LAURINBURG —In the middle of the night, Raylon Jacobs found himself reeling in the biggest fish that he had ever caught.
The Laurinburg resident was fishing for shad earlier this month at Blewett Falls Lake, a part of the Pee Dee River between Anson and Richmond County, when he felt the large tug of a trophy fish on the other end of the line.
“As soon as I hooked into him I knew he was big,” said Jacobs.
As the young man pulled the fish out of the water, he realized he had caught an enormous catfish using the same pole and small bait fish he usually used to catch shad.
Jacobs explained that he caught the 50-pound fish at one of his regular fishing spots along the dam side of the lake, where a large amount of shad fish like to gather.
He said that the spot is crowded with shad fish because its so close to the dam, and that he has caught dozens of fish before from that same spot.
He believes that since the area is so populated with fish, that may be why the catfish has grown so large.
Jacobs fishes at that lake exclusively for sport, meaning that he throws back everything that he catches. After taking a few pictures, he released the mammoth fish safely back into the wild.
With the fish still on the loose in the local waters of southeastern North Carolina, another lucky fisherman may one day reel him too.
Reach Jack Frederick at 910-736-0954