Rock Bass Established As New Georgia State Record

A 1-lb. rock bass from South Chickamauga Creek in Walker County sets the bar for newly recognized state record species.

DNR Press Release | April 11, 2024

Jeffrey Forester with the new state record rock bass, a new species now recognized for state record status by Georgia DNR.

Exciting news out of northwest Georgia this week with the establishment of a new state-record rock bass. Angler Jeffrey Forester, of Rossville, landed the 1-lb., 0-oz. fish on April 6 on South Chickamauga Creek. This catch will be the first rock bass state record recognized, according to the Georgia DNR’s Wildlife Resources Division. Jeffrey’s rock bass was 10 13/16-inches in length.

“Until this catch, I think I have literally caught maybe 600+ rock bass, and only two of those hit the length limit for an angler award, much less a state record!” said new record holder Jeffrey Forester. “I decided to take the kayak out that day and when I got to the creek, I just knew it was going to be a good fishing day. With the second cast of the day, I hung into what felt like a decent black bass, but as I got closer, I could see it was a monster rock bass and thought to myself, do not let this one get off the line, it is definitely record-sized, and lucky enough for me— it sure was!”

Rock bass (Ambloplites rupestris) are a member of the sunfish family and are found in the river basins of Tennessee, Upper Chattahoochee and Upper Savannah rivers. They are dark olive in color and their scales have a dark spot. Their mouth is large and eyes are rimmed in red. Most are less than one pound. They prefer deep pools in clear, rocky or sandy streams. When angling for them, GADNR WRD recommends using crayfish, minnows or artificial lures including jigs and crankbaits.

“The year 2024 looks like it will be a great year for fishing in Georgia. We have a state record tie for yellow perch and now a new state record rock bass, that is surely some motivation to get out there and try to reel in your own great catch,” says Scott Robinson, Chief of Fisheries for the Wildlife Resources Division. “With springtime here and the weather warming, I can’t think of a better time to take advantage of the amazing angling opportunities all over our state, so let’s Go Fish Georgia!”

Georgia anglers support fisheries conservation! Did you know that your license purchase allows GADNR WRD to continue to do important research, maintain and operate public fishing areas and more? Purchase a Georgia license at

For fishing tips, be sure to check out the weekly Fishing Blog post at

Information about state-record fish, including an application and rules, can be found at or in the current Sport Fishing Regulations Guidebook.

Georgia Lake & River Record Fish

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