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Another Etowah River Record Catfish Caught, Certified And Released

The Etowah mark for blue catfish now stands at 36-lbs., 5-ozs.

GON Staff | August 12, 2022

Greg Mitchell with the new record Etowah River blue catfish. Greg caught the 36-lb., 5-oz. cat while fishing a cut bream on Aug. 4, 2022.

On Aug. 4, 2022, Greg Mitchell and Reggie Terhune, both from Rome, decided to to hit the Etowah River and fish a few of their favorite fishing holes. Striped bass was their target fish, but Greg said their main goal was to enjoy an afternoon fishing and relive past adventures they each have had on the Etowah.

“And we both have had plenty,” Greg said.

Greg had caught one small bream earlier during the trip and decided to use it as cutbait under a balloon while drifting downstream. It wasn’t long before a big fish had taken the cut bait and hooked itself perfectly on a new Gamakatsu circle hook. Greg said the big fish took 10 minutes or more to land and put up a great fight. He was fishing with an Abu Garcia 5600C baitcaster reel paired with a Quantum 7-6 medium-heavy rod. Greg said his rig included a 16-inch steel leader with a snap swivel attached to 20-lb. Stren line.

After landing, weighing, and taking photos—and a few yee-haws—they were curious about the record weight for a blue catfish on the Etowah. Surprisingly to them, the existing record was 27 pounds. According to GON, the record-keeper for Georgia lake and river record fish, the marks for some species on some lakes and rivers are still “benchmark” weights, established to get a record started. Once a benchmark record is set, it usually doesn’t take long for a large fish to be certified that’s tough to top. The 27-lb. record Etowah River blue catfish was just caught by Hugh Stephens on June 3. It was also released after being certified.

On scales they had in the boat, Greg’s catfish weighed 35 pounds on one scale and almost 37 on another. Greg called his friend Tyler Brown and asked if he could confirm the record weight.

“Tyler confirmed the current record weight and offered his help in getting the fish from our boat to a safe place overnight in order to have it weighed on certified scales the following day since the time was after business hours that day,” Greg said.

The next morning, Tyler and Greg took the fish and had it officially certified at the DNR Fisheries office in Armuchee. They then successfully and safely released the big fish back into the Etowah River.

“It was very satisfying to watch the big blue swim away,” Greg said.

Etowah River Record Fish

Largemouth Bass 7-lbs., 7.68-ozs. Eric Black 01/27/2016
Flathead Catfish 38-lbs., 0.8-ozs. John Morgado 05/17/2022
Blue Catfish 36-lbs., 5-ozs. Greg Mitchell 08/04/2022
Striped Bass 38-lbs. Keith Cole 05/1994
Yellow Perch 1-lb., 10.2-ozs. Eric Black 01/14/2015
Longnose Gar 19-lbs., 4.64-ozs. Kyle Williams 08/08/2018
Spotted Bass 4-lbs., 0.5-ozs. Jackson Sibley 03/21/2022
Rainbow Trout 2-lbs. Todd West 10/01/2020

 

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