Sinclair Beast! Record Blue Catfish Weighs Almost 80 Pounds

GON Staff | April 29, 2024

Guy Covington, of Social Circle, set a new Lake Sinclair record for blue catfish with this 79.5-lb. beast caught on April 27, 2024. Guy’s wife and daughter were in the boat when he caught the fish.

Just how big are some of the catfish swimming in the waters of Lake Sinclair? We can confirm right at 80 pounds! A new Lake Sinclair record blue catfish was caught this weekend by Guy Covington, of Social Circle, that pulled the certified scales to 79.5 pounds. And Guy released the beast back into Sinclair alive and well. He hooked into the fish at about 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 27, 2024.

“Me and my family went down to stay at Oconee Springs Campground on Lake Sinclair. Little did I know it was gonna be one of the best fishing trips of my life,” Guy said. “I headed out Saturday morning to catfish a couple spots around the campground while my wife and daughter got ready. I caught one in the 30s and a few in the teens. They were biting pretty good.”

Guy was rigged and ready for big catfish. He fishes the Middle Georgia Catfish Anglers tournament trail, which has an event at Sinclair in two weeks.

“We all are set and equipped to catch these big catfish,” he said.

His G3 Sportsman boat is a special catfish edition that includes an 80-gallon tank.

“In our tournaments you can only weigh live fish, so all these boats are set up— you need a big tank to get three big fish to a weigh-in.”

Guy typically fishes eight Hellcat rods spooled with 80-lb. test line and with 100-lb. leaders. He uses a 10/0 hook, and he only uses fresh bait. He caught live bream on a hook and line that morning and some big gizzard shad in a cast net. He fishes heavy cover like big rocks that break the current and give baitfish a place to hide, and he said that attracts the big predator fish.

“I picked my wife and daughter up around 10 a.m. I wanted to fish one more spot before we went to Crooked Creek to get some lunch. Thankfully I did,” Guy said. “I was focusing on flatheads,” Guy said. “The whole left side of my boat was rigged for flatheads with live bream. I tossed a cut bait out to the middle of the channel—this one was probably a 12-inch gizzard shad—the head was bigger than my hand.

“I was anchored up in one of my favorite spots. We were there for 15 minutes or so when all of a sudden one of my reels starts peeling drag. I grab the rod, but there was nothing I could do. I told my wife, ‘This is a big fish.’ The more and more I felt the fish, I knew it was one of the biggest I have ever caught. My wife quickly started reeling all the other rods in. The fish finally wore out and I could finally start gaining ground on it. After a long fight, I started to see bubbles coming to the top, and that’s when I knew he was close. Then finally the huge catfish comes to the surface and my wife dips the net and gets it—it took both of us to lift it in the boat.

“As soon as I had him in the boat, I knew it could possibly be the lake record. My good friend Clay Bishop was fishing down there that day, so I called him for help. It took both of us to get it up to where we could weigh it. It came in at 79.5 pounds. At that point I knew I had the new lake record. Being on a Saturday, there was no place close by to get the fish certified. Thankfully Farmers Hardware in Madison was willing to let us use their certified scales. Big thank you to them and to Brandon Baker, the biologist with the DNR, for making it happen. I am still in shock. Once in a lifetime fish here in Georgia.”

The record catfish was released alive and healthy back in Lake Sinclair.

“That’s what we’re all about,” Guy said. 

After getting the huge blue catfish weighed on certified scales and verified by a DNR biologist, Guy released the fish back into Lake Sinclair.

Guy competes in catfish tournaments that require catfish be weighed alive, so his boat is equipped with an 80-gallon livewell.

Guy’s fish topped the previous Lake Sinclair record by more than 6 pounds. The record had been held by Brandon Pitts with a 73-lb., 12.16-oz. blue catfish caught and released on Jan. 26, 2024. The Sinclair lake record before Brandon’s fish was held by James Rowland with a 60-lb., 7.8-oz. blue cat caught in June, 2023.

Brandon Pitts with the previous record blue catfish from Lake Sinclair. He caught this 73-lb., 12.16-oz. fish while fishing with his buddy, Kenny Scott (left) on Jan. 26, 2024.

The Georgia state-record catfish was a true monster, weighing 111 pounds. The fish was caught from the upper end of  Lake Eufaula on the Chattahoochee River in 2020.

Lake Sinclair Record Fish

Largemouth Bass13-lbs., 2-ozs.Jimmy Edge02/10/90
Hybrid Bass10-lbs., 7-ozs.David Phillips11/27/98
Striped Bass42-lbs.Mike Wicks-
White Bass2-lbs., 7-ozs.James Borders Jr.07/12/92
Black Crappie2-lbs., 11.5-ozs.Brent Moye01/22/00
Channel Catfish21-lbs., 5-ozs.Kenny Durden05/02/07
Longnosed Gar15-lb., 3-ozs.Dustin Turk08/18/09
Flathead Catfish39-lbs.Tommy Spell07/19/22
Blue Catfish79-lbs., 8-ozs.Guy Covington04/27/2024
Yellow Perch15.04-ozs.Eric Phillips02/09/22
Spotted Bass3-lbs., 9.76-ozs.Larry Cason05/10/21
Warmouth12-ozs.Christopher Leverette02/22/23

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