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Coosa River Record Walleye Finally Recognized

Samuel Luster's 7 1/4 pound walleye was caught at the Lock & Dam in 1989.

Daryl Kirby | March 11, 2019

The Coosa River has a new mark for walleye, and it’s a 7-lb., 4-oz. fish caught 30 years ago.

On Feb. 5, 1989, Samuel Luster, of Powder Springs, was fishing with two friends at the Lock & Dam on the Coosa River upstream of Lake Weiss when he hooked the record walleye.

“We were fishing for crappie,” said Samuel, who is now 77 years old and turns 78 in April. “We used to fish there a lot. I was throwing a white Road Runner, and when that fish hit, I thought I had a stripe. I was fighting the fish, and one guy tried to go down the ladder to help, but it was too dangerous. Finally a guy in a boat got over to it at the bank and dipped it up in a net, and I walked down and got it.

This photo of Samuel Luster and his 7-lb., 4-oz. Coosa River walleye was on the Lock & Dam picture board for many years before it was given to Samuel.

“The owners of the Lock & Dam and everyone got real excited about the fish, and they called the game warden in Summerville,” Samuel said.

“I carried it to Calhoun (to the DNR Fisheries office) the next day, and that’s where they weighed it. I left there and didn’t hear anything else about it, and then at the end of the year they sent me a plaque saying I had the second biggest walleye ever caught in Georgia.”

The Lock & Dam, also known as Mayos Bar, is now operated by Rome-Floyd Parks & Recreation and includes camping, trails and has a store.

GON didn’t begin to compile and keep the Georgia Lake and River Records until the mid 1990s, and the Coosa River records weren’t published until the following decade. Samuel’s record walleye might have fallen through the cracks forever if not for his grandson Daquois Owens.

Daquois messaged GON through our Facebook page, and then he began the process of getting documentation and paperwork to us, along with photos of Samuel and the mount of the walleye.

Striped Bass 36-lbs. Andrew Coombs 04/24/05
Channel Catfish 19-lbs., 8-ozs. Ty Adams 05/30/98
Blue Catfish 61-lbs., 4.8-ozs. John Jones 04/10/04
Flathead Catfish 46-lbs., 6.4-ozs. Aaron Churchwell 09/16/15
Longnose Gar 31-lbs., 2-ozs. Rachel Harrison 03/19/22
Freshwater Drum 10-lbs., 13.6-ozs. Jenna Thomas 05/16/19
White Crappie 3-lbs., 3.5-ozs. Rita Ware 02/02/19
Walleye 7-lbs., 4-ozs. Samuel Luster 02/05/89

When GON called Samuel to interview him about his record fish, sitting at his house was one the fishing buddies who was with him back in 1989 at the Lock & Dam when the walleye was caught. Willie Pennamon, of Powder Springs, was there 30 years ago when the fish was caught. Like all good fishing buddies, Willie was proud of “their” fish, telling this story to explain how fishing friends look at who catches a big one (mild language):

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

The Lock & Dam, also known as Mayo’s Bar, is now operated by Rome-Floyd Parks & Recreation and includes camping, nature trails and a store.

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1 Comment

  1. Brinkleee3000 on February 27, 2022 at 7:06 am

    Yeh….(sigh)…..of course likely story and likely coincidence it slipped through the… “crack–s”….. lol! The nonsensical Hating gene manages to seep it’s sick way into every facet and aspect of life eh? Even something as peaceful and wholesome as fishing…smh…Well Glad the grandson spearheaded the demand to give recognition to this angler’s awesome catch/achievement. Outstanding! Congrats to both gentleman (Samuel and his grandson) on their respective noteworthy accomplishments regarding this story. And big Thanks to GON for cooperating and helping to bring forth this acknowledgement of Samuel’s unique catch!

    ….I knew some walleye may be lurking around those waters around that time of year….

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