State-Record Blue Catfish A Chattahoochee Monster

Ernest Timpson, of Edison, went crappie fishing on the Chattahoochee River below Lake Eufaula’s Walter F. George Dam on Feb. 2 and came home with a much heavier stringer than he had anticipated. He boated the new state-record blue catfish, a certified 80-lb., 4-oz., 49-inches long behemoth that bests the old record by more than 5 pounds.

The crappie weren’t biting, and Ernest had only managed to land a few white bass, so he decided to get his heavy tackle out and go after catfish. He was sinking big hunks of white-bass fillets to the bottom in a 25-foot hole in the tailrace. He boated a 30-pounder first, and then the big boy hit.

“I hung into this cat, and I thought he was going to take all the line off my reel,” Ernest said. “I guarantee you he took 250 yards off my reel.”

With 25-lb. test, Ernest was forced to finesse the brute. Twenty minutes into the fight, he still had not even seen the fish. After another 20 minutes, he finally eased it up to the side of the boat. He was fishing alone, so netting the fish was an ordeal.

“I was give slam out. The only thing I could think about was getting home to get some rest,” was Ernest’s first thought once he had the fish in the boat. “It looked like a baby elephant with the snout cut off.”

DNR fisheries biologist John Kilpatrick weighed and certified the fish.

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