Lake Gaston angler catches new N.C. state record blue catfish

North Carolina State Record Catfish

The story of the new North Carolina State Record Catfish!

Posted by Catch The Fever on Monday, July 13, 2020


Angler earns, donates $10,000 for using Catch the Fever brand fishing rod

Joey Baird of Gasburg, Va. caught the new North Carolina pending state record blue catfish during the July 4 weekend. The big fish weighed 121.9 pounds, and Baird caught it on Lake Gaston. His catch beats the previous N.C. state record by more than 4 pounds.

Baird was using a Big Cat Fever rod from Catch the Fever Rod Company of Roxoboro, N.C. Catch the Fever, “The Brand That Pays To Fish,” awards $10,000 for state records that are released alive. Baird’s goal was to release the fish alive either way. But when he saw how big his catch was, he knew he had a shot at pocketing some cash. He immediately switched gears from fishing to figuring out how to keep this fish alive until he could get it weighed and possibly certified as a new state record.

While waiting on a fisheries biologists from NCWRC to show up, Baird, who is a police officer, decided if his fish was a new state record, he would donate the $10,000 from Catch the Fever to his local fire department to help them purchase a rescue boat, something he’d wished they had a few years ago when he answered a call involving a sinking car with a woman still inside.

Check out the rest of his story, along with footage of him catching the new N.C. state record catfish in the attached video.

Lake Gaston has now produced the last four N.C. state record blue catfish. Baird’s fish topples the 117.5-pound blue cat caught by Landon Evans in 2016. The previous two state records were both caught from Gaston by Zakk Royce, a 105-pounder on Dec. 21, 2015, which beat his own 91-pound record he caught the day before.

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Brian Cope
About Brian Cope 1616 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. He can be reached at

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