GON Presents: The 1990 Georgia Lake Records

For the first time, a listing of lake record fish caught from Georgia lakes!

GON Staff | March 1, 1990

A few weeks ago, lure manufacturer and avid angler Jimmy Edge landed a huge 13-lb., 2-oz. largemouth bass at Lake Sinclair. It was the biggest bass Jimmy had ever caught, but he didn’t think it was a lake record. That’s because most Sinclair fishermen knew that a man had caught a monster fish from the lake about 10 years ago, a bass that may have weighed more than 15 pounds. But nobody knows for sure how big that bass was.

Ken Machen was working his first weekend at Lakeside Bait & Tackle when the angler brought the fish by.

“It was a huge bass,” Ken remembers. “We weighed it on an old set of scales, and it weighed 11 1/4 pounds. But those scales weren’t even close to accurate. We took a picture of the bass, and you can tell it was a much bigger fish, maybe 15 or 16 pounds”

Jimmy Edge landed this 13-lb., 2-oz. Sinclair record bass on Feb. 10, 1990 on a spinnerbait.

But the bass wasn’t weighed on certified scales and nobody remembers the fellow’s name who caught the fish. Thus, Jimmy Edge’s bass becomes the new official GON Lake Sinclair record largemouth.

The day after Jimmy landed the big Sinclair bass, a South Carolina angler, Ricky Phillips, of Honea Path, caught a 12-lb., 15-oz. lunker at Lake Russell. The big fish hit a Shad Rap in 10 feet of water and was Ricky’s biggest bass ever. Word of the fish started spreading, and as the locals compared notes, no one could remember a bigger one being caught at Lake Russell. Maybe somebody has landed a bigger bass, but if they did, they sure didn’t tell many folks. Now Ricky Phillip’s bass is recognized as the lake-record bass from Russell.

Here’s the Lake Russell record bass caught on Feb. 11, 1990 by Ricky Phillips. The fish weighed 12-lbs., 15-ozs.

Those are the kinds of tales GON researched in the past month while compiling a list of lake-record fish. With a few exceptions, nobody has kept accurate records of the biggest fish caught from Georgia lakes. But now that the groundwork has been laid, hopefully marinas, fishing guides and anglers will document new records, and Georgia anglers will have the satisfaction of knowing that the huge striper, crappie, bream or bass they caught is a lake-record fish.

The key to establishing a lake record is to have your catch verified. The best way to do this is to enter the fish in the Department of Natural Resources Angler Awards Program. A person wishing to enter a fish should have the fish measured, then weighed in the presence of two witnesses on a certified scale (record the Department of Agriculture inspection number and the date of last inspection.) Witnesses can’t be members of the applicant’s immediate family and they must be at least 18 years old. Get the address and phone number of the witnesses and the owner of the scale. To be eligible for the Angler Awards Program, the fish must must also be verified by a Game and Fish Division fisheries biologist. Call you local fisheries office or call GON at 800.GET.GONE.

Joe Murrah Jr. helps his fishing partner Fred Edgin (right) hold this 55-lb., 8-oz. striper. Fred caught the Clarks Hill striper on Feb. 15, 1988.

All fish must be caught on legal sporting tackle. No trot lines, jugs, baskets, etc.

if for some reason you don’t want to enter your fish in the Anglers Award Program, follow those same procedures and get the information to GON for Lake Records.

It’s been a record-setting fishing year already in 1990. In addition to new lake-record bass on Sinclair and Russell, four other lake records have been broken since the new year began.

On Feb. 7, Danny Alsobrook, of Dallas, boated a 13-lb., 7.5-ozs. hybrid at Lake Allatoona. On Jan. 4, Alonzo Dunn, of Forsyth, caught a Juliette largemouth weighing 15-lbs., 6-ozs. Bob Sotddard caught a Sinclair hybrid weighing 8 pounds. Wendall Young landed a spotted bass from West Point that weighed 6-lbs., 9-ozs.

With the fantastic fishing weather we’re experiencing this spring, additional records could be broken, and you might just be the lucky angler. But don’t call us and say your wife just fried the fillets of a 20-lb. bass you caught. Be sure to have the fish weighed on a certified scale, take a few pictures and give us a call. It won’t hurt to keep the fish in the freezer for a few days until a biologist can verify the catch, and it may just mean your name will be added to the list of Georgia’s lake-record holders.

The 1990 listing of Lake Records.

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.