Alabama angler Joseph Matthew (Matt) McWhorter, 47, will possible be topped the brand new Georgia shoal bass report holder after catching an 8-pound, 5-ounce fish on December twenty third from the Chattahoochee River close to Columbus. A resident of close by Lanett, Alabama, McWhorter commonly fishes Georgia waters and was out with buddies James Filyaw and Jeremy Bagley when, on simply his fifth forged of the morning, a giant bass nailed his his Yum umbrella-rig lure.
The anglers knew the fish was one thing particular, however they couldn’t make certain simply how huge it was. “The battery was useless on the size I preserve in my bag,” McWhorter tells F&S. “I known as my buddy Jody Simms, and he met us on the boat ramp with a small Berkely scale. We weighed it and knew it was shut (to the report).”
McWhorter contacted the Georgia Division of Pure Sources, searching for official assist to find out whether or not his bass was heavy sufficient to interrupt the report. Finally, an officer arrived from the Albany, Georgia, workplace with the wanted paperwork, they usually got down to an area grocery store the place the fish could possibly be weighed on licensed USDA scales.
Georgia DNR’s Cpl. Eric Isom witnessed the weighing in of the 23-1/4-inch-long reside bass. Afterward, McWhorter launched the fish again into the river close to the place it was caught.
“I needed to do every part I may to maintain that fish alive. It was necessary to maintain these genetics going. You not often discover these shoal bass greater than 6 kilos,” McWhorter says. “I’m searching for somebody to make me a duplicate mount of the fish.”
McWhorter says he fishes for shoal bass a lot the identical means he would goal smallmouths. In river techniques managed for electrical energy, the chew is usually greatest when dams are releasing water, creating present. He says the water was simply beginning to rise when the fish bit, noting that the river can shortly come up 6 to 7 toes when water is being launched by the dam for electrical energy era. “It may be a harmful state of affairs for individuals who don’t know what they’re doing,” he provides.
McWhorter’s Fish Outweighed the Present File Shoal Bass By 2 Ounces
Shoal bass have been lately designated Georgia’s official State Native Riverine Sport Fish. The bass are native to the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) river system and are additionally discovered within the Ocmulgee River. They cowl a number of water throughout their lifetimes, generally dozens, if not a whole lot, of riverine miles. They rely on lengthy, unobstructed segments of rivers and high-quality shoal habitats.
McWhorter says shoal bass have been a longtime ardour for him. “I’ve devoted a number of time, often overlaying 10 to fifteen miles a weekend in my kayak fishing for these bass,” he says. His fish bested the currrent state shoal bass report, an 8-pound, 3-ounce fish caught in October 1977 on the Flint River by David Hubbard, by 2 ounces. With the official weight recorded and the paperwork full, McWhorter says all that is still is delivering the paperwork to the DNR workplace in Albany. “I’m nonetheless on Cloud 9,” he says.