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May 12, 2009

Georgia angler breaks own SC striped bass record

A Georgia angler at Lake Russell recently broke his own South Carolina state record for striped bass by 3 1/2 pounds with a 63-pound "monster." This also ties the Georgia state record from 1967.

Terry McConnell, from Eastanolle, GA, was in the main channel of Coldwater Creek on Lake Russell on Sunday, April 3 and was freelining blueback herring. McConnell hung on for thirty minutes as the striper nearly un-spooled the 30-pound test line from his 6500 Ambassadeur baitcasting reel on a 7-foot Ugly Stik.

McConnell and his fishing partner, son-in-law Daniel Moore of Royston, GA, took the fish to Lake Hartwell Fish and Marine on Hwy. 24 outside of Anderson, SC and had the fish weighed on state certified scales at 63-pounds. The scales did not read in one ounce graduations and likely would have weighed in at 63-pounds 4-ounces. The striped bass was certified officially as the new state record - exceeding the standing record by 3 1/2 pounds - by Dan Rankin, regional fisheries biologist for the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in Clemson. The fish had a total length of 49 1/2 inches and a girth of 34 inches.

McConnell's fish replaces his own South Carolina all-tackle record for freshwater striped bass (Morone saxatilis) a 59-pound, 8-ounce striped bass caught on Feb. 3, 2002 on Lake Hartwell.

Anglers who think they have a new state or world record freshwater fish should take it as soon as possible to the nearest set of state certified scales - such as grocery store scales. Two people at least 18 years old should witness the weighing of a potential state record fish. The witnesses will need to sign a state affidavit form once the angler obtains it from the DNR, so be sure to get the witnesses' addresses and phone numbers.

If you think you've caught a state record fish, take immediate steps to preserve the fish until a state fisheries biologist can verify it. It can be placed on ice, but freezing is preferred. Lightly wet the fish and wrap it in a dark, plastic bag. If possible, take a picture of the fish while it is still fresh for additional documentation. To record the fish officially, contact Barbara Hasty, Freshwater Fish Records Program, Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division, PO Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202, (803) 734-3891.

The DNR in Columbia maintains all-tackle sportfishing records for freshwater fish and bowfishing records for a few species of nongame freshwater fish. No records are kept for individual line-test categories, for individual bodies of water, or for fish caught in nongame devices. Bowfishing records are kept for three species: common carp, bowfin and longnose gar.

Freshwater all-tackle sportfishing records are kept for 32 species: Striped Bass, White Bass, Hybrid Bass, White Perch, Largemouth Bass, Spotted Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Redeye Bass, Bluegill (Bream), Shellcracker, Redbreast, Warmouth, Flier, Pumpkinseed, White Crappie, Black Crappie, Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Sauger, Yellow Perch, Walleye, Chain Pickerel (Jackfish), Redfin Pike, Muskellunge (Muskie), Blue Catfish, Bullhead Catfish, Channel Catfish, Flathead Catfish, White Catfish, Mudfish (Bowfin) and American Shad.

Fish eligible for consideration by the South Carolina Freshwater Sportfishing Records Program must be caught by sport means, using standard tackle or pole and line or, in the case of bowfishing, bow and arrow. Fish caught in nets and traps or on trotlines and set hooks will not be considered.

DNR protects and manages South Carolina’s natural resources by making wise and balanced decisions for the benefit of the state’s natural resources and its people.

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