On the afternoon of May 9, Jeffery Goodman, of Decatur, caught the new blue catfish record for Lake Sinclair, according to GON’s official records. The huge catfish weighed 51-lbs., 14-ozs. on certified scales.
WRD Fisheries Biologist Keith Weaver confirmed it was a blue catfish and weighed it around 5:15 p.m. at the Walton Fish Hatchery. Excitement surrounded Jeffery as he showed Keith the fish.
“Mr. Goodman was all smiles as he exited his vehicle,” Keith said. “Everyone was extremely happy as handshakes and high fives were numerous.”
Jeffery went out on the lake with his uncle and their guide Paul Gourley around noon. This was his second guided trip with Paul, who actually has been a part of the previous four blue catfish records at Sinclair.
One cast with a big, lively worm was just different than the rest, and after a nice 20-minute fight with the fish, Jeffery reeled in a monster blue.
“Paul felt like it might have been a trophy fish, so he called the offices and told them we were trying to get there as soon as possible,” Jeffery said.
Sure enough, his fish broke the previous record caught in 2016 by more than 3 pounds, which had already topped the one before by nearly 10 pounds. Georgia’s official Lake & River Records have been compiled and are kept by Georgia Outdoor News (GON).
“My whole family fishes, and I know no one in my whole family has ever caught a fish that big, so it was just a great feeling,” Jeffery said. “I never would have thought we would have caught a fish that big.”
All of GON’s Georgia Lake and River Records are now online and in real time.