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It seems like it was just two weeks ago that we shared the story of Joey Baird catching the new North Carolina state record blue catfish on Lake Gaston. At 121 pounds and 9 ounces, Baird’s cat will likely be the largest caught in the Tar Heel State this year.
That said, another significant North Carolina catfish state record has fallen in July.
This time, however, it is the flathead!
News Spreads Like Wildfire
Late into the night on Saturday, July 19th, angler Tyler Barnes went live on his Facebook account from EZ Bait & Tackle in Goldsboro, North Carolina. There, he was met by friends and family as he showed off what was confirmed to be the new North Carolina state record flathead catfish.
Barnes was already sitting toward the top of the rankings for the annual EZ3 Catfish Tournament — he had pulled in a 50.8 pound flathead over the weekend — but the fish he would bring in to the Neuse River-based shop would shatter both records and expectations.
Throughout the early hours of the morning, word spread of Tyler’s record catch. By around 7:00 a.m., video was circulating on the official weigh-in.
Unseating the Champ
Weighing in at a massive 78.8 pounds and measuring 52 inches, Barnes’ catch knocks off the previous state record, which was caught nearly fifteen years ago.
That catch was recorded by Brian Newberger on Cape Fear River on September 17, 2005. Newberger’s flathead weighed in at an even 78 pounds and was caught on a live eel.
Catch and Release
Later in the morning, Catch the Fever shared a Facebook video of Barnes releasing his state record catch. The fact that the angler was able to return this massive flathead to the water makes this an even better story!