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 Bass10-lbs., 14-ozs.Robert Attaway Jr.05/08/06
Striped Bass30-lbs.Ellis Arnold Phillips02/27/89
Redbreast1-lb., 5-ozs.Harley Morris06/18/98
Shellcracker2-lbs., 8-ozs.Linda Swan11/04/05
Chain Pickerel4-lbs., 15-ozs.Curt Sutton06/24/96
Channel Catfish29-lbs., 11-ozs.Glenn Settles03/18/23
Brown Bullhead4-lbs., 1.04-ozs.Glenn Settles04/06/21
Yellow Bullhead4-lbs., 15-ozs.Glenn Settles10/12/03
Hickory Shad2-lbs., 10-ozs.Timmy Woods02/20/22
American Shad3-lbs., 2.88-ozs.Jason Cone03/22/18
Bluegill1-lb., 7.04-ozs.Chance DeLoach06/30/19
Spotted Sunfish7-ozs.Glenn Settles05/23/21
Black Crappie2-lbs., 3-ozs.Glenn Settles12/11/21
Warmouth1-lb., 4-ozs.Glenn Settles06/21/22

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