North Georgia fisherman man reels in new state record rock bass, officials say

WALKER COUNTY, Ga. — A North Georgia fisherman is the proud recipient of a new state fishing record, wildlife officials said Thursday.

According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division, a Walker County man set a new state record for angling.

On top of winning the record, Jeffrey Forester of Rossville landed the catch and hooked rock bass its first species recognition on the state fishing record, according to GADNR.

“Until this catch, I think I have literally caught maybe 600+ rock bass, and only two of those hit the length limit for an angler award, much less a state record!” new record holder Forester said. “I decided to take the kayak out that day and when I got to the creek, I just knew it was going to be a good fishing day. With the second cast of the day, I hung into what felt like a decent black bass, but as I got closer, I could see it was a monster rock bass and thought to myself, do not let this one get off the line, it is definitely record-sized, and lucky enough for me – it sure was!”

Rock bass are a Sunfish species typically found in the Tennessee, Upper Chattahoochee and Upper Savannah river basins, GADNR said.

The fish are dark olive in color and have dark spots on their scales, with red-rimmed eyes and large mouths.

State officials said rock bass prefer deep pools in clear, rocky or sandy streams and the GADNR Wildlife Resources Division recommends using crayfish, minnows or artificial lures to catch them.

“The year 2024 looks like it will be a great year for fishing in Georgia. We have a state record tie for yellow perch and now a new state record rock bass, that is surely some motivation to get out there and try to reel in your own great catch,” Scott Robinson, Chief of Fisheries for the GADNR Wildlife Resources Division said. “With springtime here and the weather warming, I can’t think of a better time to take advantage of the amazing angling opportunities all over our state, so let’s Go Fish Georgia!”

For more fishing tips, check out GADNR’s weekly Fishing Blog. You can find out more information about Georgia’s state-record fish online, including applications and rules.





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