Altamaha River Warmouth Record Caught In Unlikely Spot

Mike Bolton | June 14, 2022

Blackshear’s Herman Hill keeps his fish grease sizzling for much of the year.

 “Once the crappie stop spawning, I start getting ready for warmouth,” he says.

Herman Hill with the new Altamaha River warmouth record.

The 75-year-old Wayne County resident has been fishing for warmouth for decades. The sunfish he catches usually end up in a skillet of hot grease, but the warmouth he caught recently was more noteworthy. It weighed 1-lb., 2.4-ozs. and was the largest ever recorded from the Altamaha River. It was also the largest warmouth that Herman has ever caught and beats the old Altamaha River record, a 1-lb., 0.9-oz. fish from 2016.

The Altamaha River Page: Fishing Articles Archived

“I fish for crappie when they are spawning, but once that is over, I fish for warmouth in the late spring and early summer,” he said. “The ones I catch are big enough to filet. They sure are good eating.”

His technique for catching them is really quite simple.

“I fish a crappie jig with a crappie pole, and I’m fishing around the cypress trees in the rivers and creeks,” he said. “Most people who target warmouth fish for them in the swamps, but I like fishing for them in the river.”  

The key to his success is knowing where to go, he says. He and a buddy make a 50-mile drive from his home to the Altamaha River.

The warmouth is a member of the sunfish (bream) family and can be found statewide. Some fishermen confuse them with rock bass, but warmouth do not have horizontal lines on the side and have three anal spines rather than six. The Georgia state record is 2 pounds, and that record has stood for 48 years.

Altamaha River Record Fish

Largemouth Bass 12-lbs. Terry Moore 12/18/74
Flathead Catfish 83-lbs.* Carl Sawyer 06/22/06
(tie) 83-lbs.* Jim Dieveney 07/11/10
Channel Catfish 44-lbs., 12-ozs.* Bobby Smithwick 05/18/72
Blue Catfish 93-lbs.* Ricky Barrett 10/14/17
Shellcracker 2-lbs., 9-ozs. Clinton Johnson 05/05/16
Bluegill 1-lbs., 5.7-ozs. Robert Attaway 06/23/10
Redbreast 10.16-ozs. Robert Attaway 06/09/16
Warmouth 1-lb., 2.4-ozs. Herman Hill 05/11/22

See all of GON’s official Georgia Lake & River Records here.

Requirements For Record Fish

• Fish must be caught legally by rod and reel in a manner consistent with state game and fish regulations.

• Catch must be weighed on accurate Georgia DOA certified scales with at least two witnesses present, who must be willing to provide their names and phone numbers so they can be contacted to verify the weighing of the fish.

• Witnesses to the weighing must be at least 18 years old, and they must not be members of the angler’s immediate family nor have a close personal relationship with the angler.

• Catch must be positively identified by qualified DNR personnel.

GON’s records are compiled and maintained by GON, to be awarded at GON’s discretion. Additional steps may be required for record consideration.

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