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12 Pound Lake Allatoona Bass Likely From WRD Stocking Program

WRD Fisheries began stocking largemouth bass in Allatoona in 2012.

Mike Bolton | April 4, 2024

Jonathan Ray with a 12-lb. Lake Allatoona largemouth bass caught and released in Stamp Creek.

Jonathan Ray considers Lake Lanier his home lake, but the Ball Ground resident likes to venture to Lake Allatoona several times each year. He plans to go to the Stamp Creek section of the lake a lot more in the future.

All Jonathan did was what all bass fishermen dream of but what few accomplish. He caught a 12-lb. largemouth bass from public waters. It was his first double-digit bass, something he has dreamed of since he began fishing as a young boy. And to do it on reservoir dominated by smaller spotted bass and with a past moniker as “The Dead Sea” makes it even more impressive.

“First, I want to thank God for the opportunity for one of the best days of my life,” he said. “I also owe thanks to my 14-year-old son who was my net man. He had an orthodontist appointment that morning, and he talked me into taking the rest of the day off and going fishing. We are both in a state of shock and overjoyed. It was an experience we’ll share forever.”

Jonathon caught the 12-pounder on a NetBait T-Mac worm on a shaky head.

“I was watching the water temperature, and I figured they would be holding on chunk rock, but they weren’t there,” he said. “I tried several other places, and they weren’t there. That left blowdown timber as being the only other place they could be.

“We pulled up into a calm pocket and made a cast. I pulled the worm one time, and the rest is history.”

Jonathan weighed the fish on two sets of scales in his boat. The big largemouth weighed 12 pounds on both. He released the fish near where he caught it.

“I didn’t weigh it on certified scales because I knew the lake record was 16 pounds, and I knew it wasn’t that big,” he said.

Largemouth Bass16-lbs., 9-ozs.Greg Rymer08/31/82
Spotted Bass7-lbs., 11-ozs.George Clark11/18/74
Hybrid Bass13-lbs., 9.5-ozs.Danny Alsobrook02/07/90
Striped Bass42-lbs.Clint Hight02/15/02
Black Crappie3-lbs., 7.36-ozs.Corey Harmon03/05/22
White Bass3-lbs., 2-ozs.Darrell Baxter05/15/94
Flathead Catfish35-lbs., 10.88-ozs.Sandy Sanders06/20/08
Blue Catfish52-lbs., 1-oz.Aaron Churchwell10/27/20
Tiger Trout2-lbs., 12.8-ozs.Bob Geresti02/01/18
Yellow Perch1-lb., 1.44-ozs.David Brewer12/02/23
White Crappie3-lbs., 4.24-ozs.Cody Hopkins02/10/22
Longnose Gar27-lbs., 4-ozs.Caleb McClure06/24/23
Shellcracker1-lb., 9-ozs.Dan Huizinga05/04/23

Jonathan, the CEO of a Georgia non-profit, said he was shocked at the commotion his bass caused when he posted photos on a local fishing forum. He said it generated a lot of positive publicity for Allatoona, one of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ most heavily utilized reservoirs.

Credit also goes to the foresight of those within WRD Fisheries that made the decision to stock the largemouth bass on Lake Allatoona in 2012. While not pure-strain Florida largemouth, the bass being stocked have a high Florida genetic make-up—80% or higher Florida largemouth alleles (genes). The introduction of Florida largemouth genes into Lake Allatoona continues, with biologists and WRD Fisheries personnel locating sections of the reservoir where largemouth stocking is best suited, like Little River and the Allatoona Creek arm.

Interestingly enough, the Stamp Creek area of Lake Allatoona, where Jonathan caught the fish, was one of the first areas of the lake intensively stocked by DNR with juvenile (5 to 7 inches) largemouth bass. WRD Fisheries Biologist Chris Smith said, “There is a good chance that fish was stocked as a juvenile by DNR Fisheries staff,” he said.

“Those early stockings of juvenile bass in Stamp Creek significantly increased young largemouth bass abundance in Stamp Creek,” said WRD Fisheries Region Supervisor Jim Hakala.

Smith said, “Recent DNR sampling has yielded several large bass (up to 8.8 pounds) in the Stamp and nearby McKaskey Creek areas of the lake that were positively identified as being stocked in 2014. It’s clear that the strain of bass stocked at Allatoona has the potential to reach trophy size, and Mr. Ray’s fish certainly fits that definition. There have also been some angler reports of fish in the 9- to 10-lb. range being caught at Allatoona in recent years.”

“DNR has expanded its juvenile bass stocking to other areas of Allatoona, in the hopes of producing more trophy-sized bass in the future,” Smith said.

Archived Article: Catch Lake Allatoona Spawning Bass

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