Giant Georgia Stumpknocker!

Size is relative. While this 12-ounce, 9-inch-long stumpknocker might not qualify as a giant in the eyes of most anglers, it is a very big one for its species. It’s also a new Georgia state record.

More widely known as a spotted sunfish (Lepomis punctatus), these diminutive “bream” are known as stumpknockers because they hang out and feed next to submerged stumps. They are native to the Southeast, where their preferred habitat is slow-moving lowland streams or ponds with heavy vegetation. Most individuals of the species weigh less than half a pound and measure 4 or 5 inches in length.

Anglers typically encounter stumpknockers when they’re targeting larger sunfish species, and that’s exactly how Jamie Boyett, of Portal, Ga., hooked into his new state record on June 15.

“I was fishing for redbreast sunfish with my 8-year-old son, Brannen, on one of our regular locations on the Ogeechee, and when I caught this fish, I honestly wasn’t 100 percent sure what it was. A friend said it looked like a stumpknocker, which made me laugh because it was the biggest one I had ever seen,” Boyett said. “After we got home from fishing, I started cleaning our catch, and something made me decide to just look into confirming the species, and I sure am glad I did!”

Boyett’s Ogeechee River stumpknocker beat out the previous record of 11 ounces, which was set in 2019. For comparison, the Florida state record stands at a little more than 13 ounces and the North Carolina state record weighed 7.7 ounces.

See Georgia’s freshwater records at

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