Lake Lanier Rainbow Trout Record

Shane Durrance | March 5, 2019

A new Lake Lanier rainbow trout record has been set. The initial record was caught almost 50 years ago by Charlie Hobbs Sr. with an 8-lb., 5-oz. giant.

Brooke Wheeler and her boyfriend, Landon Crafton, began the day of March 2 in Shoal Creek. They were after spotted bass while targeting rocky points.  After running to Bald Ridge and having no luck, they came back to where they started.

Brooke was fishing a Buckeye Su Spin tipped with a Keitech  4-inch Sight Flash swimbait. She cast the underspin to a submerged brushpile in about 15 feet of water.

After a few turns of her reel, she felt a thump. Brooke let the rod load and then set the hook. The fight was not your typical spotted bass routine.

“This was the strangest fight I have ever had,” Brooke explained. “The line started screaming, which was very unusual for a spotted bass.”

They were expecting to see the silver side and black back associated with a striper, but instead they saw a golden side with a thick hooked jaw.

Brooke caught her record rainbow on a Buckeye Su Spin tipped with a Keitech  4-inch Sight Flash swimbait.

After a 10-minute fight, the boat got pushed up on a sandbar by the wind. Somehow the trout managed to wrap the line around the trolling motor. The couple feared the fish would break the line. Because the fight had been long and strenuous, the trout just floated to the top with exhaustion. Landon managed to get the fish in the net. Unsure if it was a brown or a rainbow, Brooke immediately started researching Lake Lanier trout records. After reviewing the information, she knew the fish would be the next lake record.

Their No. 1 priority at that point was to keep the fish alive and get it documented properly. After turning the aerator wide open, Landon suggested allowing a local photographer to take some photos for documentation.

After driving to Hammonds Fishing Center, they sprinted to the certified scale for it to be weighed.

“The employees at Hammonds were blown away at the size of the fish,” Brooke explained.

Their hope was to officially document the weight and release it at the nearest ramp, but the fish was not able to be released alive due to exhaustion. It ended up weighing  9-lbs., 6-ozs. and measuring 28.5 inches long.

Editor’s Note: Author Shane Durrance can be reached on Facebook and Instagram. He can also be found at

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