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Any time a new state record fish is caught, there’s a newsworthy story.
When that potential record happens to one of the largest freshwater fish caught in North America all year, that story becomes even more impressive.
On the morning of July 6, 2020, rumor began circulating of a potential North Carolina state record blue catfish. Posts suggested that anglers had managed to pull the potential record out of Lake Gaston.
Reports also suggested that the record was pending as the anglers awaited confirmation from a North Carolina biologist on a certified scale.
Around 3:00 P.M. EST, angler Andy Dick went live on Facebook with a weigh-in video. Within four hours of its posting, over eleven thousand people had watched the video.
In that video, a small group pulls an absolutely enormous blue catfish from its holding tub as they prepare to get an official weight.
A Recent History of Big Blue Cats
For comparison, the Tar Heel State has seen its fair share of blue catfish records over the past decade. Some of those fish have also come with some pretty spectacular stories themselves.
Perhaps the most notable occurred when the North Carolina state record blue catfish was broken twice in an 18-hour period back in 2016 by angler Zakk Royce. In a story that is too amazing (and unbelievable) to make up, Royce pulled in a 91 pound blue cat, followed by a 105-pounded the next day.
In 2017, the most recent North Carolina blue catfish record was set by Landon Evans, who pulled a whopper 117 pounds, 8 ounce mammoth from Lake Gaston.
A New North Carolina State Record Blue Catfish
Lake Gaston, which has solidified itself as one of the freshwater fisheries in North Carolina, now gets to add even more notoriety to its name.
In the weigh-in video above, the enthusiastic party gets what appears to be an official weight on the massive blue catfish — 121.9 pounds! If the catch is officially confirmed by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, not only does this secure the new record, but it does so by a comfortable four pound margin.
*Updated* Record is Now Official
Around 5:00 P.M. on July 6th, confirmation was received that Joey Baird has been credited with the new North Carolina blue catfish state record.
Baird’s catch weighed in at 121 pounds 9 ounces. It measured 60 and 1/2 inches in length and carried a girth of 41 inches.
The catfish was released after the weigh-in.