Charlottesville, VA (WCAV) 60-year-old Robert Jones was on his weekly fishing trip at the Fluvanna Ruritan Lake; just a few miles southwest of Lake Monticello. He had his regular fishing pole and line with him.
"I threw it out there,” said Jones, who has been fishing there for the past two years, “And it stayed out there maybe thirty minutes." The rod then vanished.
"I said ‘Where’s my rod?' and I ran over there. The rod was hanging in the water," said Jones. That is when the fight began with the monster blue catfish. "Let him get tired, so we can tire him out. I and my son and girlfriend pulled him up onto the bank," said Jones.
Jones thought it was a turtle at first, and then he saw the belly of the fish as it rose to the surface. "I just wanted to know how much it weighed," said Jones.
That is when they took it to Van Der Linde recycling in Fluvanna County. Throughout the whole process Jones said he was getting a lot of guesses.
"People were telling me 30 pounds, my daughter said 60 pounds. They've been saying all that, then a buddy of mine, Jo-Jo, said 'Man that might be 100’," said Jones.
His friend Jo-Jo was right. The fish came out to 140 pounds. That is just three pounds under the Virginia record for blue catfish at 143 pounds. Jones has no plan of mounting it, and has plenty of room in the freezer for the entire fish.
There is only one problem; the scale at Van Der Linde Recycling is only accurate to about 20 pounds. That means Jones’ fish could easily weigh more than the record. He plans to get an official weight sometime this week.