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Etowah River Flathead Catfish Breaks Record

Angler Brittany Raper catches the biggest fish of her life.

Simone Gibson | September 19, 2018

Brittany Raper, of Farner, Tenn., caught a jaw-dropping flathead catfish weighing at 29-lbs., 8-ozs. while fishing on the Etowah River in Bartow County.

Brittany admits she is not an expert angler, but she was delighted to catch the fish.

“My husband is the fisherman, not me. I was honestly proud of myself since I am not the best at catching fish,” said Brittany

On the afternoon of July 27, Brittany and her husband, along with Chris Hughes of Orion Fishing Charters, headed up the Etowah River to go spend some time fishing for whatever would bite their live bait offerings that day.

“The water was usually up during this time, but on that particular day, it was really low,” said Brittany. “We hadn’t caught that many fish, so we decided to go downstream.”

After trying a couple of locations, Chris took Brittany and her husband farther downstream to an area called “The Rock Garden.” At first, her husband began catching fish, but around 1 p.m. Brittany’s luck changed.

“I was just about to put my fishing rod down and say I was done, and out of nowhere I felt a tug at my line,” said Brittany. “My husband said, ‘Reel it in.’ I told him, ‘It’s not that easy; I’m trying my best!’”

After a struggle, Brittany was finally able to get the huge flathead catfish to the boat. She was so happy and excited to catch her biggest fish yet.

“When I held the fish, I just couldn’t believe it,” said Brittany

“I actually was scared the fish was gonna come back to life and eat my wedding ring, but I decided to hold him up anyways for the picture.”

They had the fish weighed on certified scales by Barry Healey at Findley’s Butcher Shop in Cartersville. Brittany’s catfish broke the old record by more than 4 pounds.

After catching the new river record, she was immediately ready to go fishing again.

“It was awesome, and I would most definitely do it again,” said Brittany.

Click here to see more Etowah River records.

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