Local Angler Lands New State Record Rock Bass in Walker County


In an exciting turn of events for anglers across Northwest Georgia, a new state record rock bass has been established, adding to the thrill of fishing in the region.

Jeffrey Forester, a resident of Rossville, GA, made the remarkable catch on April 6th while fishing along South Chickamauga Creek. The fish, weighing in at an impressive 1 lb, 0 oz and measuring 10 13/16 inches, is now officially recognized by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division (GADNR WRD) as the first rock bass state record.

Forester, who expressed his astonishment at the catch, remarked, “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!” He recounted the moment of the catch, describing the battle with the fish and the realization that it was of record-breaking size.

Rock bass, scientifically known as Ambloplites rupestris, belong to the Sunfish family and are commonly found in the Tennessee, Upper Chattahoochee, and Upper Savannah river basins. They are characterized by their dark olive color, dark-spotted scales, large mouth, and red-rimmed eyes. Typically weighing less than 1 lb, they prefer habitats of deep pools in clear, rocky, or sandy streams. Anglers targeting rock bass are advised by GADNR WRD to use crayfish, minnows, or artificial lures such as jigs and crankbaits.

Scott Robinson, Chief of Fisheries for the Wildlife Resources Division, commented on the significance of the record-breaking catch, saying, “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.” He encouraged anglers to take advantage of the springtime weather and the abundance of angling opportunities across the state.

Anglers in Georgia play a crucial role in supporting fisheries conservation through their license purchases. Funds generated from license sales contribute to important research, maintenance of public fishing areas, and other conservation efforts. Anglers interested in contributing to conservation efforts can purchase a Georgia license at www.gooutdoorsgeorgia.com.

For fishing enthusiasts seeking tips and advice, the weekly Fishing Blog post at https://georgiawildlife.blog/category/fishing/ offers valuable insights.

Detailed information about state-record fish, including application procedures and rules, can be found at https://georgiawildlife.com/fishing/recordprogram/rules or in the current Sport Fishing Regulations Guidebook.