Savannah River Redbreast Record Topped

Daryl Kirby | June 26, 2020

The record for redbreast on the Savannah River was broken on back-to-back days back in May. The second fish—and the new Savannah River record redbreast—was caught on May 14, 2020 by Donavan Pruitt, who is a farmer near Sylvania in Screven County.

We’re just now reporting on Donavan’s redbreast only because he’s been busy farming, and GON has been busy getting the July issue of the magazine ready for the printing press, so the verification process took longer than normal.

“I farm for a living, and on Thursday, May 14 we were rained out, so I decided I would take that time to go fishing.” Donavan said. “Even though the river was a little muddy from the previous rain showers, I decided that I wanted to try my luck. I have fished the Savannah River my whole entire life. On this day, I decided to go down from 301 Landing to a fishing hole that has always been good to me. The bites were coming slow, but we still ended up leaving with a good bit of fish.”

Donavan didn’t know he had a potential river record with his mess of fish.

“When I first reeled in the fish I didn’t really think that much of him, kind of just tossed him in with the others,” he said. “It wasn’t until we got home and started cleaning the fish that my dad told me that he thought I should take him to get weighed. So, I took the fish to my local grocery store and asked them to weigh him for me, and when they did he weighed a whopping 1.10 pounds.”

Donavan Pruitt with his Savannah River record redbreast that weighed 1-lb., 1.6-ozs.

Donavan had his fish weighed at the Moats IGA Supermarket in Sylvania, where digital scales recorded 1.10 pounds. Converted to pounds and ounces, that’s 1-lb., 1.6-ozs., which edges the previous record of 1-lb., 1-oz. caught by Danny Vann, of Hephzibah, who held the record briefly. Danny’s fish was caught May 13, 2020, the day before Donavan caught the new record redbreast for the Savannah River.


Savannah River Record Fish

Largemouth Bass 15-lbs. Mike Stille 11/06/99
Hybrid Bass 22-lbs., 6-ozs. Jerry Adams 06/20/86
Striped Bass 56-lbs., 2-ozs. Vaughn Taylor 05/07/12
Chain Pickerel 4-lbs., 12-ozs. James Moore 05/10/22
Shellcracker 3-lbs. William Owens IV 06/24/08
White Catfish 8-lbs., 10-ozs.* James Sanders 06/96
American Shad 8-lbs., 3-ozs.* Henry Baxley 04/86
Gizzard Shad 3-lbs., 2-ozs. Taylor Hodson 04/06/07
Hickory Shad 1-lb., 12-ozs. Bill Resseau 03/19/06
Yellow Perch 2-lbs., 9-ozs.* Thomas Lewis 02/27/13
White Crappie 2-lbs., 13-ozs. Mike Markovcic 03/03/16
Redbreast 1-lb., 1.6-oz. Donavan Pruitt 5/14/20
Bluegill 1-lb. 1.92-ozs. Joe Taylor Jr. 05/19/20
Warmouth 1-lb., 6.5-ozs. Joshua Barnhill 05/20/22
Smallmouth Bass 4-lbs., 4.64-ozs. Stephen Mixon 07/05/18
Channel Catfish 25-lbs., 6-ozs. Dalton Smith 04/17/21


See All GON Official Georgia Lake & River Records

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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