Satilla River Largemouth Record Smashed

No net and a 12-pounder jumping at the boat...

Brad Gill | April 7, 2015

Another new river record has been broken, making it the sixth new fish this year to earn a spot it GON’s Georgia Lake and River Records list. The latest entry is a 12-lb. largemouth that came from the Satilla River. It was caught by Kevin Mullis, of Waycross, on March 27 while fishing with his girlfriend Jessica Joyner, also of Waycross.

“We’d been just beating the banks. I was throwing crankbaits, and she was throwing a topwater plug,” said Kevin.

Kevin and Jessica had put in at the Blackshear River Bridge a little after daylight, and the fishing had been slow until the big fish hit around noon. Kevin threw his Bandit crankbait into an area of cypress knees where the water was only 2 to 3 feet deep.

“I threw in there, and I felt it hang up on something, so I snatched the crankbait real hard to make it come undone,” said Kevin. “When it came undone, I was reeling the slack back up, and I made two cranks, and she smoked that crankbait.”

Kevin said he caught a 10-lb., 7-oz. largemouth from the Satilla last year, but when this fish hit, he didn’t even consider that it was a bass.

“I told Jessica that I had a mudfish (bowfin), but it was a big one,” said Kevin. “He took off like an old mudfish. Most bass will come on to the top with their mouth open and shaking their head trying to sling the crankbait. It never did do that until I got it right there to the boat and was pulling up on it.

"I got her right there about 6 inches under the water where I could see it. I saw her mouth wide open, and it was shaking its head under the water, and then I saw the eyeball. When I saw the eyeball, I said ‘Oh my.’ I stood up in the boat then. I knew what it was then. I went to trying to get her in.”

The natural reaction in this situation is to have Jessica grab the net and get that once-in-a-lifetime fish into the boat.

“I was fishing a tournament a few weeks ago, and my net blew out of the boat, so I didn’t have a net,” said Kevin.

After some tense seconds that involved several jumps at the boat, the Satilla River largemouth stayed hooked up and was ready to be lipped.

“She finally laid on her side, and I got down there on my belly and got that sucker,” said Kevin.

Kevin immediately went into tunnel-vision mode. He wanted to get an official weight on his fish, so he could have his name in GON’s Georgia Lake and River Records list.

“I quit fishing right then,” said Kevin. "I couldn’t even fish anymore. Jessica was mad because she wanted to keep fishing, but I told her I was done. I couldn’t even hardly think then. I was shaking like I’d killed a big ol’ buck.”

Kevin’s 10 1/2-pounder last year would have been a river record, too, since the old river record was 9 pounds. Kevin’s 12-pounder was 25 1/4 inches long and easily secured itself as top largemouth for this serene southeast Georgia river.

If you catch a fish you think might be a record, call GON at (800) 438-4663 or e-mail us at [email protected]. The fish will need to be weighed on certified scales, like at a grocery store or feed & seed where the Department of Agriculture tests the scale and places a certification sticker.

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