Georgia Kayak Fisherman Lands State’s First Rock Bass Record

Rock bass record
Georgia DNR

A record is a record.

Georgia angler Jeffrey Forester landed the Peach State’s first rock bass state record, but that’s largely in part due to the fact that nobody really fishes for rock bass in Georgia, and definitely not big ones.

A freshwater fish in the sunfish family (same as largemouth and smallmouth) rock bass are native to the Great Lakes region, and from the Mississippi drainage south to Tennessee. However, they’ve been introduced across most the eastern United States, and down into parts of Florida.

There is a small sliver in northwestern Georgia where you can find them, in the Tennessee River basin, and that’s where Jeff was getting after them… South Chickamauga Creek.

He tells Georgia DNR:

“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. 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!”

Georgia gives out “Angler Awards” for big fish in the state, although as Jeff mentions, big rock bass are hard to come by.

Here in Wisconsin, where I live, rock bass are everywhere, camping out under boat docks and near other shallow cover. They certainly don’t get very big and often can be confused with bluegill to an inexperienced angler.

For Jeff however, his catch turns out to be the first rock bass state record ever recorded, as nobody has ever turned in one over the minimum weight of 1 pound.

The DNR shared a picture to Instagram with the following caption:

“The FIRST state record of its kind! Angler Jeffrey Forester of Rossville, GA landed a 1 lb, 0 oz, 10 13/16 inch rock bass on April 6th from South Chickamauga Creek in Northwest Georgia. This catch will be the first rock bass state record recognized.

This year is looking like a great one for fishing in Georgia with the state record tie for yellow perch and now a new state record rock bass. Springtime is here, the weather is warming up and we can’t think of a better time to take advantage of the amazing angling opportunities all over our state, so get out there and GO FISH GEORGIA!”

Nice catch.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock