Heavy haul breaks state record

The Baltimore Sun

Fishing Ron Lewis' catch Sunday morning taxed his fishing line, dwarfed his net and overwhelmed his new digital scale.

The huge blue catfish muscled its way past the state record with these measurements: 67.1 pounds, 51 inches long and 34.5 inches around.

"I don't know if it's the biggest fish I've ever seen, but it's the biggest fish I ever caught," said Lewis, 45, a construction foreman from Point of Rocks.

Longtime angler and buddy Jimmy Griffith launched their boat into the Potomac River about 7 a.m. and quickly made for their favorite fishing spot near Fort Washington.

Fishing with cut bait in about 40-feet of water, Griffith got the first strike. Not long afterward, "my rod went down," Lewis said. "It fought for three minutes, but that was all I wanted. My left arm was falling off."

His 30-pound test fishing line held as Lewis steered his catch to the side of the boat, but his net was no match for the fish. Griffith reached over the side and hauled it in as Lewis scrambled for the digital scale.

Tim Hagan of the fishing group The Catfish Nation raced from Frederick to Prince George's County with a bigger scale and then transported the fish in an aerated tank to Bass Pro Shop Outdoors World at Arundel Mills, where it was released in the 30,000-gallon tank.

The Department of Natural Resources certified the catch, which topped the old mark set in 2006 of 65.5 pounds.

Might he try to break his own mark?

"Oh, probably Sunday," he said.

candy.thomson@baltsun.com

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