New Georgia Record Brown Trout Caught On The Chattahoochee River

Brown Trout

A monster 20-pound, 14-ounce brown trout caught on the Chattahoochee River just north of Atlanta on July 27 is the new Georgia state record. The fish measured 31 ½ inches long.

Chad Doughty, 27, of Winder, Ga., was kayak fishing below Buford Dam, which forms this tailwater trout fishery with cold water flowing from the bottom of famed spotted bass fishery Lake Lanier. He hooked the fish, his first of the day, on a Rooster Tail with spinning tackle and 6-pound-test line and fought it for about 45 minutes. At one point he had to abandon his kayak to chase down the fish before his line ran out.

Doughty’s fish beat the previous state record, caught from the Chattahoochee in 2001, by 2-pounds, 8-ounces.

It is a huge fish, but it’s not a huge surprise for those familiar with the Chattahoochee’s tailwater fishery. There is a naturally reproducing population of brown trout in the tailwater, and the fishery is supplemented with stockings of rainbow trout. Although most of the trout caught on the river run much smaller, in the 9- to 14-inch range, giant browns show up on occasion. The ones that reach sizes that allow them to feed primarily on other fish grow very quickly.

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