Georgia angler James King recently caught a panfish that might just be too big to fit in a normal pan. According to the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, he caught a 3-pound, 11-ounce black crappie while fishing the Coosa River on Sunday, March 19.
The agency says that King submitted the fish for its Angler Award Program, which recognizes people for catching “exceptional fish in Georgia waters.” The recognition program also provides the Georgia DNR with information on the genetics, age, growth, and habitat preferences of big fish—so that the agency can better manage the fisheries for big fish. King’s fish is one of the largest crappie caught in Georgia in recent memory.
“Some of our fisheries biologists reported that this is the biggest crappie they’ve encountered in their careers,” wrote the Georgia DNR in a Facebook post. “This is also the biggest crappie submitted for an angler award in over 20 years according to our electronic records.”
At 3 pounds, 11 ounces, King’s crappie is just short of the current state record—a 4-pound, 4-ouncer caught in 1971 and tied in 1975. “[It] might be time for someone to land a new [state record]—who knows?” the agency wrote.
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Georgia is home to two species of crappie—white and black crappie. Both species are common throughout the state. Black crappie are distinct for the many black spots on their bodies, while white crappie have a more silvery coloring with dark, vertical bars on their sides. Regardless of the species of crappie, it will be difficult to top King’s impressive recent catch.