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Fisherman in bass tournament catches record sunfish

Lester Roberts was fishing with a friend in a bass tournament on the Satilla River in Georgia when he hooked into what he thought was a good-size bass. Instead, it was a king-size redbreast sunfish that turned out to be a Georgia record, and might possibly be a world record.

Roberts used a crankbait to catch the redbreast sunfish that weighed 1 pound, 12.32 ounces, as reported by Georgia Outdoor News.

The old state record was 1 pound, 11 ounces caught in 1998.

The fishermen were casting crankbaits along the banks of the river when the big sunfish hit.

“I cast up in the limbs in the swift current and was bringing my crankbait back out,” Roberts told GON. “That’s when he slammed it.”

Both fishermen thought he’d hooked a nice bass until it broke the surface.

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“I swung him in the boat, and we couldn’t believe just how big he was,” Roberts told GON. “We’d never seen anything like it.”

They put it into the livewell and continued to catch bass. At the dock, a friend weighed the sunfish and the scale read 1 pound, 12 ounces.

“At that point I’m thinking I might have the state-record fish,” Roberts told GON. “Later that afternoon around 5 o’clock, we took the fish to the DNR where it was certified as the new state-record redbreast.”

The Wildlife Resources Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources stated on Facebook that Roberts’ catch could tie the world record, that being a redbreast sunfish weighing 1 pound, 12 ounces caught by Alvin Buchanan in 1984 in Florida’s Suwannee River.

But might it be recognized as a world record? GON reported Roberts’ sunfish as .32 ounces over the current world record. So, stay tuned.

By the way, Roberts and his friend Whitey Hendrix finished second in the bass tournament.

Photos courtesy of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

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