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RALEIGH, N.C. (Jan. 10) - When it comes to catching really big freshwater drum, Kerr Lake is the place.

The two most recent state records were caught there, and the third time was the charm for the newest record-holder, Daniel T. Stotts, of Browns Summit.

On Nov. 27 while fishing for crappie, Stotts landed a 34.5-inch long freshwater drum that weighed a whopping 22 pounds, 12 ounces. He was using a minnow on six-pound test line, on a Pflueger rod and reel.

"I had a minor heart attack!" he jokes. "It took 20 minutes to get the fish to the top of the water, and then I immediately knew what I had. I've caught drum before, usually about 4 to 5 pounds. There's a whole lot of difference with 22 pounds. And to get the record, and by that big of a margin, is pretty cool."

The previous record was 17.8 pounds, caught by Paul Riggs, Jr., who broke his own record of 16 pounds, with both those catches coming in December 2003.

Corey Oakley, a fisheries biologist with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission who certified the catch, said the record freshwater drum now resides at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, a donation from Stotts.

To qualify for a state record, anglers must have caught their fish on a hook and line, must have their fish weighed on a certified scale witnessed by one observer, have the fish positively identified by a qualified expert from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and submit an application with a full, side-view photo of the fish.

For a list of all freshwater fish state records online, go to North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. For more information on fishing in North Carolina's public, inland waters, call the Commission's Division of Inland Fisheries, (919) 707-0220.
 

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Red X Angler
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WOW! I have never seen nor heard of a Freshwater Drum?
 

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I've been searching the web on them, appear to be fairly edible freshwater cousins of the saltwater croaker and drum, kind of look like a mature (but small) black drum. I love croaker, so I would probably be happy to try one of these guys in the fryer if I could figure out where they lurk in Kerr.

Strange that the freshwater guys consider them to be a rough fish like carp or buffaloe, but that's their loss.
 
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