Woods and Waters An outdoor blog by John McCoy

Angler breaks two W.Va. records — on same day!

Alex Foster with his new W.Va. record blue cat (DNR photo)

Alex Foster likes to catch big fish. A good bit of his spare time is spent fishing both freshwater and saltwater for tackle-busting denizens of the deep.

Small wonder, then, that Foster is the proud new owner of the West Virginia record for blue catfish. Fishing with cut bait in the Ohio River about an hour’s drive from his St. Albans home, Foster caught a 43.9-inch, 44.5-pound blue catfish. The big cat shattered the state record for weight, 32.28 pounds, set in 2011 by Foster himself; and it also broke the record for length, 42.25 inches, set in 2009 by Lynn Lange.

Foster uses surfcasting gear and special distance-casting techniques to get his cut bait from the shore out into the middle of the Ohio where the big blue cats lurk.

Apparently other big fish lurk there too, because on the same day Foster caught the big blue cat, he also hooked and landed a longnose gar that tied the state record for length, 52.25 inches. The fish weighed 15 pounds, more than 4 pounds short of the weight record.