Ogeechee River Hickory Shad Sets State Record

DNR Press Release | February 23, 2021

A day of fishing is good, but you know what makes it even better? A day you catch a new state record!

Christian Blake Jones, of Swainsboro, was out targeting crappie on the Ogeechee River when he reeled in this new state-record hickory shad. His catch, caught on a stretch of the Ogeechee in Emanuel County, weighed 2-lbs., 3-ozs. and broke a 25-year-old record of 1-lb., 15-ozs. That previous record was also an Ogeechee River fish, caught by Mark Bowers in 1995.

Christian Blake Jones, of Swainsboro, with his new state-record hickory shad that weighed 2-lbs., 3-ozs. He caught the fish Feb. 7, 2020.

Hickory shad (Alosa mediocris) are gray or green above with a silvery side, large prominent scales, a horizontal row of dark spots behind the gill cover and a deeply forked tail. They are most similar to American shad and blueback herring, which have a lower jaw that is equal or only slightly projecting beyond the upper jaw. Gizzard and threadfin shad both have an elongated ray in the dorsal fin.

Feature Article: Catching Saltwater Shad In The Ogeechee River

Both hickory shad and American shad are anadromous species. They spend most of their life in the Atlantic Ocean and then return to their natal rivers to spawn once they reach sexual maturity. In Georgia, the shad spawning run usually begins in January in the southern rivers, and fish can be found until May below the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam near Augusta.

American and hickory shad are commercially harvested in the Altamaha and Savannah rivers. However, these fish can also be targeted by anglers utilizing recreational fishing gear in any of Georgia’s coastal rivers and are primarily caught on artificial lures, such as curly tail grubs.

The Ogeechee River near the U.S. Highway 80 Bridge and near the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam on the Savannah River are two of the more popular areas to target shad with recreational tackle.


Ogeechee River Record Fish

Largemouth Bass 10-lbs., 14-ozs. Robert Attaway Jr. 05/08/06
Striped Bass 30-lbs. Ellis Arnold Phillips 02/27/89
Redbreast 1-lb., 5-ozs. Harley Morris 06/18/98
Shellcracker 2-lbs., 8-ozs. Linda Swan 11/04/05
Chain Pickerel 4-lbs., 15-ozs. Curt Sutton 06/24/96
Channel Catfish 23-lbs. Glenn Settles 06/21/14
Brown Bullhead 4-lbs., 1.04-ozs. Glenn Settles 04/06/21
Yellow Bullhead 4-lbs., 15-ozs. Glenn Settles 10/12/03
Hickory Shad 2-lbs., 10-ozs. Timmy Woods 02/20/22
American Shad 3-lbs., 2.88-ozs. Jason Cone 03/22/18
Bluegill 1-lb., 7.04-ozs. Chance DeLoach 06/30/19
Spotted Sunfish 7-ozs. Glenn Settles 05/23/21
Black Crappie 2-lbs., 3-ozs. Glenn Settles 12/11/21
Warmouth 1-lb., 4-ozs. Glenn Settles 06/21/22

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