2 North Carolina men reel in state record catfish

Outdoors Bound

Rocky Baker of Four Oaks, broke the blue catfish record on July 10, left photo, and Taner Rudolph of Hubert broke the channel catfish record on July 17. Photos: North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

RALEIGH, N.C. (WBTW) — Two North Carolina fishermen broke state catfish records in July, including one that had stood for five decades, the state’s Wildlife Resources Commission said.

Rocky Baker of Four Oaks hauled in a record blue catfish record on July 10, and Taner Rudolph of Hubert broke the channel catfish record with his catch on July 17, the commission said.

Baker landed his 127-pound, 1-ounce blue catfish on the Roanoke River with gizzard shad. It measured 60 inches long and 40 1/4 inches in girth. He used a Mad Cat rod and Penn Squall reel, the commission said.

Rudolph reeled in his 26-pound channel catfish on the Neuse River, using cut bait and a Shakespeare rod and reel. The fish measured 38 5/8 inches long and 22 ¾ inches in girth. The fish broke a record set 50 years ago, the commission said.

These are the first two freshwater fish state records certified in North Carolina this year. Three anglers broke state catfish records in 2020, the commission said.

To qualify for a North Carolina freshwater fish state record, fish must be caught using a rod and reel or cane pole and be weighed on a scale certified by the state Department of Agriculture. The catch must also be witnessed by one observer, and the fish must be identified by a fisheries biologist from the Wildlife Commission. Anglers must submit an application with a full, side-view photo of the fish for record certification.

For a list of all freshwater fish state records in North Carolina or more information go to the State Record Fish program webpage.

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