Tuesday, March 16, 2010

80-Pound Catfish

Fishing out of Hill's Landing on the Diversion Canal, Camden angler Johnny Gaines landed the biggest catfish of the weekend, an 80-pound, 11 oz blue cat. Taking a right out of Hill's Landing, Mr. Gaines fished Lake Moultrie with mullet and landed the big catfish on Saturday, March 13th during the 8th annual Hill's Landing Spring Fling Catfish Tournament.

Mr. Gaines, who did not fish the tournament due to oncoming bad weather, asked Jamie Courtney, owner of Hill's Landing, to keep the catfish in Courtney's extra-large livewell to give the fish a chance to recover from the trauma of being caught, and to allow the other anglers to see the fish, which was estimated to be over 60-years old.

A big proponent of catch-and-release, Courtney was happy to do so, and with the help of Brian Thornhill, released the fish the next day. The fish swam off, ready to be caught another day.

PhotosByBrianCope:(top) Brian Thornhill releases the 80-pound, 11 oz. catfish caught by Camden's Johnny Gaines.
(bottom) Hill's Landing sports two extra-large livewells--one for baitfish, and this one for allowing fish to recover with a rich supply of oxygenated water before being released.

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