Jared Wagoner, of Cumming, reeled in what most anglers would consider a catch of a lifetime July 4th weekend—a new lake-record flathead catfish of almost 35 pounds. But Jared feels there are many more larger flatheads in Lake Lanier.
Jared and friends fished Thursday night, July 2, for roughly two hours, and they caught six flatheads. They later learned that four of their big flathead catfish would have broken the Lanier lake record, but they were unaware of the record at the time.
After realizing he had a chance at setting a Lake Lanier record, he and the group returned the lake late Friday night to try their hand at catching another monster. He only had an hour, but while fishing up a small creek with cut shad on a rod and reel, they hooked five more large catfish, three of which would have broken Lanier record, which at the time was 32-lbs., 12-ozs.
They took the biggest catfish to Hammond’s Fishing Center, where there is a certified scale.
“I caught it about 5:30 in the morning on Saturday, and I called everyone I could think of to weigh it,” said Jared.
On certified scales the flathead weighed 34-lbs., 15-ozs. They took a lot of pictures and later had the species verified by DNR Fisheries.
“I really don’t think the record will hold that long,” said Jared. “I just don’t think anyone has been weighing them in.”
Flathead catfish are not native and are a relatively new species being caught on Lanier, like on many reservoirs and rivers in Georgia, and the certified weights keep getting heavier.
“They’re biting really, really good,” said Jared.
He hopes to try setting the bar even higher, so his Lanier flathead record doesn’t get broken so quickly.