AMERICUS – Any day spent fishing is a good day. A day you catch a new state record is a great one. Jacob Hornaday of DeSoto is the new state record holder for catching the heaviest spotted sunfish. His catch weighed 11 ounces, beating the previous record of 10 ounces, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.
The angler hooked this new state record spotted sunfish on a private pond April 28 using a beetle spin lure. Hordaday said he wanted to have the fish weight certified, so he went directly to the Cordele Hatchery. The hearty fish was weighed and then returned to the water to get bigger for another day.
“Georgia has such great fishing opportunities, and we love to hear about this kind of exciting news,” Matt Thomas, chief of fisheries for the Wildlife Resources Division, said in a news release. “This is our first state record of 2019, and I hope it encourages all anglers to get outdoors and go fish Georgia.”
Spotted sunfish (Lepomis punctatus) are found in warm waters throughout Georgia. They have a compressed body with a rounded profile, olive green back and sides, and a yellow to orange belly. The ear flap is short and dark with a pale margin.
They can be distinguished from all other sunfish by the numerous small dark to reddish spots on the sides that follow the scale rows, scattered dark spots on the cheek, and a distinct blue crescent mark on the lower margin of the eye.
Georgia anglers’ license purchases allow the 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, check out the weekly Fishing Blog post at georgiawildlife.blog/category/fishing.
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.