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111-Pound Blue Catfish Shatters Georgia State Record

This giant cat was caught from the upper end of Lake Eufaula on the Chattahoochee River.

Brad Gill | October 19, 2020

The Georgia state-record blue catfish mark has been shattered by 18 pounds. The new record is a Lake Eufaula monster that weighed 111 pounds and was caught by Tim Trone, of Havana, Fla., this past Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020 during a tournament.

“I am beside myself right now,” said Tim.

Tim Trone with the new Georgia state-record blue catfish caught from Lake Eufaula.

Tim was fishing a daytime Chatt Kat catfish tournament that was run out of Florence Marina in the upper end of Lake Eufaula, also known as Walter F. George Reservoir.

“I went up the river a few miles to around Omaha,” said Tim. “I was fishing a deep corner with a Santee rig with cut bream. I was in about 40, 45 feet of water.”

By 11:15 a.m., the time Tim hooked the new state record, he had three fish in the boat that went about 15 pounds. He said the 111-lb fish didn’t bite like most anglers would have probably expected.

“The fish bit like a big turtle, nothing hard, just a little bump,” said Tim. “When she went to pull down, I started reeling up. When I reeled, the line just came right up. She never fought. She reeled like a 100-lb. floating log, no fight.

“When the fish hit the surface, I saw the tail and thought to myself that I had the big, 50-lb. fish I had been looking for. I was excited.

“When I reeled her closer to the boat, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh! What is this?’ I got her by the boat and thought to myself, ‘How am I going to get this fish in the boat?’ I have a great big net, but all I could think was I got to get my hands in her gills because I wasn’t going to stick my hand in her mouth. I had my rod in one hand and had reached down there and stuck my fingers up in the gills, not caring how sharp the gills were. I decided that if I lose a finger because of this fish, I was fine with it.

“All I remember is putting my hand in the gill and the next thing I remember I was standing over that fish looking at it in the bottom of the boat. I don’t remember pulling her over the side or putting her in the floorboard or nothing.”

Lake Eufaula: Archived Articles, Fishing Reports

It was a surreal moment where Tim had to regain his composure. After a few minutes, he was able to message his buddy Clayton Lynn, the same friend who talked Tim into fishing the tournament.

“I messaged him that I just caught a hawg, not a pig, a hawg,” said Tim. “I sent him a picture, and he was thinking, ‘Tim is messing with me.’”

Apparently Clayton got to thinking that Tim had never sent him a picture of a catfish in his boat during daylight hours.

“I flathead fish, and 90% of the time I am fishing in the dark,” said Tim.

Tim reeled everything up as he planned his next move. Meanwhile, there was a guy on the river nearby who had a 100-lb. scale, and Tim said the fish bottomed his scale out. It was at that point, Tim decided to head back to the ramp and put the catfish in a 100-gallon aerated tank in the back of his truck. Tim sat in the parking lot on his phone and found someone to bring a 300-lb. scale to the ramp for the weigh-in, which revealed that the giant blue catfish weighed 151 pounds.

“That weight would have smashed the world record, which is currently 143 pounds,” said Tim.

Tim still had not put the catfish on a set of certified scales, but he knew he had a possible world record and needed to figure out how to get a certified weight.

“So everything got done, we won the tournament, and I got home and started talking to some people,” said Tim.

They finally connected with Jerry Baggett, the owner of Jones Country Meats, Inc. in Climax, and he agreed to interrupt his watching of the UGA/Alabama game to meet them at 10 p.m. to get a certified weight on the fish.

“Our scales are certified by the state, and the fish weighed 111 pounds,” said Jerry.

Now Tim had to figure out what to do since he had a difference of 40 pounds between the weights, even though the one at Jones Country Meats, Inc. was a certified weight, and the 300-lb. scale at the ramp was obviously just inaccurate.

“I decided I was just going to take that fish to Albany (Fisheries office) on Monday morning,” said Tim. “Saturday I told my boss I wasn’t going to be at work Monday. I sent him a picture, and he was all happy for me.”

Earlier today, Tim ended up at Paradise PFA where WRD also weighed the fish on their certified scales, and it registered at 110-lbs., 6-ozs., which is the weight the state recorded on the Georgia State Record Freshwater Fishes listing.

GON will recognize the 111-lb. weight recorded at Jones Country Meats, Inc. for the new Lake Eufaula blue catfish record.

The previous Georgia state-record blue catfish was a 93-lb. beast from the Altamaha River caught by Richard Barnett in October, 2017.

GON Official Lake Records For Eufaula

Largemouth Bass 16-lbs., 8-ozs. John B. Giles 03/12/80
Shoal Bass 6-lbs., 9-ozs. Joe Wikoff 12/14/02
Black Crappie 3-lbs., 8-ozs. Duke Campbell Jr. 02/15/01
Hybrid Bass 15-lbs., 8-ozs. Dennis Hutto 03/27/00
Striped Bass 39-lbs., 8-ozs. Buddy McKeller 06/02/07
Blue Catfish 111-lbs. Tim Trone 10/17/20
Chain Pickerel 1-lb., 12-ozs. Zach Luckie 03/30/19
Bluegill 1-lb., 3.04-ozs. Charles Wynn 07/20/20

 

See all of GON’s official Georgia Lake & River Records here.

 

Requirements For Record Fish

• Fish must be caught legally by rod and reel in a manner consistent with state game and fish regulations.

• Catch must be weighed on accurate Georgia DOA certified scales with at least two witnesses present, who must be willing to provide their names and phone numbers so they can be contacted to verify the weighing of the fish.

• Witnesses to the weighing must be at least 18 years old, and they must not be members of the angler’s immediate family nor have a close personal relationship with the angler.

• Catch must be positively identified by qualified DNR personnel.

GON’s records are compiled and maintained by GON, to be awarded at GON’s discretion. Additional steps may be required for record consideration.

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