Joshua Barnhill’s Biggest Warmouth Ever Sets Savannah River Record

Mike Bolton | July 1, 2022

Joshua Barnhill’s day of fishing on the Savannah River didn’t turn out anything like he had hoped. His plans were to use a bobber and crickets to catch bluegill that he would use later in the day to bait his trotlines.

What he caught instead was a lot more exciting.

“To tell you the truth, I was using the bathroom out of the back of my boat when my bobber started going down,” said Joshua, who lives in Rincon in Effingham County on the Georgia/South Carolina border. “The bobber disappeared slowly. I thought it was a small bass, so I finished what I was doing and grabbed my fishing rod.

“I reeled it in and said: ‘Dang. What a warmouth.’ The ones I usually catch are half that size.”

When the fish was officially weighed on certified scales by DNR, it weighed 1-lb., 6.5-ozs., making the record for the Savannah River.

“I was trying to keep my bluegill alive to use on my trotline, but when I got home, I got curious and decided to see what the record for warmouth was. I knew it was my personal record. When I saw I probably had the river record, I had no idea what to do. I went to the Richmond Hill Hatchery to see if I could get it weighed. They weighed it and said it was the river record.”

Joshua, 31, is no stranger to fishing on the Savannah River.

“I pretty much fish for a living,” he said. “I fish for catfish about three times a week.”


Savannah River Record Fish

Largemouth Bass 15-lbs. Mike Stille 11/06/99
Hybrid Bass 22-lbs., 6-ozs. Jerry Adams 06/20/86
Striped Bass 56-lbs., 2-ozs. Vaughn Taylor 05/07/12
Chain Pickerel 4-lbs., 12-ozs. James Moore 05/10/22
Shellcracker 3-lbs. William Owens IV 06/24/08
White Catfish 8-lbs., 10-ozs.* James Sanders 06/96
American Shad 8-lbs., 3-ozs.* Henry Baxley 04/86
Gizzard Shad 3-lbs., 2-ozs. Taylor Hodson 04/06/07
Hickory Shad 1-lb., 12-ozs. Bill Resseau 03/19/06
Yellow Perch 2-lbs., 9-ozs.* Thomas Lewis 02/27/13
White Crappie 2-lbs., 13-ozs. Mike Markovcic 03/03/16
Redbreast 1-lb., 1.6-oz. Donavan Pruitt 5/14/20
Bluegill 1-lb. 1.92-ozs. Joe Taylor Jr. 05/19/20
Warmouth 1-lb., 6.5-ozs. Joshua Barnhill 05/20/22
Smallmouth Bass 4-lbs., 4.64-ozs. Stephen Mixon 07/05/18
Channel Catfish 25-lbs., 6-ozs. Dalton Smith 04/17/21

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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