NC confirms new state record channel catfish

Justin Hall caught the new NC state record channel catfish.

Justin Hall’s channel cat weighed 27 pounds, 7 ounces.

The NCWRC certified a new state record channel catfish, caught in May by Justin Hall of Reidsville, NC. Hall’s catfish weighed 27 pounds, 7 ounces, which unseated the previous record of 26 pounds, which was caught in July 2021 from the Neuse River.

The fish was 36 1/4 inches long, with a girth of 24 7/8 inches.

Hall caught the record fish from a local farm pond in Rockingham County on May 21. He was fishing with a Big Cat Fever casting rod paired up with a Zebco Big Cat XT reel, and he was using bread dough as bait.

After fishing this same pond for several years and rarely catching any channel catfish, Hall’s 13-year-old son caught a big one this past spring. They estimated the fish at 25 pounds, but released it without weighing it. At the time, Hall did not know what North Carolina’s state record for the species was.

“I told a friend about my son’s catch, and he told me it might have been big enough to beat the state record,” he said.

So when he caught his big fish, which his wife netted at the water’s edge, Hall knew it was worth getting it weighed on a certified scale.

“My wife went down to the waterline to bring it in with the net, and it bent the net,” he said.

For a list of all freshwater fish state records in North Carolina, or more information on the State Record Fish Program, visit

About Brian Cope 2762 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of Carolina Sportsman. 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. You can reach him at

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