GON Recognizes New Record For Jackson Blue Cat
On a cold night in February, this almost 44-lb. Jackson catfish bit in 5 feet of water.
David Stacy, of Covington, recently stayed up all night just to catch the fish of a lifetime on Lake Jackson.
The night of Feb. 14, David couldn’t wait any longer and decided to drop his boat in the water in hunt for a massive catfish.
“I grew up fishing. I used to cut grass just to make money to go to the pay lake,” said David.
An avid fisherman, David still jumps on any opportunity he has to get in the boat, no matter the weather conditions.
David is not traditional when it comes to fishing for catfish, however. Instead of sitting in one spot waiting for a bite, David trolls the lake with six rods.
He puts out two 7-foot rods on the back of the boat, letting out 150 feet of line using a line counter. On each side of the boat, David puts two 7-foot rods with 125 feet of line. On the front of the boat, he uses 11-foot rods with approximately 100 feet of line. The variances and positioning help him avoid tangling, which is important when a big catfish takes one of the baits.
The night of Feb. 14, shortly after getting all of his lines baited with cut bream, David hooked the monster blue catfish around 2:30 a.m. in only 5 feet of water.
“In only 5 feet of water, they’re hard to catch,” said David, “They start pulling like a bass and come out of the water.”
After managing to keep his boat under control, and keep the catfish out of the other lines and net him with no help, David finally had the fish under control.
David made a few phone calls, and he was directed to a marina on the lake with certified scales. He trekked back across the lake only to find they were still closed at that early morning hour.
“I wanted him to stay alive,” said David. “I kept him in a net in the water, and as daylight came, I headed back toward Reasors Landing.”
David loaded up the fish and headed to the WRD Fisheries office in Social Circle, where biologist Keith Weaver was able to officially weigh the catfish at 43-lbs., 11-ozs.
The 42-inch-long blue catfish was later recognized by Georgia Outdoor News as the new lake record.
“Keith was so helpful and really knew what he was talking about,” said David, “I learned even more about the species from him during my visit.”
It was obvious that David’s catch had something bulging in its stomach; he would later find a recently swallowed 15-inch crappie inside.
“Although skill brought him in, I was really lucky, too. I was in the right spot at the right time,” said David. “I just love fishing, my next goal is to catch the lake record flathead.”
David has quite a feat in front of him. According to GON’s official lake records, the Lake Jackson flathead catfish record weighs 62-lbs., 3-ozs. It was caught in 2013.
The complete list of Georgia’s official Lake and River Records is kept and compiled by Georgia Outdoor News and appears in the February issue of GON magazine each year. For information, contact GON by emailing [email protected] or calling 800.438.4663.
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