At least one South Carolina angler is glad he went fishing in bad weather.
Fishing guide Chris Simpson made one South Carolina angler very happy last week. While out on a fishing charter on Lake Monticello in Jenkinsville, a South Carolina angler made, what is possibly, the catch of his lifetime. The blue catfish weighed in at around 97 pounds and measured 51″ long and 39″ wide, respectively.
When South Carolina angler, who wished to stay anonymous, pulled the fish to the surface, Simpson said, “I got a little nervous, that this fish might even take the state record.”
But, take the state record it did not. The record for blue catfish in South Carolina is 109 pounds, 4 ounces. That fish was caught by South Carolina angler George A. Lijewski of Summerville in the Santee Cooper Tailrace Canal in 1991. And even Lijewski’s fish falls well short of the world record 143-pound blue catfish caught in the John H. Kerr Reservoir on the North Carolina-Virginia border.
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Simpson says that he tried to get the party to cancel the guided trip because of bad weather but they chose to go fish anyway. At around 11:30 a.m. they got the first bite of the day on the cut white perch that they were using for bait. The huge blue catfish was caught at a depth of around 60 feet and started, of what ended up being, an excellent day on the water. After releasing the monster, the group caught several more catfish in the 20- to 30-pound range, said Simpson.
Sounds like Lake Monticello might just be the place to go if you are looking to catch big catfish.