Ohoopee River Bluegill Record Set Using Creek Boat

Mike Bolton | June 17, 2022

Dale Williams is the new poster child for where’s there’s a will, there’s a way. His ingenuity recently paid off with him catching his largest bluegill ever.

 The Vidalia resident’s 1-lb.. 2.56-oz. bluegill was recently certified as the largest ever recorded from the Ohoopee River.

Dale Williams with the new Ohoopee River record bluegill.

“We have a small house on the river that has been in the family for three generations,” he said. “It’s a place where you can eat, sleep and fish. I like to go there to bass fish, but I also like to bream fish.”

This time of the year the big bream are easy to find, but there is a problem. There is almost no way to get to them.

“The water gets so low you can’t run a normal size boat in there,” he said. “All the boats get off the water when it gets like this.”

Dale did his research and found a small, shallow-draft boat called a Creek Boat. It’s a small boat that can run in just 14 inches of water. You steer it with your feet. He then found a short-shaft trolling motor.

“It was perfect,” he said. “If you come up on a fallen tree or something, you just get out and drag it across. It only weighs like 65 pounds.”

Problem solved. Locating the big bream was next on his agenda, and it was just a matter of common sense.

“You just find the deep eddy holes,” he said. “The water is so shallow that there is nowhere else they can be.

“I know one good deep eddy hole that always has big bream in it. It’s always a good spot. The bream in there will always surprise you. 

“I tossed a homemade Beetle Spin in there, and the two first fish I caught were big enough to eat. I caught that third one and I was like: ‘Good, Lord.’”


Ohoopee River Record Fish

Largemouth9-lbs., 8-ozs.Gary Sammons07/30/21
Redbreast12.48-ozs.Kaye Driggers05/15/20
Chain Pickerel3-lbs., 6.56-ozs.Colonel William Scott Drennon01/02/23
Bluegill1-lb., 2.56-ozs.Dale Williams05/11/22
Spotted Sunfish10.75-ozs.Robert Lane5/04/19
Black Crappie1-lb., 10.24-ozs.Richard E. Driggers11/10/19
Shellcracker1-lb., 5.92-ozs.Richard E. Driggers7/20/19
Warmouth14.58-ozs.Thomas Corbin10/29/21

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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