The Georgia state blue catfish record was smashed by 18 lbs. The new record is the 111-pound Eufaula Lake monster that was caught by Tim Trone, of Havana, Florida, last Saturday, October 17, 2020 during a tournament.
“I’m next to myself now,” Tim said.
Tim was fishing on a daytime Chat Cat catfish course that was outside the Florence Marina at the upper end of Eufaula Lake, also known as the Walter F. George Reservoir.
“I went up the river a few miles around Omaha,” Tim said. “I was fishing in a deep corner with a Santi device with the bream cut in. I was in about 40, 45 feet of water.”
By 11:15 a.m., the time Tim set the new state record, he had three fish in the boat that weighed about 15 pounds. The 111-pound fish, he said, did not bite as most fishermen had expected.
“The fish has bitten like a big turtle, nothing rough, just a little bump,” Tim said. “When I went down, I started swinging. When I backed off, the line just came. She never fought. I staggered like 100lbs. Floating log, no fight.”
“When the fish hit the surface, I saw the tail and thought I had the 50 pound big fish. I was looking for it. I was so excited.
“When I lifted it near the boat, I was like, ‘Oh my God! What is this?’ I took her on the boat and said to myself, “How am I going to get this fish in the boat?” I have a really big net, but all I could think about was I got my hands in her gills because I wouldn’t stick my hand in her mouth. In the gills, not interested in how sharp the gills are.I decided that if I lost my finger to this fish, I am fine with it.
“All I remember is putting my hand in the gills and the next thing I remember I was standing on top of that fish looking at it at the bottom of the boat. I don’t remember pulling it on its side or putting it in the floorboard or nothing.”
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It was a surreal moment where Tim had to regain his composure. A few minutes later, he manages to send messages to his friend Clayton Lane, the same friend who spoke to Tim at the tournament fishing.
“I texted him that I caught a hawk, not a boar, a hawk,” Tim said. “I sent him a picture, and he was thinking, ‘Tim is messing with me. ”
Clayton apparently thought Tim never sent him a picture of a catfish in his boat during daylight hours.
“I catch flathead fish, and 90% of the time I fish in the dark,” Tim said.
Tim fiddled with everything as he planned his next move. Meanwhile, there was a man on the nearby river who weighed 100 pounds. On a large scale, Tim said the fish got rid of its scales. At that point Tim decided to head back down the slope and put the catfish in a 100-gallon aerated tank in the back of his truck. Tim sat in the parking lot on his phone and found someone bringing 300 pounds. Scale to the weight ramp, revealing that the giant blue catfish weighed 151 pounds.
“That weight would have broken the world record, which is currently 143 pounds,” Tim said.
Tim still didn’t put catfish on a set of approved scales, but he knew he had a potential world record and needed to figure out how to get a certified weight.
“It was all done, we won the championship, I went home and started talking to some people,” Tim said.
They finally contacted Jerry Baggett, owner of Jones Country Meats, Inc. at Climax, and agreed to interrupt his UGA/Alabama game to meet them at 10 p.m. for a fish-based weighting.
“Our scales are state approved, and the fish weighed 111 pounds,” Jerry said.
Now Tim had to figure out what to do because he had a 40-pound difference between the weights, even though the weight at Jones Country Meats, Inc. It was an approved weight, 300 lbs. The scale on the slope is clearly inaccurate.
“I decided to take that fish to the Albany Bureau of Fisheries on Monday morning,” Tim said. “On Saturday I told my boss that I would not be at work on Monday. I sent him a picture, and he was very happy for me.”
Earlier today, Tim ended up at Paradise PFA where WRD also weighed the fish on their approved scales, recorded at 110 pounds, 6 ounces, the weight the state listed on Georgia’s freshwater fish list.
He went He will recognize 111 lbs. Weight is registered to Jones Country Meats, Inc. For the new record of blue catfish in Lake Eufaula.
The blue catfish was previously recorded in the state of Georgia A 93 lbs. Richard Barnett caught a monster from the Altamaha River In October 2017.
Eufaula’s official GON lake records
See all official Georgia River and Lake Georgia records here.
fish log requirements
• Fish must be caught legally with a rod and reel in a manner consistent with the state’s fishing and fisheries regulations.
• Catch must be weighed on USDA approved Georgia scales in the presence of at least two witnesses, who must be willing to provide their names and phone numbers so that they can be contacted to verify the weight of the fish.
• Weight witnesses must be at least 18 years old, must not be members of the fisherman’s immediate family and have no close personal relationship with the fisherman.
• The catch must be positively identified by qualified DNR personnel.
GON records are collected and maintained by GON, to be granted at GON’s discretion. Additional steps may be required to look at the registry.