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Georgia Angler Catches Record Yellow Perch

The state fish record for yellow perch is tied in Georgia. Angler Emerson Mulhall of Cumming, Ga. reeled in a whopping 2-pound, 9-ounce, 16-inch fish on Feb. 18 on Lake Burton, tying the current state record established in 2013, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division (WRD).

“I was confused when I hooked the fish because it didn’t fight like a bass, which is what I typically pursue, and then surprised when I saw the yellow coloring – but got really excited when we realized it was a huge perch,” said angler Emerson Mulhall. “I called my dad, who is the one who taught me to fish, and he encouraged me to get off the lake and go get it weighed on a certified scale. I like to say that there are no ‘bad’ days on the lake, but some days are better than others. This was definitely one of those days.”

Yellow perch (Perca flavescens) have a golden yellow body with 6-8 dark vertical bands from back to belly. They have bright orange fins and can get up to 3 pounds, but less than 1 pound is a typical catch. Trophy yellow perch are a by-product of the North Georgia walleye stocking program. They prefer cool water lake environments, but can also be found in large rivers, tailwaters and ponds. Their diet consists of small fish, aquatic insects, crayfish and snails.

Yellow perch fishing has improved over the last two years on Lake Burton, and trophy-size fish are typically caught in early Spring.

“I would bet that holding a state record tie is a great motivator for Emerson, and all anglers, to take advantage of the amazing angling opportunities all over the state and try to land that next record,” says Scott Robinson, Chief of Fisheries for the Wildlife Resources Division.  “Don’t let someone else beat you to it–get outdoors and Go Fish Georgia!”

Mulhall caught his record-tying fish on the new Berkley Finisher.

Georgia anglers support fisheries conservation! Did you know that your license purchase allows Georgia WRD to continue to do important research, maintain and operate public fishing areas and more? Purchase a Georgia license at

For fishing tips, be sure to check out the weekly Fishing Blog post at

Information about state-record fish, including an application and rules, can be found at or in the current Sport Fishing Regulations Guidebook.