The Largest Striped Bass Ever Caught in South Carolina Was as Big as a Coyote

Written by Nixza Gonzalez
Updated: September 10, 2023
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South Carolina’s official state fish is the striped bass. This fish species is common throughout the state. They can grow to impressive lengths. Are you curious about the largest striped bass ever caught in South Carolina? Follow along to learn more about this amazing catch.

"Largest" infographic for the largest striped bass ever caught in SC.
McConnell’s previous record catch weighed 59 pounds and 8 ounces.

The largest striped bass caught in South Carolina weighed 63 pounds and 4 ounces. Terry McConnell caught this coyote-sized striped bass in 2009 on Lake Russell. Since Lake Russell is on the border between Georgia and South Carolina, Terry McConnel also holds the record for the largest striped bass caught in Georgia. Fun fact: Terry McConnel also caught the previous record for the largest striped bass caught in South Carolina! He caught this large striped bass in Lake Hartwell. It weighed 59 pounds and 8 ounces.

About Striped Bass

Striped bass, also known by their scientific name Morone saxatilis, are migratory fish found throughout North America. Did you know that striped bass have been popular for hundreds of years? European settlers in the 1600s placed regulations on bass fishing. Native Americans also frequently set us seasonal fishing villages to catch migrating fish. Sadly, overfishing and the fast development of coastal towns led to a population decline. But because of fisheries, their numbers are stable. Striped bass is frequently stocked in popular lakes.

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Description and Size

Full frame of silver / blue striped bass in water, appears to be an aquarium. very blue background - state animals of Rhode Island
The dark, longitudinal stripes that give this bass its name are nearly absent on the young or small bass.


Striped bass are large silver fish with 7 to 8 stripes on each side and bright white bellies. The stripes vary in shade. Some striped bass are also olive, blue, or brown on top. These dark longitudinal stripes though are nearly absent on young and small striped bass.

So, how big does a striped bass get? How much can these fish grow in a year? Striped bass reach between 20 to 35 inches long. They can also weigh about 20 to 40 pounds. However, mature striped bass sometimes weighs as little as 5 to 10 pounds. Stripers, a common nickname for striped bass, are fast growers. In their first year, they can grow up to 12 inches long.

Distribution and Habitat

Striped bass live in both freshwater and the ocean. They are found along the East Coast of the United States and the Gulf of Mexico. Although they aren’t native to all of the United States, they are stocked in many reservoirs and lakes. Not all striped bass live in the same habitats. Some spend most of their lives in the ocean, only returning to brackish or freshwater to spawn. Others though spend most of their lives in rivers and lakes. Stripes in lakes live near the bottom of the water. They thrive in rocky bottom lakes. However, those in the ocean live within 5 miles of the shore.


This bass species isn’t picky. Striped bass are quick hunters. What they consume depends on their age. For instance, young striped bass eat small fish, crustaceans, and zooplankton. As they grow though, so does their diet. Stripers are also opportunists. They look for vulnerable and unsuspecting bottom dwellers. 

A man wearing hip waders and long-sleeved white shirt and a ball cap is seen gripping an enormous silver/grat striped bass among some stones at the edge of a body of water odf a deep. dark green. The reel can be seen behind the anglers face.
In terms of diet, striped bass feed on a variety of prey, including other fish, squid, and crustaceans.



The smaller a striped bass, the more vulnerable they are to predators. Large striped bass are fast and use their keen senses to get away from predators. The main predator for striped bass in the Ocean is a shark. Seals also actively hunt for adult striped bass. Young striped bass though are the most vulnerable. Other large fish and sometimes birds easily consume them.

The Largest Striped Bass Ever Caught in the World

Now that we know more about striped bass, we can discover just how big they get! Although the largest striped bass caught in South Carolina is impressive, it’s nowhere near as large as the world’s largest recorded striped bass. Technically, Gregory Myerson holds the record for the largest striped bass caught by an angler. He’s held this record since 2011 when he reeled in an 81.88-pound fish while fishing in Long Island Sound off the coast of Connecticut. Gregory beat this record by about 3 pounds. Although the holds the record for the largest striped bass ever caught by an angler, his catch isn’t the largest striped bass recorded. In 1891, a 125-pound striped bass was caught in a seine net in North Carolina.

Striped bass
The record for the largest striped bass caught by an angler is 81.88 pounds.

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About the Author

I have been a professional content writer for 6 years now, with a large focus on nature, gardening, food, and animals. I graduated from college with an A.A, but I am still pursuing a Bachelors of Marketing degree. When I am not writing, you can find me in front of my TV with a blanket, snacks, and my fur babies.

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