By Associated Press - Friday, January 22, 2021

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The coronavirus pandemic has given some people more time to fish. And that may be why three catfish catfish records were broken last year in North Carolina.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission announced the new records on Wednesday. They involved three catfish species.

The commission said that Pinehurst resident John Stone caught a 23-pound, 5-ounce channel catfish in a private pond in Moore County in September.

Joey Baird of Lawrenceville, Virginia, caught a 121-pound, 9-ounce blue catfish in Lake Gaston in July. That same month, Tyler Barnes of Pikeville, North Carolina, reeled in a 78-pound, 14-ounce flathead catfish from the Neuse River.

Mindy Wharton, spokesperson for the commission, said the state saw a spike in fishing licenses sold last spring.

“Certainly people had more time on their hands,” she said.

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