Record size blue catfish caught from Lake Moultrie

Courtesy: SCDNR

BERKELEY, S.C. (WCIV)-- A local fisherman has set a new record for catching catfish in Lake Moultrie.Leland Selph of Cross, SC is a new hero to some, setting a catfish catching record, for the largest blue catfish caught in Lake Moultrie. This scale tipping fish weighs in at 136 pounds, 6 ounces and is 56 inches in length. The fish would have surpassed the current 21-year-old state record of 109 pounds, 4 ounces had it been angled with a rod and reel. Regardless of the harvest method, it demonstrates the potential for world record size blue catfish that exists in the Santee Cooper system.{}{} {}Native to the Mississippi River drainage, blue catfish were introduced in South Carolina in 1965 with an initial stocking of 180 sub-adults into Santee Cooper reservoir. They were first observed reproducing in 1967 and began to enter the sport fishery in the mid 1970s. Blue catfish have now become a major component of the reservoir's annual fish production and have become one of the top sport fishing targets.South Carolina classifies blue catfish as a non-game fish, which means they may be taken by any legal method of harvest. There is no daily limit for blue catfish and this encourages the high harvest levels that help minimize competition with native species and maintains optimal blue catfish growth rates. In an effort to direct most of Santee Cooper's large blue catfish resource to rod and reel anglers, a limit of one fish per day greater than 36 inches, regardless of harvest method, was enacted in 2007.