Call it "Big Blue."
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources just announced that angler Earnest Timpson of Edison, Ga., set a new state record Feb. 2 when on Lake Walter F. George he pulled in a blue catfish weighing 80 pounds and 4 ounces, beating the old record by five pounds. The fish was 49 inches or a little more than 4 feet long.
Fisherman Tyler Dodson of Carrollton on a private pond set the old record in 2008 with a 75-pound blue.
Said Wildlife Resources Division Fisheries Chief John Biagi: “The two most recent anglers to have heldthis blue catfish record ... show that age is not a factor in landing a state record. Dodson was 15 years old and Timpson is 67.”
Blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus) are among the largest of North American catfish. The world record of 124 pounds was caught in the Mississippi River in May 2005. The DNR offers this description of the species: "They have a slate blue back fading to white on the belly, and their lack of body spots differentiates them from channel catfish. As opportunistic predators, they feed on crayfish, mussels, frogs and virtually anything else that is available. Blue catfish are native to the Coosa River drainage system, living primarily (but not exclusively) in large rivers and have been introduced to the lower Chattahoochee, Oconee and Altamaha rivers in Georgia."