Monster catfish caught on $20 Walmart rod might set record

Monster catfish caught on $20 Walmart rod might set record

Outdoors

Monster catfish caught on $20 Walmart rod might set record

Who says you need the most expensive, high-tech gear to catch the biggest fish?

A Virginia angler last Saturday used a $20 rod purchased at Walmart to land a flathead catfish that tipped a digital scale at 66.12-pounds.

Jeffry Dill poses with flathead catfish. Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Dill

That’s nearly two pounds heavier than a state record (66 pounds, 4 ounces) that has stood since 1994.

Jeffrey Dill, who caught the catfish at Lake Smith, told USA Today on Wednesday that he was still waiting for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to approve his catch as the new record.

“It shouldn’t be a problem,” Dill said.

Chad Boyce, a state fisheries biologists, told ABC affiliate WAVY that he expects the catch to be approved by the record committee.

“It was a true river monster,” Boyce said.

Lake Smith, in Virginia Beach, is a vast but shallow fishery that does not typically produce giant catfish.

Dill, 35, used cut shad for bait and said a buddy netted the fish after a 15-minute fight from a fishing dock. However, the net handle broke and Dill had to reach down wrestle the netted behemoth onto the dock.

The pair realized immediately that the catfish was close to record size.

“I talked with some of my older buddies and they said some people fish their whole lives and never get close to a state record,” Dill told WAVY. “It’s a big deal. I’m very proud.

Said Boyce: “It was a big fish that you don’t expect to see in this part of the state, especially in Lake Smith. That’s definitely a trophy.”

–Image showing Jeffrey Dill with trophy catfish is courtesy of Jeffrey Dill

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