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Oconee Shellcracker Record Set, Lake Sees Two Records Broken In One Day!

Highly unlikely, but Lake Oconee gets two lake records set on Saturday, April 23.

Brad Gill | April 30, 2022

If you weren’t fishing Lake Oconee on Saturday, April 23, you missed a really good day of fishing. Two lake records were broken that day!

Yesterday, GON announced a new flathead catfish record. Today, GON recognizes the middle Georgia lake’s first-ever shellcracker record. The redear weighed 1-lb., 14.56-ozs. and was caught by Randy Smith, of Fayetteville, while he was fishing in a Berry’s bass tournament.

Randy Smith with Lake Oconee’s new shellcracker record.

“I caught it at the rip-rap there at the Sugar Creek bridge about 1… 1:30,” said Randy. “He was in 14 feet of water, and I was fishing a Spro RKCrawler 55.”

Randy said the fish just loaded up and he set back on it and had it in the boat pretty quick. He was surprised to see a shellcracker eat the crawdad-colored crankbait. He was about to unhook the fish and chunk it back, but his tournament partner, Jim Windham, told him he needed to reconsider.

“Jim told me to hold onto it, that it was going to be a record. I was fixing to take it off and throw it back,” said Randy.

The fish was weighed on certified scales, identified by WRD Fisheries biologists and later released.

As a bonus to catching a lake-record fish, Randy and Jim finished third place in the Berry’s tournament and split $1,170.


Lake Oconee Records

Largemouth Bass12-lbs., 14-ozs.Bill Brantley05/14/12
Hybrid Bass14-lbs., 4-ozs.Jan Allen Ward04/03/91
Striped Bass29-lbs., 14.9-ozs.Fred Worthy05/10/96
Black Crappie3-lbs., 12-ozs.Edward Rhodes02/10/97
Channel Catfish34-lbs., 8-ozs.Jonathan Clifton05/31/98
Blue Catfish69-lbs., 7-ozs.Wayne Tatum09/16/16
Flathead Catfish52-lbs., 8-ozs.John Burnett04/23/22
White Bass3-lbs., 6-ozs.Tony Couch04/02/93
Longnose Gar20-lbs., 13-ozs.Dustin Turk10/05/19
Chain Pickerel1-lb., 2-ozs.Terry Brice03/05/17
Spotted Bass5-lbs., 3.2-ozs.Austin Skinner03/19/22
Shellcracker1-lb., 14.56-ozs.Randy Smith04/23/22

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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