12 Ounce Stumpknocker Sets Georgia State Record

Ogeechee River spotted sunfish, or stumpknocker, tops the previous state record by one ounce.

GON Staff | June 25, 2024

Jamie Boyett, of Portal, with his new Georgia state record spotted sunfish, or stumpknocker. The Ogeechee River fish was certified at 12 ounces.

Size is relative, and when it comes to a southeast Georgia river fish, 12 ounces was just enough to set a new bar as the biggest ever recorded from state waters. Jamie Boyett, of Portal, went redbreast fishing on June 15, 2024, with his 8-year-old son, Brannen, on the Ogeechee River, and turns out a 12-oz. oddball bream he caught happened to be a new Georgia state record fish.

Jamie’s 9-inch fish was certified by WRD as a spotted sunfish—known as stumpknockers to most. His catch tops the previous state record of 11 ounces caught in 2019. Jamie called the GON office soon after catching the fish and was directed on how to get the fish certified. At that point, he was pretty sure he might have a new state record, and his excitement was only dulled by his wish that his son Brannen had caught the fish. Jamie said they were fishing on his regular locations on the Ogeechee.

“When I caught this fish, I honestly wasn’t 100 percent sure what it was. A friend said it looked like a stumpknocker, which made me laugh because it was the biggest one I had ever seen,” said Jamie. “After we got home from fishing, I started cleaning our catch, and something made me decide to just look into confirming the species, and I sure am glad I did!”

Spotted sunfish (Lepomis punctatus) are a member of the Sunfish family and are nicknamed “stumpknocker” because they orient strongly to stumps where they find food. They are dark olive or brown on top, with light green or olive sides, covered with small black spots and dusky orange fins. Most are less than half a pound by weight. They are found in the Ocmulgee, Oconee, Altamaha, Ogeechee, Ochlockonee, Suwannee, St. Mary’s, Satilla and Savannah River basins. They prefer heavily vegetated, slow-moving lowland streams and warm shallow ponds. When angling for them, GADNR WRD recommends using worms, crickets, small spinners, flies and popping bugs.

“We aren’t quite halfway through the year, and we already have two new state records, and one tied record for freshwater fish so far in 2024. That sounds like some great motivation to get out there and go fishing,” says Scott Robinson, Chief of Fisheries for the Wildlife Resources Division. “Don’t let the heat keep you away from the water, because there are outstanding angling opportunities all over our state, so let’s Go Fish Georgia!”

GON’s Official Ogeechee River Fish Records

Largemouth Bass10-lbs., 14-ozs.Robert Attaway Jr.05/08/06
Striped Bass30-lbs.Ellis Arnold Phillips02/27/89
Redbreast1-lb., 5-ozs.Harley Morris06/18/98
Shellcracker2-lbs., 8-ozs.Linda Swan11/04/05
Chain Pickerel4-lbs., 15-ozs.Curt Sutton06/24/96
Channel Catfish29-lbs., 11-ozs.Glenn Settles03/18/23
Brown Bullhead4-lbs., 1.04-ozs.Glenn Settles04/06/21
Yellow Bullhead4-lbs., 15-ozs.Glenn Settles10/12/03
Hickory Shad2-lbs., 10-ozs.Timmy Woods02/20/22
American Shad3-lbs., 2.88-ozs.Jason Cone03/22/18
Bluegill1-lb., 7.04-ozs.Chance DeLoach06/30/19
Spotted Sunfish12-ozs.Jamie Boyett06/15/24
Black Crappie2-lbs., 3-ozs.Glenn Settles12/11/21
Warmouth1-lb., 4-ozs.Glenn Settles06/21/22

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