Oostanaula River Largemouth Sets Bar High As New Record

Bass heavier than 5 pounds are nearly unheard of in this small north Georgia river.

Brad Gill | May 6, 2019

Kyle Flanagan, 23, of Calhoun, was fishing the upper stretch of the Oostanaula River outside of Resaca on April 27 when he boated a 7-lb., 5-oz. largemouth bass that will set the bar high for this small river in northwest Georgia.

“The biggest bass I’ve caught from the river was a 3- or 4-lb. spot, and 4 or 5 pounds is pretty much the biggest ones I’ve seen come out of the river,” said Kyle.

Kyle, who has been fishing the river for about 10 years, says he does pretty well catching stripers and catfish. On the morning of April 27, him and his buddy Caleb Pierce, of Calhoun, put their jonboat in the water about 8 a.m.

“We were bass fishing and catfishing,” said Kyle. “We anchored up in a creek mouth, and we threw our cat rods out in the open, and then we just tossed up in a creek mouth,” said Kyle.

While letting their catfish lines soak in the main part of the river, Kyle was hoping to catch a few bass throwing into the creek mouth. He was using a Lews rod and reel combo to throw a junebug-colored Zoom Finesse worm threaded onto a 1/8-oz. Luck-E-Strike shaky head.

“We caught two small spots and a gar,” said Kyle. “After two hours, we floated downriver and anchored up on a bank and fished for catfish for 30 or 45 minutes. We came back up going toward the truck, and we decided to stop again at that same spot for a few minutes.”

Kyle’s second cast is when the 7-5 largemouth chomped down on the Finesse worm.

“It just started pulling, I thought it was brush coming down the river that caught my line, but it circled back around to the creek mouth, and I realized it was a fish,” said Kyle. “I set the hook, and it dove down, and I just thought it was a gar. So it got right up to the boat and came out of the water and it dove back down. That was one of those moments, I didn’t really think. I just started screaming ‘Get the net!'”

After realizing the size of the fish, Kyle let him play out before slipping the net under him.

“The first thing we thought was that it could be a record,” said Kyle.

With his phone only on 10 percent, he began trying to track down someone from DNR to weigh and certify the fish. He was able to get in touch with WRD Fisheries Biologist Jim Hakala, and he met him in Rome at 6 p.m. that evening.

“A fish of that size is a good fish anywhere but especially from the Oostanaula River,” said Jim. “We rarely see largemouth of that caliber during electrofishing sampling of the river. I’m sure there are other trophies out there, but it’s certainly not common place in this spotted bass dominated river.”

GON has compiled and keeps official records for most major lakes and rivers in Georgia. 

Kyle standing with WRD Fisheries Biologist Jim Hakala.

Become a GON subscriber and enjoy full access to ALL of our content.

New monthly payment option available!


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.