Two Giant Sinclair Catfish Caught And Released

Had these blue cats been weighed on certified scales and held their weight, both would have beaten the current lake record.

Hunter Galloway | April 5, 2016

Guide Chad Smith (left) helps Rufus Brown hold up a Lake Sinclair blue catfish that weighed 48-lbs., 8-ozs. They released the fish. If the fish was weighed on certified scales and kept its weight, it would have beaten the old lake record by 10 pounds.

Catfish grow big, and Georgia’s lakes sure seem to hold good numbers of these giants of the murky depths. Case in point, a recent outing on Lake Sinclair.

On March 29, Chad Smith, a guide on lakes Sinclair and Oconee for almost nine years, took Rufus Brown and Brian Brown out fishing on Lake Sinclair to catch catfish.

Chad’s first stop early that morning was at a location that has deep ledges. Chad baited the hooks with filleted gizzard shad. They hadn’t been there five minutes when Rufus got a bite. After 15 minutes of fighting a huge fish, Rufus finally guide the catfish into Chad’s oversized net.

“Once I netted it, I immediately knew this was a 40-plus pound blue catfish,” said Chad. “I knew this fish would shatter the current lake record.”

This first fish of the day came in at a whopping weight of 48-lbs., 8-ozs. on Chad’s hand-held digital scales. Rufus took pictures and chose to release the big catfish instead of taking it somewhere to have it weighed on certified scales to be considered for GON‘s Lake and River Records. He knew a blue catfish of this size lays a lot of eggs and spawns.

Not long after releasing the record-class fish, Brian got a bite. Brian ended up boating a 40-lb., 10-oz. blue catfish. This catfish also would have topped the standing record, but Brian decided to release it, as well.

The current Sinclair lake record for a blue catfish is 38-lbs., 7-ozs., caught by Kenny Scott last September. Chad is good friends with Kenny. Kenny’s lake record catfish was caught during a catfish tournament trail, which Chad also fishes.

By late morning, Rufus and Brian had a cooler full of catfish to eat, in addition to catching the two lake-record-caliber fish that are still swimming in Lake Sinclair. This is one day of fishing that will be hard to beat. It’s not too often you get to catch a lake-record catfish, but to catch two possible lake-record blue catfish in a couple of hours is one great day of fishing.

For info on Chad Smith’s guide trips, contact him at (706) 207-2411.

Brian Brown caught this 40-lb. blue catfish on the same morning as Rufus. It, too, had the potential to be a new lake record.

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