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57 1/2 lbs Flathead Caught on Lake Thurmond

Marshall White summited the details and photos below of the big flathead catfish he caught on Lake Thurmond Saturday March 29.

The certified weight of the flathead catfish is 57 pounds 8 ounces. 47″ inches long and the girth is 27”. Caught on 3-29-2014 at Lake Thurmond. Caught ( while bass fishing ) on spinnerbait and 12 pound test line. The reel was an Ambassador Revo STX on a Allstar 6’6’ rod. Hooked around 7:30 and it took about 30 minutes to land. I thought my rod may snap when he made a run to the bank and I had to tighten the drag to keep him from going into pine trees out in the water. That was after he made a run to deep water going out and striped a lot of line and I used my electric motor to move to him. I decided that the cast that hooked him was going to be my last. My front running light would not work prior to going out and neither would my electric motor. It was just a connection problem on the motor and I had it fixed in a short time. When the sun sets, your running lights are to be on. So my last cast was one in which I thought I was hung up not far out from the bank. I snatched my line three or four times and assumed that it was loose because it got slack. Then I started reeling and my line tightened and I began to feel a little tug and then all of a sudden my line shot across the front of my boat, and it was on. So after working my way to him with my electors motor he then took a  dive strait down striping line again and I worked him up to the surface and then that’s when he ran to the bank and I held. I was afraid that my line would snap with the drag set tight. And after thinking about it I wonder what it would take to break an Allstar rod. Another deep run straight down and he pealed line off again and stopped. Then I was able to slowely work him to the surface. I did not know what he was until then due to the water being so dingy from the rain. It was just a split second to not knowing what he was to knowing. The bow of my boat was once again pointed west to deep water. He had pulled the bow east when he ran in. So with my boat pointing west and the stern east and to the bank, I was on the starboard side and reached with my left hand and grabbed him by the mouth on the bottom lip and in the same motion knelt to my knees and stuck the rod and reel between my legs and squeezed them and locked my right hand on his mouth and pulled him in. I had him hooked through the back part of the rim around his bottom lip. I opened a storage compartment in the bottom of my boat and he would not go in it. So I pushed him in as far as I could and closed the lid to about a quarter of the way open and put my heavy tackle box on it and cranked up and headed across the main channel to Plum Branch Yacht Club where I had pun in. The wind was beginning to pick up again and I had a tail wind. With the extra weight and still almost a full tank of gas I was able to go almost fifty five across the main channel from Wells Creek. I did not have that long to fish and arrived at the lake around four. I fished Benningsfield Creek where I had luck before. In a short time I landed a two pound largemouth on the same spinnerbait that I caught the battery eater ( from Jack Reece assumption ) on. I noticed while fishing and pulling my line up my spinner had flipped and the line had pulled up into the wire loop that you tie on to and when I finally got it out it had a flat crease in it. So, I retied it and checked it good. I have always hooked my line on something like a plant hook to check the line by pulling real hard. That is the same amount of pressure that was applied when the flathead ran toward the bank and I had confidence that it would hold and I’m glad that I could as well. The STX has steel gears and was put to the ultimate test when it comes to freshwater fishing. I have been using Stren High Visible green line for some time now and it is easy to see in all light conditions, disappears under water and twelve pound test passed the test and more. While fishing along it got dark and cloudy and started to rain. I put my rain coat on and it stopped in a short time. Then I moved across the channel to fish some places I had hooked up before. Not long after that I was back in that area to the landing where I loaded up and met a gentleman that had a Cabelas deer scale. We got it hung over a metal rafter to a building there. It was very difficult cause the wind had to be blowing at least forty. It blew a towel across the marina yard about twenty feet. The scale was just below fifty pounds and that is what I guessed it was when I pulled him in. I had just lifted a bag of dog food for Sharon Wall to feed her new puppy and the weight felt about the same. Danny Newsome whom I found to be a brother Mason helped me and got a crash course on how to use the camera on an iPhone under adverse conditions. The cat would not fit in my cooler and I had to put him in a trash can that my Aunt Patsy and Eddie stored aluminum cans in. I packed him in ice and had to get another one due to it splitting from all the weight. I got a certified weight on Monday of fifty-seven pounds eight ounces. I wanted to know that weight to check records. He is not far off the state record and there are no individual Lake records according to DNR. The state record was caught at Santee Cooper. It would be interesting to know what the largest Flathead Catfish is out of Lake Thurmond. There are no line records kept either and that is the main thing that I thought it would have a shot at.