Lake Burton Yellow Perch Ties Georgia State Record

This 2-lb., 9-oz. fish was caught, weighed and released back to swim again.

Brad Gill | February 21, 2024

Emerson Mulhall, of Cumming, with a 2-lb., 9-oz. yellow perch from Lake Burton that ties the state record.

Emerson Mulhall, of Cumming, caught a yellow perch that has tied the state record. He was fishing Lake Burton on Feb. 18 when caught the 2-lb., 9-oz. fish.

“I was not pursuing perch when I caught her,” said Emerson. “I am mainly a spotted bass and largemouth fisherman, and my friend Jake Maddux and I were fishing a grass flat in the back of Moccasin Creek when I casted out the Berkley Finisher 5 jerkbait in French pearl.”

Emerson said when he hooked the big perch he could tell it wasn’t fighting like a bass.

“Jake and I were both very surprised when we saw some yellow coloring,” said Emerson. “It was then that we both realized it was a huge perch. Given the size, we both thought that it could be the state record when we got her in the boat. I fish quite often whenever I’m not at my work, which is at Hammonds Fishing. I have been fishing with my dad for as long as I can remember, and he is the one who really taught me how to fish and to love the sport. Funny enough I called him as soon as I caught it, and he was the one who encouraged me to get off the lake early and find a certified scale so that the fish could be weighed. Obviously, this was likely one of the most exciting fishing days of my life. I like to say that no day on the lake is a bad day, but there are some days that are definitely better than others. This was one of those days.”

Emerson ended up getting the fish certified and weighed by WRD Fisheries Biologist Anthony Rabern. Even though Emerson’s 2-lb., 9-oz. fish ties the current state record, it just barely beat the old Burton lake record, a 2-lb., 8-oz. fish caught in 1980.

After getting the fish weighed and certified, Emerson released the yellow perch back into Lake Burton. The state is going through the process of giving Emerson and his yellow perch state-record status. Assuming that goes as planned, it will tie the 2-lb., 9-oz. fish caught on the Savannah River in 2013.

GON’s Official Lake Burton Record Fish

Largemouth Bass14-lbs.Carl Lovell Jr.05/28/93
Spotted Bass8-lbs., 2-ozs.Wayne Holland02/23/05
Smallmouth Bass4-lbs.Jeff Blair10/15/08
Striped Bass47-lbs.Robin Vaughn12/02/88
Hybrid Bass12-lbs., 12-ozs.Richard Sokolowski05/03/15
White Bass3-lbs., 2-ozs.Tod Hickman05/02/12
Walleye11-lbs.Steven Kenny04/13/63
Yellow Perch2-lbs., 9-ozs.*Emerson Mulhall02/18/24
Black Crappie2-lbs., 11-ozs.Tom Cook03/07/94
Brown Trout12-lbs., 4-ozs.Tom Fox05/30/22
Rainbow Trout6-lbs.Lila Kilby10/21/22
Shellcracker3-lbs.Greg Taylor05/21/75
Bluegill1-lb., 15,5-ozs.J. Gary Simmons07/03/76
Channel Catfish18-lbs., 12-ozs.Bland Burroughs10/14/94
White Catfish4-lbs., 4-ozs.Bill Papineau10/02/93


Catch A Lake or River Record? Requirements For Record Fish

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

• Catch must be weighed on accurate Georgia DOA certified scales with at least two witnesses present.

• 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 can correspond with DNR when high-quality, multiple photos are taken of the fish and emailed to GON. All record submissions and photos must be sent to [email protected].

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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