Angler breaks his own state record for channel catfish

By Chris Lawrence, WVMetroNews

MOOREFIELD, W.Va. – There are only a handful of West Virginia fishermen who have caught a state record fish. However, Allen Burkett of Moorefield, W.Va. has the distinction of catching two records.

A channel catfish caught in June 2022 by Burkett at South Mill Creek Lake established a new record for both weight and length for the channel catfish. On July 20, 2023, he caught another channel catfish, again at South Mill Creek, which broke his own record for weight.

“I was hoping to do that, but I didn’t figure I would. I never figured there’d be another one in there that was bigger,” he said in an interview for West Virginia Outdoors.

Allen Burkett’s 2022 record-breaking channel catfish.

This year’s fish weighed 37.50 pounds which beat last year’s record catch for weight by just over a half pound. The 2022 fish remained the record for length at 40.59 inches. Prior to Burkett’s 2022 catch, the record for both weight and length for a channel catfish in West Virginia had stood for 17 years. Burkett’s record stood for 13 months.

Burkett lived in Virginia when he caught the last record fish and often fished South Mill Creek Lake after work at the Pilgrim’s Pride Plant in Moorefield. He has since moved to West Virginia and this time, he had taken the day off just to go fishing.

“I’d been having a bad week and just decided to take the day off and I pretty much had the whole lake to myself.  I didn’t get any bites until a little after 10:00. I caught a turtle and while I was messing around with him my other pole bent over. When I set the hook it felt like I had the bottom and I thought it was another turtle until the drag took off,” he explained.

The big catfish bit on a piece of… Read Chris Lawrence’s full report on WVMetroNews.


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