New State Record Redbreast Sunfish Caught on Satilla River


The top spots continue to fall as Georgia waters keep yielding record fish!

Four new state records have been caught since December. The latest state record fish, and pending world record tie, is a redbreast sunfish caught by Lester Roberts of Blackshear. His catch, caught on May 7 on the Satilla River near Folkston, weighed 1 lb, 12 oz and was 11 3/8 inches long, and replaces the 1998 record (1 lb, 11 oz), according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division (WRD). 

“Congratulations to Lester Roberts! Georgia waters are producing some great fish right now and news of these records being broken really should give all anglers an extra sense of excitement to get out there and give it a shot,” said Scott Robinson, Chief of Fisheries for the Wildlife Resources Division. “Who will catch the next one? It might be you – but you have to get outdoors and Go Fish Georgia!”

Redbreast Sunfish (Lepomis auritus) are common throughout Georgia. Their belly is yellow to orange-red or crimson red, and the gill flap is black in color, and long and narrow. Their head has blue or blue-green stripes. Most are less than 1 lb. They prefer streams and rivers but are also found in some lakes. They prefer sand, gravel or rocky bottoms, and concentrate in the current breaks around submerged trees, boulders, and limestone outcroppings in rivers. They can sometimes be found near aquatic vegetation. Unlike other sunfish, redbreast can be caught at night using a wide variety of lures and baits, such as beetle spins and small spinners.

License Dollars at Work! Native sunfish species that call the Satilla River home benefit from Georgia WRD management efforts, such as the flathead catfish control program. This program, ongoing since 2006, seeks to reduce the numbers of invasive flathead catfish. If left unmanaged, flathead catfish will decimate the sunfish population and greatly affect the fishability of the river for anglers.

Georgia anglers support fisheries conservation! Did you know that your license purchase allows Georgia WRD to continue to do important research, maintain and operate public fishing areas and more? Purchase a Georgia license at

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

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