Lake And River Records Update

Big stripers, a monster walleye and a bulging shellcracker have set records so far this year at Rabun, Bartletts Ferry and on the Oostanaula and Oconee rivers.

Brad Bailey | June 1, 2005

More fish have qualified recently for GON‘s Lake & River Records list. GON compiles record fish weights for 36 Georgia lakes and rivers. The complete list was most recently published in the March 2005 issue.

The lists continue to change, with new entries ranging from a striped bass at Bartletts Ferry to a new walleye record at Lake Rabun and a shellcracker caught on the Oconee River.

Matt Faircloth, of Milledgeville, owns the new lake record for striped bass at Bartletts Ferry. Matt caught this 36-lb., 5-oz. fish on April 21. Matt was up the river casting a Red Fin when the fish hit. Matt’s fish knocks off a 24-lb., 3-oz. striper caught in 1998 that was the previous lake record.

Chris Brackett, of LaGrange, is the first to hold the lake record at Bartletts Ferry for hybrid bass. Chris, who works at West Georgia Sportsman in LaGrange, caught this fish April 26 at 8 p.m. while fishing up the river. The 9-lb., 12.8-oz. fish hit a Red Fin — and weighed more than 10 pounds the day before it was weighed on certified scales.

Caught, weighed and released: David Harrison, of Calhoun, caught this 22-lb., 11-oz. Oostanaula striped bass from the bank of the river near his home on the evening of April 16. He didn’t want to kill the fish, so he kept it alive overnight in a 100-gallon livestock tank in the back of his pickup, which was backed up to the river. The tank was equipped with an aerator and water circulated into the tank all night from the river. The next morning he drove a short distance to to the Calhoun WRD Fisheries office where the fish was weighed on certified scales and the species confirmed. He then returned to the river and released the lively fish. David also holds the Oostanaula River records for blue and channel catfish.

Paul Turmon, of Gainesville, raised the mark for walleye at Lake Rabun when he caught this 9-lb., 6-oz. walleye on March 26. Paul, who has fished for walleye extensively in Ohio, was fishing at night up the river in water about two-feet deep and casting a floating Rapala on ultra-light tackle. The previous lake-record walleye at Rabun was a 7-lb., 5-oz. fish caught in 2000. The same night, Paul caught a 4 1/2-lb. spotted bass on the floating Rapala that would also have qualified as a lake record at Rabun, but he opted to release the fish.

MacKay Bloodworth, of Milledgeville, was fishing with worms when he hooked into this 1-lb., 10.4-oz. shellcracker on May 4 while fishing in the Oconee River just below the Lake Sinclair dam. MacKay’s shellcracker fills a previously open river-record slot.

To enter a fish, have it weighed as soon as possible on scales certified for trade by the Department of Agriculture. Have the scale operator and two people witness the weight and record their names and phone numbers. Also write down the USDA number and the date on the scales.

Next have the species of fish identified by a WRD Fisheries biologist. Fisheries offices and phone numbers are listed in the Georgia Fishing Regulations booklet.

Be sure you have several clear pictures of you and the fish. Email the info to [email protected], or mail the information and photos to GON, Attn: Lake & River Records, 4331 Seven Islands Road, Madison, GA. 30650.

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