Reel Big: 112-Pound Catfish Caught in North Carolina

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, 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. [Photos of the Largest Fish on Earth]

"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."

The beast pulled all the slack from the line, twice, during a 30-minute battle, before Brewington finally reeled in the catfish, WWAY reported. The fisherman took a few photos with the incredible catch, but then released the catfish back into the river.

A number of factors contribute to catfish growth, but according to 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.

Original article on Live Science.

Kacey Deamer
Staff Writer
Kacey Deamer is a journalist for Live Science, covering planet earth and innovation. She has previously reported for Mother Jones, the Reporter's Committee for Freedom of the Press, Neon Tommy and more. After completing her undergraduate degree in journalism and environmental studies at Ithaca College, Kacey pursued her master's in Specialized Journalism: Climate Change at USC Annenberg. Follow Kacey on Twitter.