Georgia is where peaches are plentiful and where southern hospitality reigns. It’s also a great state for fishing, with plenty of locations throughout the state for anglers to enjoy. Largemouth bass can be found in Lake Seminole and snapper and redfish can be caught at the Golden Isles. Lake Hartwell has those clear blue waters that spotted bass and largemouth bass love and Clarks Hill Lake is the largest lake in the state. But do you know where the largest fish ever caught in Georgia was found? Keep reading to find out!
What Fish Are Found In Georgia?
Before we talk about the largest fish ever caught in Georgia, let’s take a look at the kind of fish you can find in the state. There is a variety of fish found in Georgia like the largemouth bass, which dwells in calm, warm waters like ponds, rivers, lakes, and streams. It has a large jaw that stretches past its eyes and two dorsal fins that are nearly detached. These fish typically grow to weigh between one and six pounds but may also reach up to 20 pounds.
There are other bass fish like the Chattahoochee bass that is a bit flashier. These fish are decorated with bright orange/red colorations on the outward parts of their fins like a highlighter trim. They spend time around woody and rocky environments where water flows freely.
Along with several bass species, there are also several catfish species in Georgia. Blue catfish are popular among anglers and are distinguished by their forked tails and silvery blue color. They prefer large environments like reservoirs and rivers with flowing water. They usually grow to weigh between one and 20 pounds but there has been one record-breaking catch that exceeded 100 pounds!
There is the redbreast sunfish that may dwell in lakes but generally prefers rivers and streams with rocky bottoms. These fish have a reddish-orange belly and a lengthy, slender gill flap. Their heads have stripes that are either all blue or kind of blue-green. Typically, these fish weigh less than one pound.
Other fish in Georgia include brown trout and brook trout, yellow perches, longear sunfish, bluegill sunfish, and smallmouth buffalo. Anglers can also catch redfin pickerel, chain pickerel, and longnose gars.
Fishing Basics In Georgia
Fishing basics differ depending on the type of fish you’re looking to catch. For example, to successfully catch largemouth bass, it’s best to head out during the summer, either in the late evening or the early morning. These fish go for artificial baits, so you can use jigs, crankbaits, and even plastic worms.
Chattahoochee bass is also a great find during the summer season and anglers may do well with plastic worms. These fish strike at different lures, so you could also try grubs and minnow plugs. Blue catfish, on the other hand, prefer live or cut baits. Anglers can head out with skipjack herring, sunfish, or crayfish using jug lines and trotlines.
The redbreast sunfish can be found along aquatic vegetation and around boulders. For these fish, use small spinners and beetle spins. You can use different types of baits and lures. Despite their name, you don’t need to head out during the day when the sun is out. They can be caught at night.
To catch longnose gar, look for weedy areas in streams, rivers, and lakes. These gars generally feast on fish but they’re opportunistic, so they may go for insects, crayfish, or shrimp.
Record-Breaking Catches In Georgia
There are several standing record-breaking catches in Georgia depending on the type of fish. For example, the biggest largemouth bass was caught by George Perry at Montgomery Lake on June 2, 1932. The fish weighed a total of 22 pounds and four ounces.
The largest blue catfish was caught by Tim Trone in the Chattahoochee River on October 17, 2020. This fish weighed a whopping 110 pounds and six ounces, making it the largest fish ever caught in Georgia. The previous record weighed a whole 18 pounds less. Trone is from Havana, Florida, and was out in Georgia for the Chatt Kat catfish tournament.
Trone was out fishing during the day at the upper end of Lake Eufaula. He had a Santee rig with cut bream with him and had found a deep corner where the water was around 40 feet deep. He was surprised when the blue cat bit — he said it felt more like a big turtle than a huge fish.
Reeling it in was easy, almost like hauling a log out of the water. It didn’t fight. Pulling it into the boat was another story and he was ready to lose a finger to get it on board! He practically blacked out because the next thing he remembers, the fish was on the boat. He was beside himself.
There have been other record-breaking catches in Georgia, but Trone’s blue cat remains the biggest fish caught in the state. Two men tied for the largest flathead catfish caught in the state. In 2006, Carl Swayer pulled one in at the Altamaha River. In 2010, Jim Dieveney went to the same river and caught another — both fish weighed 83 pounds.
Where Is The Chattahoochee River In Georgia Located On A Map?
The Chattahoochee River in Georgia begins in the southeast corner of Union County located in the southern Appalachian Mountains and flows in a southwesterly direction through the Atlanta metropolitan area before ending in Lake Seminole, which is at the border of Georgia and Florida.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/Ashley Strickland Photography
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