Bowfishing world record? South Dakota men bag massive channel catfish

A channel catfish like this one is getting a lot of attention in South Dakota.

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Two South Dakota men have bagged what the Bowfishing Association of America is calling a new world-record channel catfish.

The Rapid City Journal reports 19-year-old Cody Sechser and 18-year-old Isaac Kipp of Montrose were bowfishing on Skunk Creek 10 miles north of Hartford on June 9 when they shot a channel catfish that measured 24 pounds, 12 ounces and was 38-1/2 inches long with a 20-1/2-inch girth.

Sechser, Kipp and their friend Riley Scotting had been at the spot about an hour when Scotting, who didn’t have a bow, saw the fish near some rocks in about a foot of water.

At first they wondered if the fish was a rock before realizing no rock has whiskers or fins like that fish. Sechser said he shot the fish in the spine and Kipp shot it behind the head, killing it instantly.

“For a solid two hours I thought I was dreaming,” Sechser said. “It didn’t even seem like it was real. To be honest, I didn’t even sleep that first night.”

They weighed the fish at Lake Time Steak House and Bait Shop on Lake Vermillion that night and in Montrose the next day. They suspected the fish might be a world record, so they sent video of the weigh-in to the bow fishing association.

The organization confirmed the fish was a new world record on June 18. The old record was 23 pounds, set less than two weeks before Sechser and Kipp killed their fish.

Sechser will be a sophomore wildlife and fisheries student at South Dakota State University this fall. Kill will be a freshman wildlife and fisheries student.

And what became of their big catch? Sechser fileted the beast and fried it up.

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