New species added to Georgia Saltwater records program as Brunswick man sets bar for Almaco jack

Sean Tarpley holds his record-setting almaco jack.
Brunswick, Ga.

A Brunswick man has set a new Georgia state record for an Almaco jack (Seriola rivoliana), weighing in at 7 pounds, 0.7 ounces.

The fish is a new species in the Georgia Saltwater Game Fish Program and no prior record existed. The records program committee, made of Department of Natural Resources (DNR) staff and biologists, approved the addition of the species Thursday. 

The angler, Sean M. Tarpley, is an employee of DNR’s Coastal Resources Division (CRD) and was fishing offshore in a private boat off-duty with co-workers and friends when he caught the fish. He used a 6-foot, 6-inch Penn Powerstick rod with Penn Fathom 400 reel spooled with 40-pound Power Pro line. His terminal rig was a 1/0 (pronounced "one-ought") drop rig circle hook baited with squid. The fish was caught Oct. 18 off the coast of Georgia in an area known as the 40-Mile Bottom. 

It was weighed in accordance with the rules of the Georgia Saltwater Game Fish Records Program at the DNR Coastal Regional Headquarters on a scale certified by the Georgia Department of Agriculture. The fish was 26 inches total length and 17 inches in girth.

Almaco jack belong to the Carangidae fish family, which includes jacks, runners, scads, jack mackerel and pompanos. The almaco is one of four species that could be referred to as “amberjack.” Almaco jack have a global distribution and are found in tropical and temperate seas. Jacks are largely pelagic, utilizing the entire water column, but visit the sea floor where they occasionally feed on a variety of other fish, squid, and crustaceans. This species is regularly found in schools and inhabit rocky, reef and wreck habitats from 15 to 800 feet, according to the University of Florida and Florida Sea Grant.

CRD, which oversees the Georgia Saltwater Game Fish Records Program, congratulated Tarpley on his achievement and provided him with a state record certificate signed by Gov. Brian Kemp, DNR Commissioner Walter Rabon, and CRD Director Doug Haymans. Tarpley’s name will be eligible to appear in the 2024 Georgia Sport Fishing Regulations Guide and has been added to the state saltwater records list online at

DNR reminds all anglers to follow best practices for ethical and responsible fishing, including proper handling and release of fish that are not intended for consumption.

Anglers in Georgia are required to have a valid recreational fishing license, free Saltwater Information Program permit, and to follow size and possession limits for various species. State saltwater record rules and regulations can be found at


Click here to view the online record and download the application package (including additional photos.)

Media Contact

Tyler Jones
Public Information Officer
Coastal Resources Division
Georgia Department of Natural Resources