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Angler Targets Crappie, Breaks 25-Year-Old Shad Record

The record hickory shad is the first record of 2021 in Georgia.

Angler Targets Crappie, Breaks 25-Year-Old Shad Record

Photo courtesy of Georgia DNR

Perhaps there will be more significant Georgia-record fish caught in the future than the one caught last weekend. But, of course, any day that includes a state record is a great day.

Just ask Georgia angler Christian Blake, who was seeking a crappie bite Feb. 7 on the Ogeechee River when he broke a 25-year-old record for a different species.

The record fish was not a crappie, but rather a 2-pound, 3-ounce hickory shad. The surprise fish beat the previous record (1-15, 1995) by a quarter-pound, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Wildlife Resources Division (WRD).

Hickory shad (Alosa mediocris), most similar to American shad and blueback herring, is an anadromous species that spends most of its life in the Atlantic Ocean, then returns to coastal rivers to spawn. In Georgia, American and hickory shad are commercially harvested in the Altamaha and Savannah rivers. The shad spawning run usually begins in January in southern rivers and fish can be found until May below the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam near Augusta.

Recreational anglers target hickory shad with artificial lures, such as a curly tail grub.

"It is beyond exciting to hear about a new state record, and it emphasizes the fantastic fishing opportunities found in Georgia," said Scott Robinson, Assistant Chief of Fisheries for the Georgia WRD. "Who will catch the next one? It might be you, but you have to get outdoors and Go Fish Georgia."

Georgia fishing resources

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