Catfish weighing 68.12 pounds breaks Virginia state record

By Ben Hooper
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May 31 (UPI) -- A Virginia fisherman appears to have broken a state record after reeling in a catfish that tipped the scales at 68.12 pounds.

Jeffrey Dill said he and a friend were fishig in Lake Smith about 8:30 a.m. Saturday when he felt the tug that kicked off a 15 minute struggle to land the flathead catfish he dubbed "Big Earle."


"I put him on the dock, held him down for a minute. He was so big," Dill told WAVY-TV.

Dill took the catfish to Oceans East Bait & Tackle, where it was inspected by Chad Boyce, a biologist from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

Boyce supervised as the fish was weighed at 68.12 pounds.

"It was a monster. It was a true river monster," Boyce said. "It was a big fish that you don't expect to see in this part of the state, especially in Lake Smith. That's definitely a trophy."

The previous record for a flathead catfish caught in Virginia was a 66.4-pounder reeled in from the Occoquan Reservoir in 1994.

Boyce, who sits on the State Record Fish Committee, said he expects the committee to certify Big Earle as the new state record.


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