It’s a fish story come true.
An angler caught a whopping 143-pound blue catfish in a reservoir along the Virginia-North Carolina border Saturday — a fish so big that it may set a world record, according to Virginia wildlife officials.
This fish will likely also set a record in Virginia.
The monster fish is nearly five feet long and nearly four feet around, according to the state Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. It took the angler, a North Carolina man, about 45 minutes to reel it in.
Nick Anderson caught the fish in the John H. Kerr Reservoir at the confluence of the Dan and Roanoke rivers in rural Mecklenburg County.
“This thing was big enough to be a sea monster,” said Dallas Weston, editor of the local newspaper, the Mecklenburg News-Progress. Weston snapped photos of the catfish soon after it was pulled from the water.
Anderson was fishing with his father and brother when he hooked the catfish. It was weighed at Mecklenberg Supply Inc., one of the few places available that had a scale large enough.
Lee Walker, a spokesman for the game department, said officials and biologists were “shocked” at the size of the fish. The previous world record blue catfish weighed in at 130 pounds and was caught in Missouri in 2010.
It is the second huge blue catfish caught in the reservoir this year. In March, a 109-pound fish caught there set the state record.
Virginia officials hope to certify the fish as a state record this week. The certification as a world record fish will be handled by the International Game Fish Association.