A 14-lb., 2-oz. walleye caught Friday, Feb. 19 at Lake Rabun has been certified as a new state record. Guide Wes Carlton, one of GON‘s long-time fishing report contributors, caught the fish during a trip to Rabun with one of his regular customers and a mutual friend.
“We started out that morning fishing for largemouth,” Wes said. “The bite was slow, so after about 20 minutes, I said, ‘Let’s go catch a walleye.'”
The surface temperature was 44 to 45 degrees that morning, and Wes said this time of year he expects to find walleye over an 18- to 35-foot bottom. He marked some fish on his electronics and dropped live blueback herring on three downlines. He also put out one flatline behind the boat and had just cast a jig with a crappie minnow toward the bank and was bouncing it back toward the boat when he noticed one of the downlines was getting bit.
“She actually bit four times before I got a hook in her,” Wes said. “I just happened to grab the rod. Guides typically stick a lot of fish and hand the rod off, and this time I grabbed it.”
Lake Rabun is a small 835-acre Georgia Power reservoir on the Tallulah River in northeast Georgia. It is one of a series of six small mountain reservoirs on the Tallulah that starts with Lake Burton.
The new state-record walleye topped an 11-lb., 6-oz. Lake Russell walleye caught in 1995 by Neal Watson. The previous lake record from Rabun weighed 9-lbs., 6-ozs. and was caught in 2005.
WRD fisheries biologists and technicians have worked hard to establish a viable walleye fishery in north Georgia through a hatchery and stocking program.
For information on Georgia lakes where walleye are stocked and how to catch them during the upcoming spring run, see this Georgia walleye fishing article.