Spotted Bass Sets New Clarks Hill Record
Pulling live blueback herring during a striper tournament paid off in more ways than one. The boat placed second in the Clarks Hill Striper Club tournament, and one of the anglers set a new lake record for spotted bass.
Riley Hale was fishing with Capt. Ed Lepley and Kenny Brooks during the tournament this past Saturday, March 19.
“They invited me as a guest to fish with them in the striper tournament,” Riley said. “We were pulling live blueback herring when the fish hit. When I pulled it up, my eyes got real big. They’re used to catching big stripers, so they don’t care about a big spot.
“My friend Kevin Fox had just told me that if we caught a big spotted bass to get it certified because the lake record was very beatable. I got it in, and on a digital scale in the boat it weighed 4 1/2 pounds. I pulled up the GON website on my phone and saw that the lake record was 4-lbs., 5-ozs.”
Riley, who if you’re from the Augusta area you will recognize as the Chief Meteorologist at WRDW News 12 NBC 26, decided to preserve the spotted bass and get it certified. First, they had to finish the striper tournament.
“We ended up getting second in the striper tournament, thanks to Capt. Ed. He used to be a full-time striper guide on Clarks Hill,” Riley said.
Riley first took the bass to a Food Lion in McCormick, S.C., but trying to get the fish weighed there was causing a mess and Riley wasn’t sure whether a South Carolina certified scale would be acceptable for a Georgia lake record (it would be). So he called Jay Payne with Georgia WRD Fisheries, who arranged to meet Riley on Monday morning to get a certified weight and to verify the species as a spotted bass. The certified weight was recorded at 4-lbs., 11.8-ozs. to set the new Clarks Hill record.
Riley’s spotted bass tops a record that has stood since Sept. 6, 2014 when Steve Pinkston caught a 4-lb., 5-oz. spot during a bass tournament on Clarks Hill.
Clarks Hill Lake Record Fish
|Ralph Barbee Jr.
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