Anglers shatter two N.C. catfish records just weeks apart

Anglers shatter two N.C. catfish records just weeks apart
Tyler Barnes (left) and Joey Baird (right) broke N.C. catfish records just weeks apart in July 2020. (Source: Tyler Barnes and Joey Baird)

NORTH CAROLINA (WBTV) - Two anglers shattered two North Carolina catfish records by landing whoppers just weeks apart from each other in July.

On July 5, Joey Baird, of Lawrenceville, Va., was fishing with his friend Mark Conroy, of Macon, when he reeled in a 121 lb., 9 oz. blue catfish from Six Pound Creek at Lake Gaston.

Baird caught his record-breaker, which measured 60.5 inches in length and 40.5 inches in girth, using cut bait. Baird had his fish weighed on certified scales and Stonehouse Timber in Littleton.

According to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, Lake Gaston is home to “some massive blue catfish,” and Baird’s fish is the fourth state record for blue catfish to be caught from the lake. Landon Evans, the previous record holder, caught a 117 lb., 8 oz. blue catfish on June of 2016.

Joey Baird reeled in a 121 lb., 9 oz. blue catfish from Six Pound Creek at Lake Gaston.
Joey Baird reeled in a 121 lb., 9 oz. blue catfish from Six Pound Creek at Lake Gaston. (Source: Joey Baird)

Just 15 days later, Tyler Barnes of Pikeville broke the 15-year-old freshwater fish state record for a flathead catfish, landing a 78 lb., 14 oz. monster from the Neuse River on July 20.

Officials say Barnes caught his flathead, which measured 52 inches in length and 37 inches in girth, using a live sunfish as bait. His catch breaks the previous record held by Brian Newberger, of Fayetteville, who caught a 78 lb. flathead from the Cape Fear River in September of 2005.

Tyler Barnes of Pikeville broke the 15-year-old freshwater fish state record for a flathead catfish, landing a 78 lb., 14 oz. monster from the Neuse River on July 20.
Tyler Barnes of Pikeville broke the 15-year-old freshwater fish state record for a flathead catfish, landing a 78 lb., 14 oz. monster from the Neuse River on July 20. (Source: Tyler Barnes)

Both men used a Big Cat Fever fishing rod to land their record-breakers.

For a list of all freshwater fish state records in North Carolina or more information on the State Record Fish Program, visit the Commission’s State Record Fish program webpage.

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