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May 29, 2009

Midlands angler breaks bullhead catfish record

An Irmo angler on the Broad River near Columbia recently broke the South Carolina state record for bullhead catfish by more than 3 ounces with a 6-pound, 6.3 ounce fish.

George Eleazer, from Irmo, S.C, was on the Broad River Wednesday, April 1 when he caught the record fish. Eleazer took the fish to a Food Lion on the Peak Exit just off I-26 north of Irmo and had the fish weighed on state certified scales at 6-pounds, 6.3 ounces. The bullhead catfish was certified officially as the new state record by Hal Beard, regional fisheries biologist for the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in Columbia. The fish had a total length of 27 inches.

Eleazer's fish replaces the South Carolina all-tackle record for freshwater bullhead catfish caught on the Edisto River in 1973.

Anglers who think they have a new state or world record freshwater fish should take it as soon as possible to the nearest set of state certified scales - such as grocery store scales. Two people at least 18 years old should witness the weighing of a potential state record fish. The witnesses will need to sign a state affidavit form once the angler obtains it from the DNR, so be sure to get the witnesses' addresses and phone numbers.

If you think you've caught a state record fish, take immediate steps to preserve the fish until a state fisheries biologist can verify it. It can be placed on ice, but freezing is preferred. Lightly wet the fish and wrap it in a dark, plastic bag. If possible, take a picture of the fish while it is still fresh for additional documentation. To record the fish officially, contact Barbara Hasty, Freshwater Fish Records Program, Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division, PO Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202, (803) 734-3891.

Check South Carolina Freshwater Fish Records.

The DNR in Columbia maintains all-tackle sportfishing records for freshwater fish and bowfishing records for a few species of nongame freshwater fish. No records are kept for individual line-test categories, for individual bodies of water, or for fish caught in nongame devices. Bowfishing records are kept for three species: common carp, bowfin and longnose gar.

Freshwater all-tackle sportfishing records are kept for 32 species: Striped Bass, White Bass, Hybrid Bass, White Perch, Largemouth Bass, Spotted Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Redeye Bass, Bluegill (Bream), Shellcracker, Redbreast, Warmouth, Flier, Pumpkinseed, White Crappie, Black Crappie, Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Sauger, Yellow Perch, Walleye, Chain Pickerel (Jackfish), Redfin Pike, Muskellunge (Muskie), Blue Catfish, Bullhead Catfish, Channel Catfish, Flathead Catfish, White Catfish, Mudfish (Bowfin) and American Shad.

Fish eligible for consideration by the South Carolina Freshwater Sportfishing Records Program must be caught by sport means, using standard tackle or pole and line or, in the case of bowfishing, bow and arrow. Fish caught in nets and traps or on trotlines and set hooks will not be considered.

DNR protects and manages South Carolina’s natural resources by making wise and balanced decisions for the benefit of the state’s natural resources and its people.

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