Savannah River Smallmouth Record

Stephen Mixon catches record smallmouth using his grandfather's special lure.

Chad Cain | July 26, 2018

The Savannah River likely isn’t the first thought for anglers who want to tangle with a smallmouth bass in Georgia, but there are bronzebacks in the river. Smallmouths are not uncommon now below the Clarks Hill dam, through the Augusta shoals area, and apparently quite a distance downstream.

The new river record for smallmouth on the Savannah River was caught at Stony Bluff Landing, which is in Girard, Georgia near the Burke/Screven county line.

Stephen Mixon, of Statesboro, reeled in his first ever smallmouth bass, which turned out to be a record for the Savannah River at 4.29 pounds.

Stephen and his brother Matt decided to hit the river right at daybreak on the morning of July 4.

“We put in at Stony Bluff on the Savannah River, and I actually caught it there as we were putting the boat in right there at the landing,” said Stephen. “I caught him on a buzzbait.”

The record fish weighed 4.29 pounds on certified scales at the IGA in Portal.

This specific buzzbait is one-of-a-kind and cannot be bought anywhere in the world. Stephen’s late grandfather Durman Mixon and partner Barry Durden made this special lure themselves by putting several different color combinations together.

“You can order the colors and all for it, but you can’t buy one made like that,” said Stephen.

He and his brother had gone out to the river to fish for largemouth, so Stephen definitely was not expecting to pull up a smallmouth bass, much less one that put him right in the record books.

Stephen frequents the Savannah River fishing, going from Stoney Bluff down the river. His grandfather’s lure is always with him and continues to bring successful fishing days.

“It’s something I’m going to hold with me and keep with me forever,” said Stephen.

Here’s an article from 2009 that talks about the emergence of smallmouth bass in the Savannah River.


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