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Area anglers set new state saltwater game fish records
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BRUNSWICK — Three new state saltwater game fish records recently have been set, according to the staff of the Constituent Services Program of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources/Coastal Resources Division.
Deborah Carpenter of Savannah established a new women’s state record for lemon sharks with a 322-pound fish caught July 8. This smashes the long-standing state minimum weight for the species of 50 pounds, which was established more than three decades ago.
Carpenter landed the record fish while fishing the south channel of the Savannah River at Cockspur Island. The shark had a total length of 112 inches and a girth of 51 inches.
Jennifer Swenson of Jesup caught a 121-pound, 9-ounce bull shark July 23. It has been certified as the new women’s state record for the species. The existing state minimum requirement for the species was 50 pounds.
Swenson caught her fish while bottom fishing at the St. Simons pier. The bull shark has a total length of 78 inches and a girth of 34 inches.
David Blackshear of St. Simons Island established a new state record for gray snapper with a 12-pound, 8.6-ounce fish caught June 1. The record-setting snapper bested the existing state record of 10 pounds, 8 ounces, set by Jason Carter in 2009.
Blackshear caught his snapper while bottom fishing the Brunswick Snapper Banks. The fish had a total length of 28 inches.
Anglers received certificates acknowledging their record catches, which will be added to the Georgia Saltwater Gamefish Records list published at and in the 2012 Georgia Sport Fishing Regulations. 
Anglers wishing to enter a fish for a new state record must have it weighed on a Georgia Department of Agriculture-certified scale in the presence of at least one witness. Certified scales can be found at local seafood markets, grocery stores and feed-and-seed stores.
In addition to a certified weight, the applicant must have the species identification confirmed through inspection by a qualified biologist or by providing several photographs with the application.
During business hours, anglers can have their catches identified and weighed at the Coastal Regional Headquarters in Brunswick. 
The current list of men’s and women’s saltwater fish records is available at along with information on how to submit a fish for addition to the Georgia Saltwater Gamefish Records.
For more information, contact the GA DNR/ Coastal Resources Division.

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