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Walker County Angler Reels In A New State Record Fish: New Species Added To The State Record List

Exciting news out of Northwest Georgia this week with the establishment of a new state record rock bass.

Angler Jeffrey Forester of Rossville, GA landed the 1 lb, 0 oz (10 13/16-inches) fish on April 6 on South Chickamauga Creek. This catch will be the first rock bass state record recognized, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division (GADNR WRD).

“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!” said new record holder Jeffrey Forester. “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 (Ambloplites rupestris) are a member of the Sunfish family, and are found in the Tennessee, Upper Chattahoochee and Upper Savannah river basins. They are dark olive in color and their scales have a dark spot. Their mouth is large, and eyes are rimmed in red. Most are less than 1 lb. They prefer deep pools in clear, rocky or sandy streams. When angling for them, GADNR WRD recommends using crayfish, minnows or artificial lures including jigs and crankbaits.

“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,” says Scott Robinson, Chief of Fisheries for the Wildlife Resources Division. “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!”

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

For fishing tips, be sure to check out the weekly Fishing Blog post at  

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

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