Tyler Barnes from Pikeville, North Carolina, reeled in a brand-new state record after catching the biggest flathead catfish early in the morning of July 20, 2020.
Tyler started off the day ready to go fishing with some buddies but everyone ended up having to work or take care of other responsibilities. So with all his gear already packed, he decided to head on down to the river by himself.
Once he arrived at the Neuse River, he backed the boat into the water, set all his rods up and began his trip. Tyler ventured out to a few spots and when he got to the fourth spot that was in about 5 feet of water, that’s when he hooked the big one.
Carolina Sportsman said, “He caught the fish using a Penn Fathom reel, a 7’6″ medium-heavy Big Cat Fever Rod, 120-pound J-Braid braided main line, 80-pound Hi Seas Quattro leader, and a 9/0 Charlie Brown circle hook.”
The monster catfish weighed 78.9 pounds, was 52 inches long, and had a girth of 37 inches. The state record at the time was 78 pounds, caught out of the Cape Fear River by Brian Newberger. It had been held for almost 15 years until Tyler beat it by just .9 pounds.