official, a 92.21 pound blue catfish
caught June 29 by William and Nana
Zost from the waters of Buggs Island
(Kerr Lake) looks to be the new
Virginia state record. The Zost's
spectacular catch eclipsed the existing
record caught April 30 by Vernon
McCann weighing 75-4 by 17 pounds.
William Zost gave W2 an exclusive
interview recently and described
the night he and his wife landed
the massive catfish.
husband and wife began their trip
around 8:30 p.m., launching from
the Bluestone Creek public ramp
on upper Buggs Island Lake. Zost
remembered it was a typical hot
and muggy summer night.
on the lake, the husband and wife
duo anchored in 27-30" of water
off a point near the mouth of Bluestone
Creek and set out their bottom rigs.
They caught a number of smaller
catfish, but it wasn't until after
midnight that the big fish struck.
a 7'10" Surge rod (Trophy Cat
Series) and an ABU Garcia 6500 Trophy
Series reel spooled with 40-lb.
Berkley Big Cat line, William set
out a line tipped with two, whole
6" shad. He did cut each, but
did not fillet them. The terminal
tackle consisted of a 8/0 Gamagatzu
circle hook, an 80-lb. Berkley Big
Cat leader, a swivel, a bead and
a one-ounce egg sinker -- not unlike
a Carolina rig.
The Zosts set this rig in 17' of
water and didn't have to wait long.
Around 1 a.m. the rod went down
hard and the fight was on. William
fought the fish and wrestled it
on board, but wasn't too impressed
with the effort.
really didn't take as long as I
thought it would take for a fish
of that size -- about 20 minutes.
It did fight for it's life, though.
We tried to keep it alive after
landing it, but our efforts didn't
work," he explained.
The Zosts have been fishing Buggs
Island for just a year-and-a-half.
He told W2 he used to bass fish
the lake 15 years ago. Incredibly,
Zost and his wife started fishing
for small fish last year out of
a 11' plastic boat with a trolling
motor. He got serious this year.
wife and I are relatively new at
chasing the big cats. We knew that
there were big fish in the lake.
It's really a great fishery. It's
got a lot of potential and it's
only going to get better. I think
more and more guys in the catfishing
world are practicing catching and
release, and I think that has helped
a lot over the years."
about the "secret" spot
the Zosts were fishing?
had gotten some big fish to the
boat at this spot before but not
been successful landing them. I
think a lot of the fish were pouring
back out of the rivers after the
hunch has some scientific basis,
as the blue catfish were just completing
their annual spawn on the upper
end of Buggs where the Staunton
and Dan Rivers combine.
biologist was certain this female
had just deposited her eggs and
not eaten much. He speculated that
if we had caught her a month earlier
it could have been a 100-pound fish,"
new record holder put his catch
in perspective, knowing it's just
a matter of time before his mark
wife had a lot of confidence in
pursuing big fish, and she loves
to catch them. Her positive attitude
helps. There's no doubt we were
truly fortunate. I know someone
else will catch a bigger fish, and
I look forward to shaking his hand.
This was definitely a fish of a