Crappie Sets Lake Record On Chatuge

GON Staff | April 27, 2023

Howard Stimis, of Hiawassee, with the new Lake Chatuge record black crappie that weighed 2 pounds. Howard caught the 14 1/2-inch-long crappie while fishing a Crappie County 2-inch Hot Grub on April 6, 2023.

A black crappie that weighed 2 pounds on the dot has set a new record for Lake Chatuge. Howard Stimis, of Hiwassee, was fishing on Chatuge April 6 when the big slab bit a 2-inch Hot Grub made by Crappie County Bait & Tackle that Howard purchased at Hammond’s Fishing Center near Lake Lanier.

“I use Bobby Garland jigs 90% of the time unless I see certain situations,” Howard said. “I was on a school of nice slabs for two days. She was in 5 feet of water next to a deep drop-off where the school was moving in and out to feed. Joking with my neighbor, I told him I would get the record knowing I was on some nice ones, and lady luck was with me. This was my third time crappie fishing on this lake since I moved up here recently from Buford where I fished Lanier regularly.

“When I hooked her I said to myself, ‘This is either a spot or the lake record crappie.’ Put it in the livewell and was showing my daughter and grandkids my catch of the day when I got home. When I pulled her out, I realized she was a good one for that lake and decided to weigh her. My scale showed just over the record, so I was off to Burton Hatchery.”

The WRD Fisheries office at the Lake Burton Hatchery has a certified scale and qualified Fisheries personnel who can verify species. Howard entered his big crappie in the Georgia Angler Award Program, which is a perfect way to make sure a potential lake-record fish is properly certified and verified. After his visit to the hatchery, Howard took the crappie back to Lake Chatuge in his livewell.

“Happy to say she was put back in the lake to spawn out and create future memories for my grandson,” he said. 

The previous mark for a Lake Chatuge black crappie was a 1-lb., 14.88-oz. fish caught April 12, 2021 by Jerry McClure.


Lake Chatuge Lake Record Fish

Largemouth Bass16-lbs., 11-ozs.David Presely03/27/1976
Smallmouth7-lbs., 2-ozs.Jack Hall03/28/1973
Spotted Bass6-lbs., 13.8-ozs.James Dean10/11/03
Hybrid Bass25-lbs., 8-ozs.David C. Hobby05/01/1995
Walleye9-lbs., 4-ozs.Carol Owenby04/07/1991
Black Crappie2-lbs., 3-ozs.Dillon Phillips03/31/24
Rainbow Trout2-lbs., 8.5-ozs.Walker Ross06/23/2012
Yellow Perch1-lb., 2.24-ozs.Mark McClure04/19/2021

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