South Carolina Angler Lands 106-Pound Blue Catfish During Recent Tournament

by Matthew Memrick
(Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

A South Carolina angler’s 106-pound Blue Catfish prize nearly destroyed a pre-weighing plastic tub during a recent tournament.

According to The Carolina Sportsman, Vern Reynolds was with Mike Durham at the Santee Cooper Lakes event when he caught the 106.62-pound fish with Mike Durham. 

Outsiders can see Reynolds’s prize-winning fish here. The club photographed the men at Canal Lake’s Fish Camp in Cross. Cross is roughly an hour north of Charleston.

First-place tournament winners Reynolds and Durham caught their fish on the lower lake. They hauled in 200.15 pounds to meet their three-fish limit. Outdoor Life reported that the duo, named Catastrophic Failure, won $1,385 in the tournament.

SLCC president Ralph Willey said the men worked without sonar and “had to rely on fishing contour lines to boat their 200-pound haul of blue cats.”

But Willey and his club know the pair “are really good at catching cats.”

Blue Catfish So Big It Nearly Breaks Free

Carolina Sportsman reported that the man’s fish was a biggie. It “literally destroyed the extra-large plastic tub used to hold fish before placing them into the stainless steel bin to be officially weighed.” 

The Santee Lakes Catfish Club put together the Jan. 15 inaugural event with 20 participating teams. The teams caught more than 1,330 pounds of catfish.

USA Today reported that three teams failed to catch anything while seven teams brought in more than 100 pounds of fish. After the fish weighing, anglers released them back into the late.

“Even more catfish were caught than the 1,330-pounds tally,” Willey told Outdoor Life. “Only the three largest cats from each boat were weighed in the tournament. But plenty more were caught.”

 According to a Santee Lakes Catfish Club Facebook post, the event had “some of the best anglers in the country” who “battled some rough, March-like winds in January.”

Willey told Outdoor Life that anglers focused on working ledge structures with the lakes having low water levels. He said they primarily used bait like cut gizzard shad and white perch. Many also employed medium-heavy “Mad Cat” fishing rods. 

Winter months are great fishing times for Willey and his club on their lakes. The group reported a February 2021 event with “three-fish winners totaled 178-pounds, with a 103-pound blue catfish.” 

South Carolina, World Records in The Carolinas

Liberty resident Paula D. Haney earned the South Carolina blue catfish record in 2017. She pulled in a 113-pound blue catfish in that same area at Lake Moultrie. 

USA Today said that few have reeled in blue catfish over 100 pounds.  

Richard Nicholas Anderson broke the all-tackle world record in 2011 near Buggs Island in Virginia’s Kerr Lake. Anderson’s blue catfish came in at 143 pounds.

A Maryland angler broke Virginia’s record for blue catfish in the past two weeks. CBS 2 in Baltimore said William Bates Jr. landed a 62-pound, four-ounce blue catfish in Fairfax County’s Occoquan Bay.