June 30, 2004
Raleigh, N.C. – Joel Lineberger of Long Island, N.C., broke the
state record for blue catfish when he hauled in an 85-pound monster
from Lake Norman on June 19. The new record holder measured 51.25
inches in length and 35.5 inches in girth. Lineberger enticed the
blue catfish to strike a white perch fished on a bottom rig and
hauled it in with a Penn baitcasting reel mounted on a 7-foot
Shakespeare Ugly Stick.
Joel Lineberge's former state record blue
catfish NC WRC Photo
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission on June 24 confirmed
Lineberger’s blue catfish as a new state record, besting by two
pounds the previous record blue catfish reeled in by Concord angler
Andy Richmond from Badin Lake in May 2003. The largest blue catfish
on record weighed 116.12 pounds and was caught in the Mississippi
River in Arkansas, according to the International Game Fish
Lineberger didn’t have to travel far to catch his state record blue
catfish. Fishing with his brother Ronnie above the N.C. 150 bridge,
Lineberger said he and his brother were within sight of his lakeside
house when the big blue cat struck.
The record fish was certified by fisheries biologist Bob Brown, who
has seen his share of large blue cats while working on Lake Norman.
“I've seen 25-pounders in gill nets when we were helping a graduate
student do research on Norman,” Brown said. “I knew there were some
blue catfish at least that big in the lake, but that fish that Mr.
Lineberger caught is the biggest blue cat that I’ve ever seen.”
To qualify for a state record, an angler must have caught the fish
on a hook and line, must have the fish weighed on a certified scale
witnessed by one observer, have the fish positively identified by a
qualified expert from the Wildlife Commission and submit an
application with a full, side-view photo of the fish.
To qualify for a state record, anglers must have caught their fish
on a hook and line, must have their fish weighed on a certified
scale witnessed by one observer, have the fish positively identified
by a qualified expert from the Wildlife Commission and submit an
application with a full, side-view photo of the fish. For a list of
all freshwater fish state records in North Carolina, visit the
Freshwater Fishing Records page.
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