143 Reasons to Fish in Virginia

Active & Adventurous - Outdoors

State Record 
Monster Catfish from Buggs Island Lake May Be World Record

If you need a reason to fish in Virginia, the record-breaking catfish may provide you with 143 reasons, one for each pound the big sucker weighed!

143_State_Record_Blue_Catfish-Credit_Dallas_Weston_Mecklenburg_News-Progress_250The State Record Fish Committee of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) has confirmed that the 143-pound blue catfish caught on June 18, in the John H. Kerr Reservoir, known as Buggs Island Lake, is a new state record. The committee members reviewed the application, verified the location of the catch as well as the species, weight, length, and girth of the fish. A VDGIF Conservation Police Officer and Fisheries Biologist were present at the weigh-in.

The new state record blue catfish was caught by Richard Nicholas “Nick” Anderson in John H. Kerr Reservoir (Buggs Island Lake) on Saturday, June 18, near the Goat Island section of the lake. Anderson was fishing with his father and brother when he hooked the potential world record fish. After forty-five minutes, the fish was finally wrangled aboard their pontoon boat. The fish was weighed at Mecklenburg Supply Inc. in Chase City, Virginia, which was one of the few venues available with a scale large enough to accommodate the big fish. 

At 143 pounds and 57 inches in length with a girth of 43.5 inches the new state record blue catfish smashes the previous record. The previous state record blue catfish weighed 109 pounds and was caught by Tony Milam in Buggs Island Lake near the confluence of the Dan and Roanoke rivers on March 17, 2011. This is only the third confirmed freshwater fish over 100 pounds caught in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) will handle official certification of the trophy blue catfish as a potential new world record.  If certified by the IGFA, the Virginia blue catfish will shatter the previous world record, a 130-pound blue catfish caught in the Missouri River in 2010.



Nick Anderson, who caught the 143-pound Virginia state record and possible world record blue catfish, hoists the monster cat with help from his father, Rick Anderson, and brother, Jeramie Mullis. (Photo taken by Dallas Weston/Mecklenburg News-Progress.)

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