EMANAUEL COUNTY, Ga. (CW 69 News at 10) — Christian Blake Jones of Swainsboro, Ga. has set a new state fishing record.

Jones was fishing on the Ogeechee River in Emanuel County looking to catch crappie, a fish found in many Georgia lakes and rivers. He reeled in a hickory shad weighing 2 lbs 3 oz. He broke a 25-year record. According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division, the previous record was 1 lb 15 oz caught in 1995.

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“It is beyond exciting to hear about a new state record, and it emphasizes the fantastic fishing opportunities found in Georgia,” says Scott Robinson, Assistant 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!”

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Hickory Shad are grey and green on their backs with a silver side. They are commonly mistaken for American shad and blueback herring. Hickory Shad spend most of their life in the Atlantic Ocean and return to rivers to spawn after they reach sexual maturity. In Georgia they spawn from January in the southern rivers until May below the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam near Augusta.

American and hickory shad are commercially harvested on the Altamaha and Savannah rivers. A popular location to target shad with recreational tackle is the Ogeechee River near US Highway 80 Bridge and near the New Savannah Bluff Lock. The second popular location is Dam near the Savannah River.

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Most shad are targeted by using recreational fishing gear and artificial lures like curl tail grubs. If you are a recreational hook and line angler that targets shad share your stories with Wildlife Resources Divisions. For more information on fishing conservation, fishing areas, and fishing licenses visit www.gooutdoorsgeorgia.com.