A gigantic, 112-lb. (50 kilograms) catfish was reeled in by a North Carolina man the day before Thanksgiving, according to local news reports. The man identified as Riahn Brewington, caught the massive fish in the northeast section of Cape Fear River in North Carolina, local ABC affiliate WWAY reported. Despite its mammoth size, the fish was 5 lbs. (2.3 kg) shy of the state record for a reeled-in catfish. Brewington said he could tell the catch was big, but he had only a 10-lb. (4.5 kg) line on his fishing rod. “In the water, it felt like it was pretty big … I thought it would have already snapped the line,”Brewington told WWAY. “I didn’t realize how big he was until I actually got my hands underneath him.”
Trying to understand how the catfish grew to such a massive size, Hal Schramm, a fisheries research biologist at Mississippi State University, temperature is a major factor. “They begin active feeding and resume rapid growth at water temperatures above 70 degrees F [21 degrees Celsius], and growth isn’t suppressed at high temperatures in natural waters if adequate food is available,” Schramm wrote in an article for outdoor magazine In-Fisherman. According to Schramm, catfish grow faster and larger in the warm waters of the South.