"Old" State Record becomes "New" State Record

Channel catfish caught in 1970 returns to top of the heap

From News Reports

March 12, 2009 at 12:17 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

E.J. Bowden and his 5-year-old son, Louis admire a 23-pound, 4-ounce channel catfish caught in 1970. The state record at the time of the catch, the fish was eclipsed by a 33-pound catfish caught the same year that was only recently discovered to have been a flathead catfish. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has certified Bowden's fish, caught at City Lake in Rocky Mount, as the reigning state record.
NC Wildife Resources Commission
E.J. Bowden and his 5-year-old son, Louis admire a 23-pound, 4-ounce channel catfish caught in 1970. The state record at the time of the catch, the fish was eclipsed by a 33-pound catfish caught the same year that was only recently discovered to have been a flathead catfish. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has certified Bowden's fish, caught at City Lake in Rocky Mount, as the reigning state record.
RALEIGH – It was a chunk of shrimp that landed E.J. Bowden of Rocky Mount his state-record channel catfish back in 1970, and it was a stack of papers that gave him back the state record title nearly 39 years later.




     On Sept. 1, 1970, Bowden caught the state-record catfish, which weighed 23 pounds, 4 ounces from City Lake in Rocky Mount, only to see it broken less than a year later by a catfish that weighed nearly 18 pounds more.

     As it turned out, the fish that broke Bowden’s state record from 1970 wasn’t a channel catfish but a flathead catfish — a discovery made 34 years later after an article in the May 2005 issue of Wildlife in North Carolina printed an old photograph of Pete Paine holding up his record-breaking “channel cat” that was actually a flathead. 

     With no records of channel catfish that pre-dated Paine’s, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission vacated the channel catfish state record in 2005. In the past four years, the record has been “broken” three times, most recently by “Barbie Doll” angler David Hayes, who famously caught a 21-pound channel catfish using his granddaughter’s Barbie Doll fishing pole in August 2008. 

     After seeing the media coverage about the various channel catfish state records being broken, Bowden contacted the N.C. Division of Inland Fisheries, which oversees the State Record Fish Program, and advised staff that the fish he caught way back in 1970 outweighed Hayes’ record breaker by more than two pounds. He even had a write-up accompanied by a picture from the Sept. 6, 1970 issue of the Rocky Mount Telegram to prove it.

     He sent in the paperwork that he had kept all these years, which, along with the Rocky Mount Telegram article, included a Xeroxed copy of the original photograph, a state record certificate, and an excerpt from a 1971 Freshwater Fishing and Hunting in North Carolina atlas, listing all of the freshwater fish state record holders of the day, including Bowden.

     After carefully reviewing the stack of documents and the photograph of the fish, Kent Nelson, fisheries program manager with the Commission, agreed with Bowden. He was still the official holder of the channel catfish state record in North Carolina. 

     Nelson said the Wildlife Commission had no state record channel catfish paperwork prior to Paine’s 1971 record, which is why the agency vacated the record in May 2005.

     Without Bowden’s picture and accompanying paperwork, there would have been no way anyone would have known he was still the record holder. The fish itself was long gone, although Bowden said he kept it on ice for about 10 years, hoping to have it mounted one day. That day never came, so he left it in the woods for animals to consume.

     “Mr. Bowden’s state record, as well as Mr. Paine’s record that turned out to be a flathead, were both established prior to the Wildlife Commission administering the State Record Fish Program,” Nelson said. “The N.C. Division of Travel and Tourism administered the program until the mid-1980s, at which point the Division of Inland Fisheries took over.” 

     The Wildlife Commission now requires anglers seeking state-record certification for freshwater fish to submit with their applications a full, side-view photo of the fish. Additionally, anglers must catch their fish on hook-and-line only; weigh the fish on certified scales and have the fish examined by a qualified expert from the Wildlife Commission.

     Although he is now 70 and admits his memory isn’t as a good as it used to be, Bowden says he remembers the day he reeled in the record-breaking catfish quite well. He was fishing with his son Louis, who was 5 years old at the time, at the 10-acre City Lake, which is located off Sunset Avenue at the Tar River. The fish hit the shrimp chunk and the line started whizzing. He called Louis over to hold the rod, but soon realized that his son was no match for the fish and that this was no ordinary-sized fish.

     “When Louis got hold of the pole, I found out in a hurry that he couldn’t handle it, the daggone fish was pulling him in,” Bowden recalled. “The fish was about as long as he was tall, so I just took it back and reeled the fish in.”

     A lifelong fisherman, Bowden is pretty excited about the re-instatement of his old record. “This has just made my day, I’m telling you,” Bowden said. “It wasn’t a life or death situation but it did mean a lot to me.”

     “I’m sure someone’s going to break this record but at least it’s entered now and it’s official so if someone breaks it tomorrow, I’ll say more power to ‘em.”

 


View other articles written From News Reports


Reports / Forum
Opening Morning Double!!  This report contains photos  
April 14 at 8:17 am | 1005 Views | 4 Comments
First Turkey...  This report contains photos  
April 14 at 12:39 pm | 701 Views | 4 Comments
Tagged out in two days  This report contains photos  
April 16 at 11:26 am | 613 Views | 3 Comments
Twin Girls First Turkey!  This report contains photos  
April 16 at 8:51 am | 553 Views | 2 Comments
opening day success  This report contains photos  
April 15 at 12:29 pm | 543 Views | 1 Comments
Weldon Stripers 
April 15 at 7:14 am | 531 Views | 1 Comments
Autumn Evans first Turkey its a family Tradition  This report contains photos  
April 17 at 8:03 pm | 401 Views | 2 Comments
TAGGED OUT!!  This report contains photos  
April 17 at 6:43 am | 375 Views | 2 Comments
First Turkey 
April 14 at 12:27 pm | 321 Views | 0 Comments
Youth Day  This report contains photos  
April 17 at 11:10 am | 295 Views | 1 Comments
Heaviest bird yet  This report contains photos  
Yesterday at 9:31 am | 271 Views | 0 Comments
Caleb's First Turkey  This report contains photos  
April 16 at 6:47 pm | 269 Views | 1 Comments
Boats Unlimited NC Team Trail Q4 results..Falls Lake..Apr. 12th  This report contains photos  
April 18 at 6:15 am | 231 Views | 0 Comments
Sport fishing Happy Day Today  This report contains photos  
April 17 at 10:39 am | 229 Views | 0 Comments
Paisley's first turkey 
Yesterday at 10:59 am | 195 Views | 0 Comments
weyerhaeuser hunting land 
20 hours ago | 159 Views | 0 Comments
taking the boat and 2 year old out(high rock lake) 
20 hours ago | 83 Views | 0 Comments
Catawba Catfish Club Lake Wateree,SC 5-3-14 Tournament 
17 hours ago | 81 Views | 0 Comments
Post | Reports | Forum
First Turkey...  This report contains photos  
April 14 at 12:39 pm | 701 Views | 4 Comments
Opening Morning Double!!  This report contains photos  
April 14 at 8:17 am | 1005 Views | 4 Comments
Tagged out in two days  This report contains photos  
April 16 at 11:26 am | 613 Views | 3 Comments
Autumn Evans first Turkey its a family Tradition  This report contains photos  
April 17 at 8:03 pm | 401 Views | 2 Comments
TAGGED OUT!!  This report contains photos  
April 17 at 6:43 am | 375 Views | 2 Comments
Twin Girls First Turkey!  This report contains photos  
April 16 at 8:51 am | 553 Views | 2 Comments
Youth Day  This report contains photos  
April 17 at 11:10 am | 295 Views | 1 Comments
Caleb's First Turkey  This report contains photos  
April 16 at 6:47 pm | 269 Views | 1 Comments
opening day success  This report contains photos  
April 15 at 12:29 pm | 543 Views | 1 Comments
Weldon Stripers 
April 15 at 7:14 am | 531 Views | 1 Comments
Catawba Catfish Club Lake Wateree,SC 5-3-14 Tournament 
17 hours ago | 81 Views | 0 Comments
weyerhaeuser hunting land 
20 hours ago | 159 Views | 0 Comments
taking the boat and 2 year old out(high rock lake) 
20 hours ago | 83 Views | 0 Comments
Heaviest bird yet  This report contains photos  
Yesterday at 9:31 am | 271 Views | 0 Comments
Paisley's first turkey 
Yesterday at 10:59 am | 195 Views | 0 Comments
Boats Unlimited NC Team Trail Q4 results..Falls Lake..Apr. 12th  This report contains photos  
April 18 at 6:15 am | 231 Views | 0 Comments
Sport fishing Happy Day Today  This report contains photos  
April 17 at 10:39 am | 229 Views | 0 Comments
First Turkey 
April 14 at 12:27 pm | 321 Views | 0 Comments
Post | Reports | Forum
Catawba Catfish Club Lake Wateree,SC 5-3-14 Tournament 
17 hours ago | 81 Views | 0 Comments
weyerhaeuser hunting land 
20 hours ago | 159 Views | 0 Comments
taking the boat and 2 year old out(high rock lake) 
20 hours ago | 83 Views | 0 Comments
Heaviest bird yet  This report contains photos  
Yesterday at 9:31 am | 271 Views | 0 Comments
Paisley's first turkey 
Yesterday at 10:59 am | 195 Views | 0 Comments
Boats Unlimited NC Team Trail Q4 results..Falls Lake..Apr. 12th  This report contains photos  
April 18 at 6:15 am | 231 Views | 0 Comments
Autumn Evans first Turkey its a family Tradition  This report contains photos  
April 17 at 8:03 pm | 401 Views | 2 Comments
Youth Day  This report contains photos  
April 17 at 11:10 am | 295 Views | 1 Comments
Sport fishing Happy Day Today  This report contains photos  
April 17 at 10:39 am | 231 Views | 0 Comments
TAGGED OUT!!  This report contains photos  
April 17 at 6:43 am | 375 Views | 2 Comments
Caleb's First Turkey  This report contains photos  
April 16 at 6:47 pm | 269 Views | 1 Comments
Tagged out in two days  This report contains photos  
April 16 at 11:26 am | 613 Views | 3 Comments
Twin Girls First Turkey!  This report contains photos  
April 16 at 8:51 am | 553 Views | 2 Comments
opening day success  This report contains photos  
April 15 at 12:29 pm | 543 Views | 1 Comments
Weldon Stripers 
April 15 at 7:14 am | 531 Views | 1 Comments
First Turkey...  This report contains photos  
April 14 at 12:39 pm | 701 Views | 4 Comments
First Turkey 
April 14 at 12:27 pm | 321 Views | 0 Comments
Opening Morning Double!!  This report contains photos  
April 14 at 8:17 am | 1005 Views | 4 Comments
Post | Reports | Forum

Free Classifieds

Wanted anything Dan Wesson.
Wanted anything Dan Wesson.
Looking for revolvers anything Dan Wesson, thanks please call Will at 919-937-7687...
April 16 at 5:04 pm | 19 Views
G3 Gator Tough 1860 CC Tunnel
G3 Gator Tough 1860 CC Tunnel
70hp Yamaha 4 stroke with 6' jack plate, only 25 hours. 2012 custom fit float on/off trailer w/removable tongue, Mossy oak W/ Bimini top. Fish finder, GPS, 55lb Min Kota trolling motor, live well, cooler bench seat with leaning post, two lockable...
23 hours ago | 45 Views
GUN HUNTS IN KANSAS
GUN HUNTS IN KANSAS
Only a few days left to get your Kansas deer hunting license & permits. Last day to apply is April 24th. I have 3-4 spots available for the exciting gun season Dec 8th thru Dec 14th. Come hunt with me in 'The Land of Giants' on privately managed...
April 14 at 10:51 pm | 49 Views
Brand New Carbon Express Cross Bow
Brand New Carbon Express Cross Bow
This is a brand new bow in the box never been opened never been fired. It is a Carbon Express X-Force 400 Cross Bow. It is a complete package with Rope Cocker and Rail Lube, 4x32 Deluxe Scope, Quick detach 3 arrow quiver, 3 20' crossbolts and 3...
April 15 at 7:38 pm | 43 Views
Baby Desert Eagle 40 S&W for $250
Baby Desert Eagle 40 S&W for $250
Excellent Desert Eagle 40 caliber Hand Gun For Sale,6 ' barrel,semi rnrnautomatic,& made by Magnum Research,right here in the USA,& comes with 1-7 rnrnround magazine, super heavy duty fitted carry case with soft rummer rnrninside,take down...
7 hours ago | 5 Views
1998 Jeep Wrangler Sport 4x4
1998 Jeep Wrangler Sport 4x4
Very good condition 1998 Jeep Wrangler Sport. It has been very wellrnkept. It appears to have always been garaged and only driven on cityrnstreets and not been offroaded. This Jeep was owned and cared for by arnperson who appreciated nice things....
April 17 at 5:06 pm | 42 Views
Baby Desert Eagle 40 S&W for $250
Baby Desert Eagle 40 S&W for $250
Excellent Desert Eagle 40 caliber Hand Gun For Sale,6 ' barrel,semi rnrnautomatic,& made by Magnum Research,right here in the USA,& comes with 1-7 rnrnround magazine, super heavy duty fitted carry case with soft rummer rnrninside,take down...
7 hours ago | 8 Views
Late 60\'s Early 70\'s Zabala 20 Gauge Double Barrell
Late 60\'s Early 70\'s Zabala 20 Gauge Double Barrell
Late 60's Early 70's Eagle Arms by Zabala 20 Gauge Double Barrel Shotgun. 26' Barrel, 3' shells. This gun was handed down to me and I am not a gun enthusiast, so do not have a need for it. Can provide more pics, info if necessary. Email...
April 16 at 5:30 pm | 82 Views