62-Pound Catfish Sets Lake Oconee Record
The huge catfish was certified and released back into the lake.
Rob Allgood and his dad Robbie decided to fish for catfish at Oconee on Saturday, March 11. Robbie has been fishing for Oconee catfish since the lake was impounded, and he and Rob fish the Middle Georgia Catfish Anglers tournament trail. That Saturday, he said they were “just messing around.”
The day was slow, they got only one bite in six hours, but it was a good one. They knew it might be a new lake record and wanted to get it officially weighed. Greg Abercrombie with Region 3 Fisheries Management met them with state certified scales, and the fish weighed 62.65 pounds. It was 51 1/2 inches long and had a girth of 31 1/2 inches. Paperwork to certify it as a Lake Oconee record is being processed and will be submitted to GON.
The big cat hit a big bait, a 10-inch cut gizzard shad. They were fishing 15 to 20 feet deep with the bait rigged on a 12/0 circle hook, Penn Rod and Cat Max reel spooled with 30-lb. Bass Pro Shops Off Shore monofilament line with a 60-lb. leader.
There was no current moving, but Rob says he does not think moving water matters on Oconee as much as it does on Sinclair where it really helps the catfish bite. Although the record fish was bleeding from the hook in the corner of its mouth, it was not a bad injury. Rob and Robbie kept the fish alive in their 100-gallon tank on the boat and were able to release it alive. Both Rob and Robbie emphasize that anglers keep smaller cats less than 20 pounds to eat and let the big ones go to be caught again. It takes a long time for any fish to grow to trophy size, so give them a chance, the Allgoods said.
Although Robbie has landed a good many catfish in 50-lb. range at Sinclair and Oconee, Rob can now claim the family record, as well as the Lake Oconee mark.
Lake Oconee Record Fish
|Jan Allen Ward
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