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South Boston News / August 12, 2015

The Lake Country’s reputation for producing the Big Cats is once more in evidence after Steve Dudzinski of Creedmoor, N.C. hooked a 116-pound blue catfish near marker 16 on Buggs Island Lake, east of Clarksville.

Dudzinski and boat owner Tim Richardson were trolling for stripers in Richardson’s ’94 Dixie around 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 31 when Dudzinski felt the tug on his line. The two are hobby anglers with vacation homes near the lake.

It took about 25 minutes for the men to haul in their monster catch, which was documented by friends who happened along just as the fish was being hoisted into Richardson’s boat.

The anglers brought the catfish to Bobcat’s Bait & Tackle in Clarksville where it was officially weighed and recorded. Richardson said they were told the 116-pound, 58-inch blue cat ranks no. 3 in Virginia for record-setting catches.

According to the website Catfish Edge, which tracks trophy catches, Dudzinski’s haul comes in near the top of record-setting blue catfish, worldwide.

In 2011, three men from North Carolina set the world record for blue cats when they pulled a 143-pound fish out of Buggs Island Lake. They bested the previous world record, set in 2010, by 13 pounds: topping a 130-pound blue cat caught in the Missouri River.

In 2005, a 124-pound blue cat was caught in the Mississippi River near Illinois, and the year before that a 121.5 pound blue cat was found in Lake Texoma in Texas. Other record setting catches include a 120.8 pound blue cat from the Missouri River, a 115-pound blue cat from the Mississippi River near Louisiana and a 109—pound blue cat also caught in Buggs Island Lake in 2011.

A 136-pound blue cat was caught in South Carolina’s Lake Moultrie in 2012, but it does not qualify for world record status because it was not caught using a rod and reel.

Richardson said Dudzinski contacted Bass Pro to see if they would be interested in mounting and displaying the fish. He did not know what, if anything, was decided.

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I do not feel these guys deserve the regonition there getting.... This trophy catfish was not realeased... It basically was thrown in the back of a utilty wagon to die... Also this day i went by bobcats bait and tackle And when asked what they were gonna do with the fish there response was welllll this fish is probally 25yrs old and no good to eat. After being told that people eat fish out of kerr lake with no issues if they would donate it for the meat.. They did not like that idea... So im assuming this trophy fish was discarded in a local dumpster or thrown in the woods to rot... Even though it was his fish and at this time its not a protected game fish he could do as he wished with the trophy fish... But with that being said i see no difference in what they did with the fish ...than what the dentist did shooting the lion ... And evidently the paper is unaware of the furious fisherman that practice CATCH AN RELEASE are not impressed with these men at all.

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