By Pete Thomas
A North Carolina angler has gained notoriety for catching blue catfish so massive that when he hoisted the behemoth in front of his body, it covered most of his face.
“Looks like this fish caught the man,” wrote Donald Edward Bolin, in the comments thread beneath one of Riahn Brewington’s Facebook posts.
Brewington reeled the 112-pound lunker from the Cape Fear River the day before Thanksgiving, but gained little notoriety until late last week, when news stations were alerted to photos being shared via social media.
Despite its colossal appearance, and a girth suggesting that this fish has never missed a meal, the big blue fell 5 pounds shy of the North Carolina record, and 31 pounds shy of the world record: a 143-pound blue catfish caught at Virginia’s Kerr Lake in 2011.
But it’s still a rare and impressive catch, especially when you consider that Brewington used a light-tackle rod and 10-pound-test line, which is designed for much smaller game.
“Being that big, I thought it would have snapped the line,” Brewington told ABC affiliate WWAY. “But I didn’t realize how big he was until I actually got my hands underneath him.”
After weighing his catch and posing for photos, Brewington placed the catfish in the water and watched it swim away.
While this is admirable, it might not come as comforting news for parents who let their children swim in the Cape Fear River.
–Image is courtesy of Riahn Brewington (pictured) and Dean Hall