WRAL News reported on the record-setting catch in Johnston County. Rocky Baker, who lives in Four Oaks, went fishing on Sunday in the Roanoke River. In addition, his friend Justin Clifton, who resides in Clayton, tagged along. Baker will be glad he did, considering it took both of the men to lift the huge catfish out of the water and into their boat.
Baker told WRAL that he caught the catfish with his regular fishing rod. As he reeled it in, the two men netted the fish in the boat. Once the pair caught the large fish, they knew by its size it was a rare catch. So Clifton helped Baker take it to the scales for a weigh-in.
The two friends took the catfish to E-Z Bait and Tackle in Goldsboro to get an official weight. That’s when Baker knew for sure that he had broken the previous state record. Virginian Joey Baird broke the North Carolina catfish record in July 2020 with his catch coming in just under 122 pounds. Baker’s blue catfish broke his record by a full five pounds.
According to E-Z Bait and Tackle’s Facebook page, the two men released their record catch back into the Roanoke River.
“We hope that this monster continues to grow and prosper in the waters of our amazing state,” the bait shop wrote.
As for Baker, he says the experience was a “dream come true.” And that’s saying a lot since he and Clifton won The Neuse River Wars Catfish Tournament Series in 2020.
“It was like a dream come true for most serious catfisherman,” Baker said to WRAL.
Missouri Fisherman Reels In Rare Albino Catfish
The North Carolina angler isn’t the only fisherman to reel in a rare catch in recent history. Just a month ago, the Missouri Department of Conservation shared news of a local man who caught an elusive albino blue catfish.
Kevin Markway was fishing in the Missouri River when he reeled in the rare catch. The department didn’t share any details about the fish’s weight or length, but did reveal that the MDC believes it to be around 8 to 10 years old.
After Markway posed for a picture with the remarkable catfish, the angler released it back into the Missouri River. He later sent in the photo to the Missouri Department of Conservation himself, and they reposted it on Facebook.
“ALBINO BLUE: Thank you to Kevin Markway for sharing this pic of an albino blue catfish he recently caught and released on the Missouri River,” the MDC captioned the Facebook post.
“Like other albino wildlife, albino blue catfish are rare,” the organization wrote. “It’s a recessive trait, and most don’t survive because they are more noticeable to predators when they are young. MDC staff estimate the fish was 8-10 years old.”