Georgia Record Blackfin Tuna Caught At The South Ledges

GON Staff | June 1, 2005

The key to successful blue-water fishing off Georgia is the ability to drop everything when the weather is good and the fishing report is hot. That is exactly what the crew of the boat Hambone, based at St. Simons Island, did on May 12. The boat’s owner, veteran offshore angler Steve Hammock was joined by Hank Hutto and Teddy Elrod when he made the long run to a favorite blue-water destination, the South Ledges located about 90 miles northeast of St. Simons Island.

May is prime time for blue-water fishing off the Georgia coast and expectations were high. However, Hammock and friends had no idea that they were about to make it into the state record books. When a trolled ballyhoo was struck and the drag started screaming, Elrod quickly grabbed the rod. Within 10 minutes the blackfin tuna was boated and quickly iced.

The next day, Elrod brought the fish to the Georgia DNR Coastal Regional Headquarters in Brunswick where marine biologist Henry Ansley positively identified the fish as a blackfin tuna and documented the 38.63-lb. weight.

Teddy Elrod with the 38.63-lb. blackfin tuna that set a Georgia state record May 12, 2005.

“The fish probably would have been heavier if it had been weighed before sitting on ice overnight, but it still beats the existing record by more than two pounds,” said Ansley.

Interestingly, the previous state record blackfin tuna was caught in May 2004 by angler John Willoughby Jr. fishing at the South Ledges.

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