Etowah River Spotted Bass Record Set On White Bass Trip

Mike Bolton | March 25, 2022

Jackson Sibley says unashamedly that he loves his life that revolves around fish.

You’d think that the 32-year-old WRD fisheries biologist would get his fill when he goes to work every day, but he can’t wait to rush home, hook up his boat and go fishing—sometimes every afternoon.

Jackson Sibley with the new Etowah River spotted bass record.

“I live and breathe fish,” he said with a laugh. “That’s my passion.”

That passion paid off in a big way the other day as Jackson etched his name in the Georgia record books. Oddly, that really wasn’t his intention.

“The fishing is really ramping up on the Etowah River,” he said. “I was fishing for white bass, really in downtown Rome, about a quarter-mile above the river’s confluence with the Coosa River. The fishing was really good. I went four times last week.”

Rome City Limit Striped Bass (Article & GON-TV Episode)

Jackson was fishing a Shad Rap for white bass when a big fish hit. It was a spotted bass that tipped the scales at 4-lbs., 0.5-ozs., the largest ever recorded on the Etowah River.

“I wasn’t even targeting spotted bass,” he said. “I’ve caught several 3-lb. spotted bass on the river before, but I had never caught one that big before. I kept it alive in the livewell and weighed it on certified scales. I spent a lot of time keeping it in good shape and released it alive.”

Etowah River Records

Largemouth Bass 7-lbs., 7.68-ozs. Eric Black 01/27/2016
Flathead Catfish 38-lbs., 0.8-ozs. John Morgado 05/17/2022
Blue Catfish 36-lbs., 5-ozs. Greg Mitchell 08/04/2022
Striped Bass 38-lbs. Keith Cole 05/1994
Yellow Perch 1-lb., 10.2-ozs. Eric Black 01/14/2015
Longnose Gar 19-lbs., 4.64-ozs. Kyle Williams 08/08/2018
Spotted Bass 4-lbs., 0.5-ozs. Jackson Sibley 03/21/2022
Rainbow Trout 2-lbs. Todd West 10/01/2020

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 DNRpersonnel.

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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