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Crisp County Angler Ties Shoal Bass State Record

Clark Wheeler with his catch. / GA DNR

It’s a tie! The shoal bass state record was broken just last year, and now that record has been tied.

Clark Wheeler of Arabi, GA is the proud new angler that will share the shoal bass state record. His catch, caught on April 16 on the Flint River near Warwick, weighed 8 lb, 5 oz and measured 24 ½ inches, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division (WRD).

“We were thrilled to hear that another shoal bass of this size was caught and proud to recognize Mr. Wheeler’s catch as a state record tie. Five new state records in the past year proves just how amazing Georgia’s fishing opportunities really are,” says Scott Robinson, Chief of Fisheries for the Wildlife Resources Division. “I hope news of these state records fires you up and encourages you to plan your next fishing trip. Let’s get outdoors and Go Fish Georgia!”

Shoal Bass (Micropterus cataractae), designated as the official state riverine sportfish species, are native to the Chattahoochee and Flint River basins; and introduced in the Ocmulgee and Oconee rivers. They have an upper jaw that does not extend beyond the eyes, unlike the largemouth bass, and the dorsal fin is continuous and not deeply notched. They are most like the redeye basses, but do not have any red coloration in the fins or pale margins on the tail. Unlike smallmouth bass they usually have a large dark spot at the base of the tail. The average adult is between 12–24 inches. Shoal bass are usually found around current breaks near flowing water. This can be in the middle of a big shoal, in a deep-water bend of the river with large boulders, or on the bank behind a tree in the water.

Georgia anglers support fisheries conservation! Did you know that your license purchase allows Georgia WRD to continue to do important research, maintain and operate public fishing areas and more? Purchase a Georgia license at GoOutdoorsGeorgia.com.

For fishing tips and information, be sure to check out the Angler Resources page at GeorgiaWildlife.com/fishing/angler-resources.

Information about state-record fish, including an application and rules, can be found at GeorgiaWildlife.com/fishing/recordprogram/rules or in the current Sport Fishing Regulations Guidebook.

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