New Canoochee River Stumpknocker Record Sets The Bar

Still a few weeks away from the redbreast turning on, this south Georgia river is fishing great for spotted sunfish.

Brad Gill | April 15, 2020

It’s that time of the year when those south Georgia rivers begin popping up in the headlines. This week, it’s the Canoochee River and a brand-new river record for spotted sunfish, or more commonly called stumpknockers.

“I noticed that starting with Mr. Glen Solomon’s warmouth last year that y’all started keeping records for the Canoochee,” Jason Cone, of Statesboro, wrote in an email to GON on Sunday, April 12.

His 6.9-oz. Canoochee River stumpknocker was officially weighed and also verified as a fine panfish for a benchmark by WRD Fisheries Biologists Bert Deener and Tim Bonvechio. Jason’s fish was caught in a stretch of the Canoochee in Bryan County.

“I put in over at one of the landings on Fort Stewart, I got a pass to fish,” said Jason. “I started fishing over there last year and read a couple of Mr. Glen’s articles about fishing Fort Stewart, that is what got me to wanting to try it over there last year, but I was in the main run of the river (when I caught the record stumpknocker).”

Jason, who also holds the Ogeechee River record for American shad at 3-lbs., 2.88-ozs, said he likes to fish the Canoochee for jackfish, or chain pickerel.

“I love catching jackfish. I went over there last year and caught a ton of jackfish,” said Jason.

Here’s the beautiful stumpknocker right after Jason pulled it from the Canoochee River.

As Jason fished the river on Saturday, April 11, he admits a slow start.

“I’d been there about two hours, and it was going pretty rough,” said Jason. “I was fishing for redbreast throwing a Satilla Spin that Capt. Bert Deener makes, but I don’t think they’re ready for the Satilla Spin yet because the water is still kind of cool.”

As is often the case when fishing, Jason’s luck changed quickly.

“I was cruising down the river, and I heard a bream pop a topwater bug that fell off a branch,” said Jason.

Although Jason usually does his best stumpknocker fishing on spinners and topwater bugs, he was fishing a cricket under cork.

“I threw over there and caught five fish on five consecutive casts,” said Jason. “Three of them were stumpknockers, and two of them were bluegill. One of them was that stumpknocker. I caught them all in the same spot, it was pretty good little flurry.”

Jason knew his 6.9-oz. fish was a good one.

“I work with the guy (Mike Markovcic) who used to hold the state-record stumpknocker at 10 ounces, and then it got broke last year by an 11-oz. fish,” said Jason. “My buddy has it mounted, and 10 ounces is a monster for a stumpknocker.”

GON has compiled and keeps records for most major lakes and rivers in Georgia. See all the official Georgia Lake & River Records here.

Jason Cone, of Statesboro, knew when he had this spotted sunfish in hand that it was worth an official weight and river record status.

Become a GON subscriber and enjoy full access to ALL of our content.

New monthly payment option available!


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.