Angler released the fish
Charlie Weatherford of Darlington, S.C. caught an 84-pound blue catfish at Santee on Sunday, Sept. 13. He was fishing with Capt. Jason Wolfe of Wolfe’s Guide Service when the big fish hit a chunk of gizzard shad.
It was the first fish of the day for Weatherford. Wolfe put the net under it at about 7:30 a.m. Things didn’t look so good for fishing that day on the big water. But the two anglers found a section that wasn’t too rough.
Once in a spot that Wolfe thought was manageable, he deployed three drift socks to slow the boat down as much as possible.
“It was kind of windy out there that morning, so I couldn’t get out to where I wanted to go. I tried to go out that way, but there were three footers rolling. So I came back in to a cut that was manageable and threw three socks off the side of the boats. It got us down to about .6 mph,” said Wolfe.
84-pound catfish is Weatherford’s biggest catfish catch
The anglers were drifting sideways with six Big Cat Fever Rods. They were using Drifting Stix to keep the bait down and snag-free, and using various pieces of cut bait.
About 20 minutes into their first drift, the big fish hit. During the fight, the fish ran all around the boat, running through several of the other lines before it finally tired enough for Wolfe to net it. After weighing it, then taking a few quick photos, they released the 84-pound blue catfish to fight another day.
Weatherford and Wolfe have fished together numerous times, and they’ve caught their share of catfish in the 25 to 40-pound range together. But the fish Weatherford was after — a true trophy — had eluded him until Sunday.
“He was tickled. He said we could go ahead and quit fishing right then,” said Wolfe.
But the anglers stayed at it, boating several other catfish, including a few 20+ pounders.
Wolfe (803-487-3690) said on most of the lakes across the Carolinas, the catfish bite has consisted mainly of fewer bites, but bigger fish. In a recent tournament his team won, they caught only four fish on the day, but their best three totaled more than 103 pounds.
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