In July, anglers shattered two North Carolina state records for catfish. The record setting catfish were landed within days of each other.
Lake Gaston yielded a new state record blue catfish while a new state record flathead catfish was landed in the Neuse River.
On July 5, Joey Baird, of Lawrenceville, Va., was fishing with his friend Mark Conroy, of Macon, when he reeled in a 121-pound, 9-ounce blue catfish from Six Pound Creek at Lake Gaston.
Lake Gaston is known for its trophy class blue catfish fishery. Baird’s fish is the fourth state record for blue catfish to be caught from the lake.
The previous record holder was Landon Evans, who caught a 117-pound, 8-ounce blue catfish on June 11, 2016.
Baird caught his monster blue catfish, which measured 60 ½ inches in length and 40 ½ inches in girth, using cut bait. The catch was weighed on certified scales and Stonehouse Timber in Littleton.
Fifteen days later, Pikeville angler Tyler Barnes broke the 15-year-old freshwater fish state record for a flathead catfish, after landing a 78-pound, 14-ounce fish from the Neuse River on July 20.
Barnes caught his flathead catfish, which measured 52 inches in length and 37 inches in girth, using a live sunfish as bait.
The record setting flathead was weighed on certified scales at EZ Bait & Tackle in Goldsboro.
His catch breaks the previous record, held by Brian Newberger of Fayetteville, who caught a 78-pound flathead from the Cape Fear River on Sept. 17, 2005.
Both men were using a Big Cat Fever fishing rod when they caught their record-breaking catfish.
source: N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission