Two Telfair County anglers reel in new state saltwater records

Brunswick, Ga.

Jason H. Rich with Almaco Jack. DNR photo by Tyler Jones.

Georgia’s coastal waters have been kind to Telfair County anglers this week, with two individuals setting new state records for their catches.

Jason H. Rich, 40, of McRae-Helena, reeled in a massive 23-pound, 15.04-ounce Almaco Jack (Seriola rivoliana) on May 2, 2024, while fishing offshore between the South Ledge and Navy Tower R3. This impressive catch shatters the previous record of 19-pounds, 10.53-ounces set by Hayden W. Mundy of Midway, Ga., just three months ago in March 2024. Rich, a licensed saltwater guide, was fishing aboard his boat "Slay Ride" and used a spinning rod with a vertical jig to entice the record-breaking Almaco Jack.

Not to be outdone, Molly M. Strickland, 27, of Lumber City, also landed a record-setting catch on May 4. While fishing near the South Ledge, Strickland hooked a hefty 30-pound, 14.24-ounce Blackfin Tuna (Thunnus atlanticus). This impressive fish ties the existing state record for Blackfin Tuna, which was set in 1999 by Penny Morgan-Turner of St. Simons Island and weighed in at 30-pounds, 8-ounces. Strickland was fishing with a daisy-chain rigged with ballyhoo aboard the vessel "Bare Down," captained by Blake Barry.

Both weighed in accordance with the rules of the Georgia Saltwater Game Fish Records Program at DNR's Coastal Regional Headquarters in Brunswick on a scale certified by the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Rich's fish was 39.2 inches total length, 34.5 inches fork length, and 24.75 inches in girth. Strickland's Blackfun Tuna was 38.6 inches total length, 33.9 inches fork length, and 25.2 inches in girth.

Georgia DNR congratulates both anglers on their remarkable catches. Their achievements will be recognized with each receiving a certificate signed by Governor Brian Kemp, DNR Commissioner Walter Rabon, and Doug Haymans, director of DNR’s Coastal Resources Division. Their name will also be featured in the next Georgia Sport Fishing Regulations Guide and online at

Molly Strickland with Blackfin Tuna. DNR photo by Tyler Jones.. 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. Tools like descending devices can help reduce barotrauma in deep-water fishes and improve their chance of survival after being released. For information on descending devices and other best fishing practices, visit the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council's webpage at

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

 Visit Almaco Jack records page

 Visit Blackfin Tuna records page

About the Coastal Resources Division

The mission of the Coastal Resources Division is to balance coastal development and protection of the coast's natural assets, socio-cultural heritage and recreational resources for the benefit of present and future generations.

Media Contact

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