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Finally! A Photo For The Lake Jackson Bass Record

The angler who's had the Jackson bass record for 36 years recently caught another lake record, and that led to a photo of the Jackson bass.

Mike Bolton | May 5, 2022

There are more than 1.1 million licensed anglers in Georgia. Of that number, only a small percentage have ever had the honor of being recognized by GON as catching the largest fish of a certain species from an individual lake.

What are the odds of a fisherman catching two lake-record fish of two different species from two different lakes?

John Burnett with the Lake Jackson record bass from 1986,

The 52-lb., 8-oz. flathead catfish that John Burnett, of Conyers, caught on April 23, 2022 from Lake Oconee was certified as the lake record. It also put him in a lofty standing.

While that catfish was no doubt a trophy, the 14-lb., 7-oz. largemouth bass he caught on Lake Jackson in 1986 was the fish that really caught everyone’s attention. It was verified in 1986 by DNR and is a record that still stands 36 years later.

“I was practicing for a club tournament that day,” he said. “I had a friend that came up from Tampa, Fla. that day. He was going to show me how to catch big fish.

“I also caught an 8-lb., 7-oz. bass that day and three others over 6 pounds. I ended up with seven fish weighing more than 50 pounds. My friend never got a bite.”

Run Lake Jackson Seawalls For Postspawn Bass In May

John caught the big fish on a spinnerbait. He caught all the others on a Bomber Model A.

And how did he do in the tournament the following day?

“I don’t really remember,” he said with a laugh.

What is the secret to being a fisherman with a rare feat in Georgia?

“I’m either blessed or lucky,” he said. “I fish a lot. You’ve got to be out there to catch them.”


Lake Jackson Records

Largemouth Bass14-lbs., 7-ozs.John Burnett03/09/86
Spotted Bass6-lbs., 0.03-ozs.Bill Haines06/08/18
Black Crappie3-lbs., 8.5-ozs.Barry Massey04/16/91
White Crappie1-lb., 2-ozs.Dylan Peppers05/31/05
Yellow Perch1-lb., 6-ozs.Rusty Tate02/06/19
Hybrid Bass15-lbs., 2-ozs.Jack Anderson04/16/92
Shellcracker2-lbs., 3-ozs.Jeff Weege04/22/92
Common Carp35-lbs., 12-ozs.*Donald Clark1972
Chain Pickerel2-lbs., 9.28-ozs.Hunter Parker04/20/21
Flathead Catfish63-lbs., 11-ozs.Donald Kennedy04/13/16
Channel Catfish16-lbs., 10.56-ozs.Grant Burroughs02/13/17
Blue Catfish46-lbs., 7-ozs.Luke Chandler11/15/18
Striped Bass27-lbs.Scott HayesJune 1985
Warmouth0.88-lbs.Hunter Parker03/21/21

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 DNR personnel.

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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