Lady Angler Hooks Fourth River Record

Rachel Harrison's latest record fish is a white bass from the Coosa River.

Phoebe Reese | June 26, 2024

Most people are lucky to have one fishing record on GON‘s Lake & River Records, but Rachel Harrison is truly blessed because she recently claimed her fourth.

Born in New York but currently living in Calhoun, Ga., Rachel just set a new record for white bass on the Coosa River.

Starting fishing at only six years old, Rachel has been fishing for 30 years total; 10 to 12 of those years have been spent on the Coosa River. Fishing is something she and her husband love doing together.

The victorious day of the white bass catch did not begin as something special. She was with her husband, and it was “just a slow day with little fish.”

Rachel originally did not want to visit their next stop. She said that while they went there a lot in the past, they never catch anything anymore. However, her husband insisted they go, and they did.

That particular spot, near the lock and dam, turned out to be the best spot all day. Rachel was continually casting a 1/8-oz. blue jig and catching a pile of smaller fish. However, one cast changed all of that.

“I was just fishing,” she said. “It was just a reel, and then it was a big white bass! When you see pictures of bass, you think, ‘Oh, that’s not really that big.’ If you know the species, you understand how big it really is.”

Due to the couple fishing often, they instantly knew this was a big fish. She said how it was “just kind of one of those things like ‘here we go.’”

The white bass turned out to be 2-lbs., 7-ozs. and was 16.6 inches long. Her impressive feat crushed the average length of about 10 to 12 inches.

This record isn’t her only impressive accomplishment. In addition to the white bass, Rachel has the state record for longnose gar from the Coosa River.

She also has two records on the Oostanaula River, one for a freshwater drum (5-lbs., 5-ozs.) and the other for a flathead catfish (40-lbs., 13-ozs.) Funny enough, her flathead catfish beat her husband’s previous record.

“That gar was probably my most impressive fish,” she said. “It was a pretty crazy fight. When catching the gar, the river was up rolling pretty fast.”

They had no net, so her husband had to “grab it and get it into the boat.”

Despite having four records, the striper record on the Oostanaula River has always been a goal for Rachel. This may be a difficult challenge for her since stripers only run in the spring. Nevertheless, Rachel is confident she will achieve it one day.

As Rachel says, “We just go fishing.”

Every time she gets out on the water, she doesn’t plan on breaking records; she wants to go fishing with her loved ones. The records are simply an added bonus.

GON’s Official Coosa River Record Fish

Striped Bass36-lbs.Andrew Coombs04/24/2005
Channel Catfish19-lbs., 8-ozs.Ty Adams05/30/1998
Blue Catfish61-lbs., 4.8-ozs.John Jones04/10/04
Flathead Catfish46-lbs., 6.4-ozs.Aaron Churchwell09/16/2015
Longnose Gar31-lbs., 2-ozs.Rachel Harrison03/19/2022
Freshwater Drum10-lbs., 13.6-ozs.Jenna Thomas05/16/19
Black Crappie3-lbs., 11-ozs.James King03/19/2023
Walleye7-lbs., 4-ozs.Samuel Luster02/05/1989
White Crappie3-lbs., 3.5-ozs.Rita Ware02/02/2019
White Bass2-lbs., 7-ozs.Rachel Harrison03/24/24

Catch A Lake or River Record? Requirements For Record Fish

• Fish must be caught legally by rod and reel in a manner consistent with WRD fish regulations.

• Catch must be weighed on accurate Georgia DOA certified scales with at least two witnesses present.

• 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 can correspond with DNR when high-quality, multiple photos are taken of the fish and emailed to GON. All record submissions and photos must be sent to [email protected].

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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