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Blairsville Resident Reels in New State Record Spotted Bass

April 15, 2005

Angler Wayne Holland of Blairsville had more than just a great day of fishing at Lake Burton on February 23, 2005 he managed to catch a new state record! Mr. Holland reeled in an 8 lb. 2 oz., 21 ˝ - inch spotted bass, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division (WRD). The most recent state record for a spotted bass was an 8 lb. ˝ oz. fish caught on Lake Lanier in 1985.

Anglers always want to tell tales about how they caught the big one well, Mr. Holland manages to show that sometimes you really do catch the biggest, says WRD Fisheries Management Chief Chuck Coomer. We hope that the recognition of this new state record will inspire experienced and novice anglers to get out and fish at any one of Georgia’s numerous lakes and rivers. You might not catch a new state record, but odds are you will still have a great day of fishing and enjoying the tremendous natural resources of this State.

Spotted bass (Micropterus punctulatus) are part of the black bass family found in Georgia - largemouth, smallmouth, redeye (Coosa), Suwanee and shoal bass. They have evenly arranged black spots in alternate rows below the dark lateral line. They have a small rough patch of teeth on the toungue and have a connected first and second dorsal fin. Spotted bass prefer rocky areas in clear streams and lakes. They typically weigh between one and four pounds.

Information about state record fish can be found on the WRD website at or in the Sport Fishing Regulations Guidebook available at all WRD offices and all license agents. In order for a catch to be recognized as a state record, anglers should follow these steps:

· Do not clean or freeze the fish

· Keep the fish cool, preferably on ice.

· Weigh the fish as soon as possible on scales certified accurate to the nearest ounce by the Georgia Department of Agriculture in the presence of two witnesses who are over the age of 18 (witnesses must provide names/addresses and telephone numbers and may not be members of the anglers immediate family).

· Take the fish to a WRD Fisheries Management Office as soon as possible and have it positively identified by a WRD Fisheries Biologist or Technician.

· Complete an application and submit with a clear side view photo of the whole fish within 90 days of the catch.

Georgia is the only state where an angler potentially can catch six of the seven species of black bass so make plans now for your fishing trip, and don’t forget to introduce someone new to fishing! For more information about fishing opportunities in Georgia, visit or call a WRD Fisheries Management Office.

Take Me Fishing! A recent national survey indicated that 87 percent of Americans believe fishing and boating have a positive effect on family relationships. So take your family fishing and you will always have something in common.

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