Is there anything more satisfying than sitting on a boat, on a crystal clear morning, enjoying nature, loving the silence and then feeling that familiar tug on the end of your line? Fishing, it’s an all-time favorite activity on Badin Lake.
An exclusive club, the list of freshwater fishermen who have landed a truly impressive blue catfish is shorter than you’d think. While the murky waters of Badin Lake provide the ideal breeding ground for these massive catfish, few anglers have the skill to land them. However, if you’re going out for trout fishing, take a look at our trout fishing gear list.
A 3x Record Holder
Zakk Royce is a legend on Badin Lake, and throughout North Carolina, having taken the record in 2006 with his 89-pound blue catfish. This record held for ten years until Zakk beat it himself with a blue catfish weighing in at 91-pounds.
The legend continues as Royce continued to fish Badin LAke that day, only to be rewarded with a 105-pound monster on the end of his line. This record still stands and at 28, Zakk Royce still has many years of fishing ahead of him and it will be interesting to see if he or someone else beats his current record, and when.
This is not a warm-weather sport, with most fishermen having most success in Spring, from late-March until early May. If you want to take part, wrap up warm, pack a flask or two of coffee and head out in the early morning or late afternoon and settle in.
Those quiet hours are worth it for the tussle which begins when you feel your line tug. You can’t just drag a blue catfish in you; it’s a game of giving line and then reeling in, giving a little and then reeling hard, all too exhaust the huge fish.
Expect your catfish to fight; to swim to- and fro, to dive and zag, while you patiently give and reel in, pulling him ever-closer while your muscles begin to burn. It is a unique pleasure.
Catch & Release
Badin Lake is a catch-and-release zone, so even record catches are freed back into the freezing water. The thrill of knowing that your nemesis is still out there is what brings many fishermen back to Badin Lake, season after season.
Prime fishing for more than a century Badin Lake came into existence in 1917 when the Yadin-Pee Dee River was dammed. The wildlife took years to adapt but from the early 1920s fishermen started to report near-misses and sightings of very large fish in the new lake.
Catfish live long lives, and a total count of the number living in Badin Lake can only be guessed at. The biggest blue catfish ever caught weighed 143-pounds, caught on Kerr Lake, on the border of Virginia and North Carolina.
That means that there are still huge blue catfish waiting to be caught and biologists believe the biggest could easily be in Badin Lake due to its depth and the many protected corners of the flooded valley.
If you fancy your chances, why not book a cottage, load up on supplies and head up to Badin Lake this coming blue catfish season? It’s just around the corner…