ATLANTA (CBS46) — A record-breaking shoal bass was caught by an Alabama man on the Chattahoochee River on Dec. 23.

Joseph Matthew McWhorter from Lanett was the lucky fisherman. The shoal bass weighed 8 pounds and 5 ounces. The previous record was 8 pounds and 3 ounces, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.

Shoal bass (Micropterus cataractae), designated as the official state riverine sportfish species, are native to the Chattahoochee and Flint River basins; and introduced in the Ocmulgee and Oconee rivers. They have an upper jaw that does not extend beyond the eyes, unlike the largemouth bass, and the dorsal fin is continuous and not deeply notched. They are most like the redeye basses, but do not have any red coloration in the fins or pale margins on the tail. Unlike smallmouth bass they usually have a large dark spot at the base of the tail. The average adult is between 12–24 inches. Shoal bass are usually found around current breaks near flowing water. This can be in the middle of a big shoal, in a deep-water bend of the river with large boulders, or on the bank behind a tree in the water.

For fishing tips and information, be sure to check out the Angler Resources page.

Information about state-record fish, including an application and rules, can be found here or in the current Sport Fishing Regulations Guidebook

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