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21-year-old Georgia woman breaks fishing record that had been untouched for nearly half a century

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Endangered sawfish spinning, dying off coast of Florida 04:07

A 21-year-old woman in Georgia just broke a nearly half-century-old fishing record. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources announced the new saltwater fish record on June 5. 

According to the department, St. Mary's resident Lauren Harden caught a crevalle jack that weighed a whopping 33 pounds, 10.72 ounces. She caught the fish on May 24 on Cumberland Island, the largest and southernmost of the state's barrier islands. According to Georgia Aquarium, crevalle jack are large, silvery fish that are often found in large schools in open water, usually over the continental shelf. 

"It is an important food fish and is also popular with sport fishermen because of its strength, speed and fighting spirit," the Georgia Aquarium says. 

Lauren Harden, 21, broke a nearly 50-year-old fishing record in Georgia in May 2024 after she managed to catch a more than 33-pound crevalle jack. Georgia Department of Natural Resources

The fish Harden captured, however, was not even half the weight the animals can grow to. The aquarium says that the fish, which are known for their steep foreheads and tendency to "grunt or croak when caught by fishermen," can reach up to 70 pounds. 

The previous record for catching the fish was set in 1981 by Ann Allen. Her fish weighed 30 pounds and 6 ounces. The current record for males is a 38-pound, 8-ounce crevalle jack that was caught by Lex Bazemore in August 2001. 

"We are excited to congratulate Ms. Harden on this extraordinary achievement," said Tyler Jones, the public information officer for the Department of Natural Resources' Coastal Resources Division. "Records like this inspire other anglers and showcase the diverse and thriving marine life in Georgia's coastal waters."

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