Josh Warren and his buddy Tyler Watts were out for what they thought would be just another day of bass fishing this past Sunday on Lake Wylie. As it turned out, they got a big surprise when Watts hauled in a flathead catfish approaching 50 pounds.

"We had caught some bass on buzz baits earlier in the day, but with the recent rains we figured the bite up the river would be even better," Warren said. "We stopped at a bridge and started fishing the pilings and when it hit, I could tell it wasn't a bass."

 

It took a good 15 minutes to even get the huge fish off the bottom, and it finally broke the surface a short time later, Warren said. Using a 7-foot-6 jig rod with 20-pound test and an Evercast football jighead and Strike King plastic trailer, it's a surprise the fish didn't break his line after the first tug.

 

"Tyler (Watts) asked where the net was, and I had to tell him there wasn't one in the boat," Warren said. "It didn't matter though, this fish wouldn't have fit in any net anyway."

 

Too big for the livewell, Warren tossed the huge fish back – after a few photos of course.

 

 "Maybe someone can catch her in a few years and set a new record," he said. "I still am trying to get over catching a flathead this large on an artificial bait."

 

So goes the catfishing on Lake Wylie these days. According to guide Rodger Taylor, high water levels continue to make for a great shallow-water bite. Creek inflows seem to be where they have been concentrating lately, and anchoring typically allows for the best presentation. White perch and gizzard shad have produced decent numbers, Taylor said, although Watts can attest to the attraction of artificial lures.