Lake Tugalo Yellow Perch Nearly Breaks State Record

Simone Gibson | April 12, 2019

We almost had a new state record fish in Georgia already in 2019. On Feb. 16, Lukas Ricci, 15, of Toccoa, caught a yellow perch that weighed 2-lbs., 7-ozs. Lukas beat the old Tugalo lake record by a half pound, and he came very close to setting a new Georgia state record.

On the morning of the record catch, Lukas was in the boat with grandfather Mike.

“In February and March, those yellow perch spawn, and we went up there to fish. We got lucky that day because we caught six of them,” said Mike.

Using a piece of cut bait, Lukas was able to catch the big yellow perch at 10 a.m.. It took him a minute to reel in the fish.

“We both caught a fish at the same time. His just happened to be bigger than mine,” said Mike.

After Lukas caught the fish, they headed to the Burton Fish Hatchery to get a certified weight.

“He was excited,” said Mike. “He said, ‘Papa, do you think that will take the state record?’ I said, ‘I think it will, but we need to go get it weighed.'”

Lukas’ yellow perch missed the state record by a mere two ounces. The state-record yellow perch weighs 2-lbs., 9-ozs. and was caught by Thomas Lewis on the Savannah River on Feb. 27, 2013.

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