Teen’s Blue Catfish Shatters North Carolina Record

bleucatifsh record, catfish, record, blue catfish,
Landon Evans, 15, of Benson, N.C., landed the 117-pound 8-ounce blue catfish on June 11.North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Courtesy of Landon Evans

Fishermen on North Carolina's Lake Gaston have been on a tear of late. Since December 20, the lake has produced a state-record blue catfish on three occasions. According to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, on June 11, Landon Evans, 15, of Benson, N.C., landed the most recent record—a 117-pound 8-ounce fish.

Evans's blue cat, which measured 55 inches long and had a 40.5-inch girth, hit a cut gizzard shad the teenager was using for bait. The fish was more than 12 pounds heavier than the previous record blue, which weighed 105 pounds. The fish may even be a line-class world record (for 30-pound line) and a junior-angler world record, North Carolina Sportsman reports.

Evans was fishing from a boat dock just after dark when the fish bit. It's a dock he fishes often, Evans told North Carolina Sportsman, because it has deep water and cover within casting distance. "As soon as I picked up the rod and reel, I knew it was a larger fish than I'd ever caught before," Evans said. "[I've caught] a fair number of 30- and 40-pounders, but nothing like this. It was pulling hard and took line whenever it wanted. I was thinking it might go 50 or 60 pounds."

When the fish surfaced 20 minutes after it bit, it was clear that Evans had underestimated its size. Landing the fish required help from his mom, dad, and two nets.

“I’m really proud of Landon,” his father, Brandon Evans, told reporters. “This was quite the catch, and he did everything but netting it on his own. These records are something he’ll remember all his life.