West Point Flathead Broken At Southern Catfish GA Tournament
For the second time this year, the West Point Lake flathead catfish record has been broken. The latest angler to do it was Mike Felter, of Waco, with a 48-pounder caught before midnight on Aug. 22 while fishing in the Southern Catfish GA tournament. Video from the tournament’s weigh-in and the new record catfish is below.
“It was the first catfishing tournament that me and my buddies ever did,” said Mike. “We’ve been doing bass tournaments for the past 15 years and just got burned out on them.
“Growing up as kids in New York, we used to fish the Delaware River a lot. We fished just to see the biggest fish we could catch. I said let’s go back to when we were kids and just go fishing and have fun with it.”
Mike and his two buddies, Daniel Simpson and George Philhower, were likely acting just like kids when the 48-pounder finally made it into their boat.
“We were fishing just south of Ringer in the mouth of a creek,” said Mike. “We were just hitting points as we were going down.”
Mike uses baitcasters with bait clickers and likes 20-lb. test for his main line before tying a supped-up Carolina rig with a 3- to 4-oz. no-roll sinker, a 50-lb. leader and an 8/0 to 14/0 circle hook. His go-to bait for catfishing is a live bream, which is what the new record fish hit.
“It just kind of went click, click, click, click, stop, click, click, click, and then it just started taking drag. And then I just set back on it and held on for life,” said Mike.
Although Mike said the fight seemed to go on and on, it likely only last five or six minutes.
“If it wasn’t for Daniel and George, I probably would have never caught it because I got hung up in the anchor line,” said Mike. “We got it freed up from that, and then Daniel was reeling in and moving other rods because we had like eight or nine rods out the back of the boat and then George netted it. It was a team effort.”
Mike and his crew ended up winning the tournament with 72 pounds, and his big fish weighed 49.82 pounds on unofficial scales at the ramp. At the time, the record was a 41-pounder caught by Gene Schmitt earlier this year.
Mike went to Home Depot and purchased a big tote to house the big catfish. Using an aerator, he was able to keep the fish alive until he had it weighed on Sunday afternoon by Brent Yarbrough at SLM Recycling in Carrollton. Brent said GON readers are more than welcome to bring a fish by to have it weighed on their certified scales.
West Point Lake Records
Requirements For Record Fish
• Fish must be caught legally by rod and reel in a manner consistent with state game and fish regulations.
• Catch must be weighed on accurate Georgia DOA certified scales with at least two witnesses present, who must be willing to provide their names and phone numbers so they can be contacted to verify the weighing of the fish.
• Witnesses to the weighing must be at least 18 years old, and they must not be members of the angler’s immediate family nor have a close personal relationship with the angler.
• Catch must be positively identified by qualified DNR personnel.
GON’s records are compiled and maintained by GON, to be awarded at GON’s discretion. Additional steps may be required for record consideration.
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