A fisherman from Anderson landed a 79-pound, 9.6-ounce flathead catfish last Wednesday in the Cooper River that has earned a share of the state record.

Danny Aderhold was on a week-long fishing outing on the river with his brother-in-law, Dean Brown, and his nephew, Dillon Brown, near the DuPont Cooper River Plant when the big fish hit a piece of American shad he was using for bait.

“We were anchored up along the bank, and I just threw my line out as far as I could get it, trying to change things up” said Aderhold. “When he hit, it was quite a fight, and when we got him in, we knew it was a big fish, but I had no idea he was a state record.”

Aderhold had the fish on the cleaning table when an acquaintance – after checking and finding that the existing record was a 79-pound, 4-ounce flathead from the Santee Cooper Diversion Canal caught by Jessica Preston in 2001.

“We weighed it on a set of brand new scales, and the fish weighed 82½ pounds,” said Aderhold. “After contacting the (S.C. Department of Natural Resources), they said they’d have to get a set of certified scales out to weigh it officially, and I’m sure the fish lost a good bit of weight between when I caught it around 2 p.m. and when they got there.”

SCDNR regulations require that a fish that weighs more than 25 pounds, must exceed the previous record by eight ounces to qualify as a new record of it will be considered as tying the existing record.

“To my way of thinking, if two people are running a race, and one beats the other by a tenth of a second, he’s the winner,” said Aderhold. “Although I think they need to look at the way they decide the record, I’m just happy to have caught the fish.”

Aderhold said that before he landed the record fish, he had another big catfish break his line.

“I got an e-mail from (SCDNR) explaining the rule so I figure I’ll just have to stay here and catch the one that broke off so there won’t be any question,” he said.