Seminole Tilapia Getting Big

This almost 5-pounder hit a wacky-rigged Senko during a bass tournament.

Glen Solomon | August 25, 2019

Mike Spampinato, of Valdosta, and Cecil Bodrey, of Sycamore, were fishing a Southern Angler Series bass tournament July 21 on Lake Seminole when Mike caught a 4.8-lb. tilapia on a wacky-rigged Senko. Cecil, owner of Rippin’ Lipz Custom Lures, said he lost a much larger one on a Texas-rigged Zoom lizard.

“We were fishing in 7 feet of clear water when we spotted them in a hole along a hydrilla edge,” Cecil said.

Tilapia seem to have taken up habitation in the lake, with stories of others being caught, even a report of an 8-pounder was caught by club president Kevin Carter.

Cecil said he had recently worked the scales at a benefit tournament on Paradise Public Fishing Area and weighed-in a 7-lb. tilapia there.

According to DNR, tilapia are increasingly popular as a food source, and they are often used in aquaculture demonstration projects. It is not legal to stock or release tilapia in any Georgia lake or pond.

Tilapia, considered an invasive species, have been common for decades in most central and south Florida lakes.

Mike Spampinato with a 4.8-lb. Lake Seminole tilapia that hit a Senko.

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