A good day on Lake Moultrie is catching a 2-pound crappie. A 25-pound catfish also makes for a memorable day. So Thomas Allen of John’s Island, fishing on a Jan. 2 trip on Lake Moultrie with his father, Greg, and guide Kevin Davis out of Black’s Camp in Cross, had a really memorable day, landing a 3 ½-pound crappie and a 45-pound blue catfish.

The Allens had booked Davis for a combo trip where clients fish for one species the first half of the day, another species the second half. The Allens asked for crappie and catfish.

 “It was a rare slick day out on Moultrie, so we headed out for crappie first,” said Davis. “We were fishing deep-water brush piles in about 30 feet of water, and we caught some nice fish, a couple that would go 2 pounds, then the kid, Thomas, lands one that weighed exactly 3 ½ pounds.”

Davis said they got a little bit of wind after the big crappie was boated, so they set up a drift for catfish along a submerged island. It wasn’t long into the drift before a rod bent over and Thomas Allen was hooked up with a 45-pound blue catfish. The trio also boated a 25-pound blue on the same drift.

Both of Thomas Allen’s catches are citation fish, according to both the new S.C. Department of Natural Resources’ citation program as well as a program sponsored by the local tourism board, Santee-Cooper Country.

“The qualifications are 3 pounds for a crappie and 40 pounds for a blue catfish under both programs,” said Davis. “Santee-Cooper also has a master angler award for anyone who catches a citation sized fish from bass, crappie, catfish, bream, and striper. Thomas is two-fifths of the way there.”

Davis said the citation crappie was caught around a brush pile in deep water using a Rockport Rattler jig tipped with a live minnow.

The catfish hit a large piece of cut gizzard shad while using a Santee-drift rig in about 45 feet of water.

For more information on the SCDNR angler citation program, visit www.dnr.sc.gov/fishaward/

Information about the Santee-Cooper Country awards program can be found at http://www.santeecoopercountry.org/