Thomson, GA

Georgia Crappie Fisherman Catches 70 lb. Monster Flathead Catfish After 40-Minute Battle, a Record at Clarks Hill Lake

Zack Love

A Georgia fisherman fought a massive flathead catfish for what he estimated to be over 2 miles as the catfish pulled him around Clarks Hill Lake. The flathead catfish weighed 70 pounds at Raysville Bait & Tackle in Thomson, GA with 20 witnesses present. This was a lake record, and could potentially break the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) record for flathead catfish.
Flathead catfishPhoto byUSFWS Mountain-Prairie; public domain

Imagine the attention one gets when pulling up to a local fish & tackle shop with a massive 70-lb. catfish caught at the local lake. It generates excitement for locals to get out there and try to catch "the big one" and get in the record books.

Fishing for Crappie When He Caught 70-lb. Flathead Catfish

Field & Stream reported that fisherman Michael Dollar was out on Clarks Hill Lake with some friends on 4 March 2023 trolling for crappie when they hooked something massive when trolling close to the bank.

They were using 10-ft. Zebco crappie rods-and-reels spooled with 6-lb. test line out in the water with six 1/16-oz. Canyon Plastics Mini Jigs at the time of the catch.

While trolling near the bank, one of the rods almost bent in half. Michael Dollar recalled the experience.

He told Newsweek.

“When the fish bit, I initially thought I was hung up because the rod was bowed over so far. When I got the rod out of the holder, my first thought was to cut the line. That's when I saw my cork start moving away from the bank. I knew then that I had a big fish." -Michael Dollar (Source: Newsweek)

After twenty minutes of wrestling with the fish on the line, he considered cutting the line, but kept going for at least twenty more minutes, zig-zagging for what he estimated at over 2 miles.

After a long battle, the flathead eventually floated to the surface of the water, and his friend assisted with the net, breaking the net in the process.

He said:

“I guess I finally tired the fish out, and he sort of just floated to the top,” Dollar said. “That’s when my buddy, Ken O’Barr, swooped the net and did the best he could to get the whole fish in the net.” -Michael Dollar (Source: Newsweek)
Michael Dollar holding up his record breaking flatheadPhoto byMichael Dollar (Facebook)

They took the fish over to Raysville Bait, Tackle & Cafe at 5240 Lincolnton Highway in Thomson, GA to have it officially weighed with at least 20 witnesses.

Field & Stream reported that this was a "Clarks Hill Lake record" for a flathead catfish.

Newsweek reported that the previous flathead catfish record caught at Clarks Hill Lake was 64 lbs., which was caught back in 2010.

After additional research on the official website of the International Game Fish Association and looked up the Flathead Catfish record for "Line Class World Record for Conventional Tackle" for a 6-lb. line class and that record was a 54 lb., 0 oz. fish caught in Kanopolis Reservoir in Kansas.

Help congratulate Michael Dollar by sharing this awesome story on social media so others can stay informed on this news.


Dewan, Pandora. "Angler Breaks Local Record With 70 Lb Catfish After Nearly Hour-Long Battle." Newsweek. 23 March 2023.

Every, Matthew. "Crappie Fisherman Lands Record-Breaking 70-lb. Catfish on 6-lb. Line." Field & Stream. 23 March 2023.

The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) official website and records for Catfish, flathead

Michael Dollar on Facebook.

Comments / 9

Published by

Zack covers interesting and inspiring stories that impact local communities. He has a bachelor's degree and an MBA.

Huntsville, AL

More from Zack Love

Comments / 0