While trolling for crappie on Clarks Hill Lake, Georgia, earlier this month, a fisherman hooked into a 70-lb flathead. Michael Dollar of Raysville fought the fish for nearly an hour on lightweight tackle, eventually landing what could be an IGFA line-class record fish.

On March 4, Dollar and some friends were trolling six, 1/16-oz. Canyon Plastics Mini Jigs, but the fishing was pretty slow. He had just purchased some Zebco crappie rod-and-reel combos spooled with 6-pound-test. “They came with line on it, so I just figured I’d use that,” he told Georgia Outdoor News. 

After making one pass without much luck, Dollar and his friends decided to troll closer to the bank. When they did, one of their 10-ft crappie rods almost bent in half. 

“When the fish bit, I initially thought I was hung up because the rod was bowed over so far,” Dollar told Newsweek. Dollar pulled the rod out of the holder and thought to cut the line. But then he saw the bobber moving away from the bank. “I knew then that I had a big fish.”

Twenty minutes into the fight, Dollar again thought he might have to cut the line, but he kept pushing his luck, wrestling with the fish for almost an hour. “I guess I finally tired the fish out, and he sort of just floated to the top,” Dollar said. “That’s when my buddy, Ken O’Barr, swooped the net and did the best he could to get the whole fish in the net.”

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By that time, Dollar and his buddies had fought the fish all over the lake. “We probably zig-zagged for 2 1/2 miles,” he said. After getting the fish ashore, they took it to Raysville Bait & Tackle and Bob’s Cafe in Thomson and weighed it in front of 20 witnesses. At 70 pounds, the flathead will go down as a Clarks Hill Lake record and could break an IGFA line-class record for flatheads. 

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