The Lake Rabun striper record has been smashed with a 39-lb., 14-oz. fish that beats the old record by nearly 20 pounds. The fish was caught on March 4 by Danny Wall, of Lakemont.
"It was just a matter of being in the right place at the right time, I guess," Danny told GON on March 5.
Danny said he has fished this particular area of the lake 100 times and never caught a fish so big. He said he was fishing the mouth of a cove on the lower third of the lake.
It all happened very fast. Danny had just picked up his brother Marlor at the boat ramp, and when they stopped the boat at the mouth of cove, Marlor still didn’t have a lure tied on.
"I pulled in there, and I saw fish busting herring. I didn’t really have my lure of choice on to throw at them, but I had a pole there with one of my old bucktail jigs tied on."
Danny’s lure of choice for schooling fish would have been a jerkbait, but he had a homemade, 1/4-oz. bucktail jig in white and natural colors tied on 8-lb. test line.
"I threw out there, and he got it," said Danny. "There was more than one fish, and they were in 7 or 8 feet of water. They had a big school of herring corralled. They were still running the herring when I was playing this fish."
Danny thought he had hooked a big blue cat because he didn’t know stripers were even in Lake Rabun. For the most most, Danny is right. However, according to WRD Senior Fisheries Biologist Anthony Rabern, stripers were stocked in 2000 in an effort to control the herring.
"He took off and went all the way up in the cove and got in front of a boat house," said Danny. "I got him turned, and he came all the way back down the other side of the cove and got on the point on the other side. I fought him back out to the middle. She was wore out when she got up. I wouldn’t have got her in the boat by myself. My brother had the fish’s head stuck in my net, and I laid my pole down and got hold of its tail, and we team worked her over the side."
If you catch a fish you think might be a record, take it to the closest DNR Fisheries office for certification and weighing, and then call GON at (800) 438-4663.