State Record Fish Committee Confirmes Record 143 LB Blue Catfish and Possible World Record

Second Huge blue catfish from Buggs Island Lake Shatters Three Month Old State Record

The State Record Fish Committee of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) has confirmed that the 143-pound blue catfish caught on June 18, in the John H. Kerr Reservoir, known as Buggs Island Lake, is a new state record. The committee members reviewed the application, verified the location of the catch as well as the species, weight, length, and girth of the fish. A VDGIF Conservation Police Officer and Fisheries Biologist were present at the weigh-in.

The huge cat was caught by Richard Nicholas “Nick” Anderson in John H. Kerr Reservoir (Buggs Island Lake) on Saturday, June 18, near the Goat Island section of the lake. The previous state record blue catfish (109 pounds ) was caught by Tony Milam in Buggs Island Lake near the confluence of the Dan and Roanoke rivers on March 17, 2011.

Anderson was fishing with his father and brother when he hooked the potential world record fish. After forty-five minutes, the fish was finally wrangled aboard their pontoon boat. The fish was weighed at Mecklenburg Supply Inc. in Chase City, Virginia, which was one of the few venues available with a scale large enough to accommodate the big fish. The weigh-in was witnessed by a VDGIF Conservation Police Officer and a VDGIF Fisheries Biologist.

“It’s the biggest fish I’ve ever seen to come out of fresh water” said Dan Michaelson, a VDGIF Fisheries Biologist who certified the species as blue catfish. “Buggs Island Lake is one of the most productive systems in Virginia, and blue catfish take advantage of the four different shad species to feed on, especially the gizzard shad,” Michaelson added. Blue catfish have become one of the most sought after sport fish in the lake in recent years, and Buggs Island has produced three state record blue catfish in the last decade. The tidal James River has also produced its share of big blue cats in recent years, and the two hotspots have traded the state record on more than one occasion.

Along with certification by the Virginia State Record Fish Committee, the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) will handle official certification of the trophy blue catfish as a potential new world record. If certified by the IGFA, the Virginia blue catfish will shatter the previous world record, a 130lb blue catfish caught in the Missouri River in 2010.

Permanent link to this article:

Snowy Grouper State Record Broken

New Virginia State Record

Roger Burnley of Virginia Beach, Virginia has established a new state record for snowy grouper with a 70-pound, 7-ounce fish caught May 22, 2011. The record fish was weighed and certified on an Ohaus digital scale at the office of the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament, located in Newport News. The digital scale registered 70.48 pounds but the weight was converted and listed as 70 pounds and 7-ounces as the state record. The record-setting grouper bested the existing state record, set by Jere Humphrey of Norfolk, Virginia, on August 17, 2008, by nearly 2-1/2 pounds. Burnley is filing an application with the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) for acceptance of his catch as the IGFA All-Tackle Record for snowy grouper. Humphrey’s 68-pound snowy grouper currently holds the IGFA All-Tackle Record.

Burnley caught his grouper “deep-dropping” near the Norfolk Canyon in 98 fathoms of water while fishing aboard the private boat Healthy Grin, skippered by Ken Neill, III, of Seaford. The fish had a length of 48 inches and a girth of 37 inches. The record fish was caught on a Shimano Trevala rod, mated with a Daiwa Saltist LD40 reel and spooled with 70-pound test Daiwa Saltiga Boat braided line. The record-setting grouper hit a custom made two hook bottom rig baited with squid and cut fish.

Snowy grouper was added to the list of species eligible for state record recognition by the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament Committee at their fall meeting in 2006 and carried an initial qualifying weight of 38 pounds. Roger Burnley of Virginia Beach registered Virginia’s first qualifying snowy grouper, at 49 pounds, 9 ounces, on April 29, 2007. Burnley’s record was eclipsed within days, on June 10, 2007, by Bob Manus of Ark, Virginia, with a 65-pound, 8-ounce grouper. Manus’ record status held until Chris Boyce of Hampton caught a 66-pounder later that year December 2007. Boyce’s record grouper lasted for 8 months before Humphrey landed his 68-pounder. The last three fish were later certified as IGFA All-Tackle Records for snowy grouper. The four prior record snowy grouper were caught in the general vicinity of the Norfolk Canyon “deep-dropping” in over 50 fathoms of water and using either whole or cut fish for bait. Additionally, five of the six state record grouper were caught aboard the Healthy Grin skippered by Ken Neill.

Source: Lewis S. Gillingham, Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament

Permanent link to this article:

NEW IGFA Alltackle World Record

By Dr. Julie Ball fishing report contributor and IGFA Representative, Virginia Beach

NEW IGFA All Tackle World Record
Alfonsino (Beryx decadactylus)
8lbs 5oz

world record Alfonsino (Beryx decadactylus)

Alfonsino (Beryx decadactylus)

I had the pleasure of notifying Kevin Wong of his newly approved initial IGFA All Tackle World Record today. I’m sure he is now sighing with relief since his record, originally submitted as a Darwin’s Slimehead, was resubmitted as an exotic Alfonsino. “A what?”, is the question I hear from most who ask about the record. Yes, it may be strange looking, and not well known, but to Kevin it is his first world record. And to the World, it is the first Alfonsino world record ever recorded. In addition, Virginia gains yet another World Record.

Kevin caught the fish near the Norfolk Canyon off Virginia Beach on 10 October 2010 aboard the Wave Runner, captained by Michael Meredith

Congratulations to Kevin, captain, and crew on an incredible catch.

Permanent link to this article: