Randy Merrell’s 45-pound blue catfish

Santee catfish
Randy Merrell caught this 45-pound Arkansas blue on May 26, 2021 while fishing with Wolfe’s Guide Service.

45-pound blue catfish was highlight of two-day trip

Randy Merrell of Rock Hill, S.C. was fishing on the lower lake of Santee Cooper on May 26 when he landed a 45-pound blue catfish. Merrell was fishing with Wolfe’s Guide Service on a multi-day trip when he caught the fish-of-the-day.

The big blue was one of dozens of catfish Merrell caught during the trip. Over the course of two days, he reeled in the trifecta of Santee’s catfish — channels, Arkansas blues, and flatheads. He also caught his personal best flathead catfish. Cut bait did the trick on all the fish he caught.

After posing for some photos of the 45-pounder, Merrell and Capt. Jason Wolfe released the fish to fight another day.

“We release all our big catfish. These are the breeders, and the smaller ones are tastier anyway,” said Wolfe (803-487-3690).

Wolfe said catfish like this are prone to bite on any day at Santee, no matter the weather.

“People ask me all the time what’s the best time of year to catch big catfish at Santee. And the best answer I can give is it can happen any day, during any season of the year. We’ve caught trophy fish when it was 100 degrees and we’ve caught trophy fish when it was 19 degrees. We’ve caught them on windless days and windy days, sunny days and cloudy days. The only way to know is to go, and go as often as you can,” he said.


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About Brian Cope 1922 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of CarolinaSportsman.com. 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 brianc@sportsmannetwork.com.

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