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11 Ounce Sunfish Sets State Record

GON Staff | May 1, 2019

A bream that weighed 11 ounces is being recognized as a new state record by DNR.

“Jacob Hornaday, of De Soto, is the new state record holder for spotted sunfish. His catch weighed 11 ounces, beating the previous record of 10 ounces,” according to a press release from the Wildlife Resources Division (WRD).

Previously, the state recognized two spotted sunfish as tied for the state record, even though one weighed 10 ounces (caught by Mike Markovcic in Brier Creek in 2003), and the other weighed 10.24 ounces (caught by Ryan Kersey in the Satilla River in 2014).

According to WRD’s State Record Fish Official Rules, a qualifying weight for a new state record “must weigh at least one ounce more than the existing record. Any catch which matches the existing record, or that exceeds the record by less than an ounce, will be considered a tie.”

Jacob Hornaday, of DeSoto, with his 11-oz. spotted sunfish that is a new state record.

Jacob Hornaday hooked the new state record spotted sunfish on a private pond on April 28, 2019 using a Beetle Spin. Jacob had the fish weighed on certified scales at the Cordele Hatchery. The fish was weighed and then released. A DNR press release did not say in what county the pond was located. Jacob lives in De Soto, a small town in southeast Sumter County on Highway 280 between Lake Blackshear and Leslie.

“This is our first state record of 2019, and I hope it encourages all anglers to get outdoors and go fish Georgia,” said Matt Thomas, Chief of Fisheries for the Wildlife Resources Division.

According to DNR, “Spotted sunfish (Lepomis punctatus) are found in warm waters throughout Georgia. They have a compressed body with a rounded profile, olive green back and sides, and a yellow to orange belly. The ear flap is short and dark with a pale margin. They can be distinguished from all other sunfish by the numerous small dark to reddish spots on the sides that follow the scale rows, scattered dark spots on the cheek, and a distinct blue crescent mark on the lower margin of the eye.”

Mike Markovcic was previously recognized as being tied for the state record with his 10-oz. spotted sunfish caught from Brier Creek on Sept. 3, 2003.

Ryan Kersey held a tie for previous state-record spotted sunfish with his 10.24-oz. fish caught from the Satilla River on June 4, 2014.

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1 Comment

  1. Frett on May 2, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    Well heck! I’ve got sunfish in a pond near my neighborhood half again as big as that one. My kids always catch at least one each year. In fact many of the other bream are big ones. Now I’m thinking we need to weigh and report some of these panfish we’ve been pulling out of there!

    Edit: So I’m looking more closely at the details and I read sunfish without noticing ‘spotted’. I’m not so sure whether we have spotted ones that big. Only one way to find out, and if not, I’ll still have a nice little fish fry put of it! I’m not a trout fan, but bream are delicious!

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