June 21, 2011
What's in the water at Buggs Island Lake, Virginia? Apparently, giant blue catfish.
Back in March, Tony Milam set the current Virginia state record with a 109-pound blue. Three weeks ago, Rick Anderson pulled out a 95-pound monster out of the lake. And this past Saturday, Nick Anderson (Rick's son) — a 29-year-old high school football coach from Greenville, N.C. — caught a fish that will top them all. His trophy, a 143-pound behemoth, will probably shatter the state record and set a new world record as well!
Anderson's monster whiskerfish measured 57 inches long and boasted a girth of 43.5 inches.
The fight to land the mega-cat lasted 45 minutes according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Anderson brought the fish boatside four different times, and in the process, the giant fish destroyed his only net. Finally, Anderson and his step-brother Jeramie Mullis and father Rick wrestled the fish onto the deck of their pontoon boat, sparking an onboard celebration.
"My brother and my dad were jumping up and down. I just sat there kind of shocked. At the time we didn't know how much he weighed. We knew he was big. We knew we were going to get him certified and measured. But we didn't know he was going to be a world record," Anderson shared.
It was almost 9 p.m. on Saturday night. Now, their challenge was to find a place with certified scales where they could weigh the fish.
The trio called the local sheriff, who was able to get a hardware store to open up and officially weigh the cat.
After the weigh-in, the potential world record blue catfish was placed in a 250-gallon container with aerators, but didn't survive past Sunday afternoon. Virginia fisheries biologists believe the cat was between 15 and 25 years old.
Anderson told Kinston Varsity Sports that he used a Shakespeare "Ugly Stick" rod, a Shimano reel with 30 pound test line, and a self-made rig. His bait? You'll have to figure out a way to marry into his family as it's a closely guarded secret.
The International Game Fish Association will have to certify the giant catch, but if it's accepted, Anderson's fish will easily break the current 130-pound world record, which was caught last July by Missouri's Greg Bernal.