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April Brings More State Fishing Records

Blue catfish, smallmouth buffalo, vermilion snapper records fall in three states.

April Brings More State Fishing Records

Pictured: Cody Carver (left) holding his record 61.28 pound West Virginia blue catfish catch; Mark Brandon Neville (top right) caught this 5-pound, 11.68-ounce vermilion snapper in Georgia; John Dirks (bottom right) with Iowa record smallmouth buffalo, which weighed 43 pounds.

April continues to be a hot month for breaking state fishing records. Here’s some of the latest reports:

West Virginia Big Blue Cat

A caught-and-released blue catfish broke the West Virginia state record for weight, with Cody Carver’s 61.28-pound blue caught April 8 from the Marmet Pool of the Kanawha River. Carver, of Dry Branch, W.V., caught the fish from a boat using cut shad for bait.

The fish broke the previous record of 59.74 pounds. Carver’s fish measured 45.51 inches long; however, well short of the state blue catfish record for length (50.15 inches). The fish was measured by West Virginia DNR hatchery manager Ryan Bosserman.

More info on West Virginia fishing

Georgia Vermilion Snapper

Mark Brandon Neville beat the Georgia state saltwater fishing record for vermilion snapper by more than two pounds, according to the Georgia DNR. Neville’s 5-pound, 11.68-ounce caught on April 11 beat the old record of 3-11 (Scott Funderburk, 2018).

Neville, of Richmond Hill, Ga., caught the record while jigging in 160 feet of water at Artificial Reef DW, about 70 nautical miles east of Sapelo Island. His catch was weighed at DNR’s Richmond Hill Hatchery using a certified scale.

More info on Georgia saltwater fishing

Iowa Smallmouth Buffalo

The new Iowa smallmouth buffalo state record was actually caught in late 2021, but it wasn’t until April for John Dirks’ 43-pounder to be certified.

DNR waited to certify the catch until genetics tests confirmed the species. "Smallmouth buffalo are thought to hybridize at times with the other two native buffalo species in Iowa, black buffalo and bigmouth buffalo," the agency said in a news release.

Dirks caught the record on Dec. 1, 2021 in the lower Wapsipinicon River.

More info on Iowa fishing

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