SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. (2/17/2010)
Angler Earnest Timpson of Edison (Calhoun County) reeled in the new state record blue catfish from Lake Walter F. George on February 2, 2010. According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division (WRD), this 80 lbs., 4 oz., 49-inch catch beats the formerstate record by more than five pounds. The previous record weighed in at 75 pounds and was caught in 2008 from a private pond near Carrollton by Tyler Dodson.
“It is always exciting for anyone to reel in a state record catch as it reminds us that Georgia is such a fantastic place for anglers because there are numerous fishing opportunities and resources available, from big rivers and reservoirs to small neighborhood lakes,” says Division Fisheries Chief John Biagi. “The two most recent anglers to have held this blue catfish record also show that age is not a factor in landing a state record – Dodson was 15 years old and Timpson is 67.”
Blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus) are one of the largest species of North American catfish. The world record of 124 lbs. was caught in the Mississippi River in May 2005. They have a slate blue back fading to white on the belly, and their lack of body spots differentiates them from channel catfish. As opportunistic predators, they feed on crayfish, mussels, frogs and virtually anything else that is available. Blue catfish are native to the Coosa River drainage system, living primarily (but not exclusively) in large rivers and have been introduced to the lower Chattahoochee, Oconee and Altamaha rivers in Georgia.
Information about state record fish can be found at www.gofishgeorgia.com
or in the Sport Fishing Regulations Guidebook.
Editor’s note: Electronic photos of this state record blue catfish are available by contacting Melissa Cummings at (770) 918-6795 or firstname.lastname@example.org