with a number of intimate coves and inlets, as well as expanses of open water. For full-time residents and part-timers who house their watercraft long-term on the lake, several area marinas offer conveniences for visitors to fuel their boat and grab a meal. Additionally, there are several recreation areas providing picnic tables and grills, and two parks with beaches.
Several factors make Lake Sinclair a somewhat unusual lake. The first is that Lake Oconee is just upstream of Lake Sinclair, separated by Oconee’s Wallace Dam. Conducted as a pump-back operation, water is released through the Dam from Lake Oconee into Lake Sinclair during times of peak electrical demand. Conversely, Wallace Dam turbines are reversed at times of low demand, and pump water from Lake Sinclair back into Lake Oconee. This means the current can flow either way in Sinclair depending on the operation of Wallace Dam.
Lake Sinclair also serves double duty for Georgia Power. Not only does the water generate power, but the lake water is used in the cooling towers of Plant Harlee Branch, a coal-fired generation plant in the Beaverdam Creek area of Lake Sinclair. As a result, the water returning to the lake from the plant is 5 to 10 degrees warmer than the lake itself, which makes the area around the hot water discharge perfect for cold weather fishing.
Fishing on Lake Sinclair
Although Lake Sinclair is known for consistent fish populations rather than record-breaking size, the lake record largemouth bass weighed more than 13 pounds. Anglers can expect good action from 1- to 2-pound bass though. Crappie are also popular with Sinclair anglers, and provide better-than-average harvests. Consequently, Lake Sinclair enjoys regularly hosting both large national fishing tournaments and smaller local competitions.