Big Bluegill Breaks Georgia State Record

A man holding a fish
Georgia Outdoor News

For being such a small species of fish, this particular bluegill sure is big. 

The fishing records keep falling, and late summer and early fall can be an excellent time of the year to catch and cook some bluegill

This year has seen state and world records broken for similar species like sunfish in Missouri and Arizona, respectively. This is the first bluegill record of the year, though, and this fat little slab of a fish was caught down in Georgia. 

According to Georgia Outdoor News, Wendell Mathis has been fishing on Lake Seminole for more than 45 years, and he has long held a goal of catching a bluegill that weighed at l-pound. Well, at the end of August, he accomplished that goal plus some, as he hauled in a bluegill that weighed a whopping 1-pound 7.68-ounces. 

“I put in at Cummings Landing and went out toward the river on the Flint side and went in front of the Indian Mounds and bared right. 

There’s a big old sunken boat that has been out there since Hurricane Michael came through. You can’t miss it. It’s in between the Flint and the Chattahoochee. If I were to turn around, I can look straight toward the dam.

We have been fishing there three weeks, and the willow flies have lasted longer this year than I have ever known them to last.”

Mathis was fishing with his good friend Randy Weathersby, who is recovering from cancer surgery. Their weekly fishing trips have done a lot to raise Weathersby’s spirits, and being a part of the record-breaking fishing trip brought some much-needed joy to him. 

After catching a load of good-eating-sized fish around the sunken boat, the men decided to fish a new area to focus on the remaining willow flies, but all they found were smaller fish. They returned to the sunken boat, and on the first cast, Mathis connected with the fish of a lifetime. 

“I thought it was a catfish. If there were any hydrilla or lily pads, I would not have landed him. 

When we saw the red belly, Randy grabbed the net, got it under him, and we got him in the boat.

I went to pick him up, and my line broke. In the picture, you can still see the broken line in the bream’s mouth. Straight luck! It was just meant to be, I reckon.

I usually fish alone or with my wife Angel, so thank goodness Randy was with me because he has an updated phone for pictures. I have an old flip phone. He was more excited about the fish than I was.”

The fish broke the previous record of 1-pound 2.40-ounces, which had been on the books since 2011. 

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