David Shipman, Brooke Wilkins and Jay Cartwright combined to catch 39 pounds of catfish for a fourth-place finish.
Indiana’s Sam Brooks and John Raines reeled in a second consecutive title with 87.4 pounds.
“There was zero current which means no fish,” said Ken Freeman, manager of the World Championship of Catfishing. “These were some of the smaller weights than we have seen in the past.
Brooks and Raines, part of Team Power-Pole, hooked the championship with little trouble at Pickwick Landing State Park. They bested the runner-up team of Larry Muse, Dino Meador and Frank Meador by over 35 pounds.
Last year, Brooks and Raines won by just over a pound.
Clint Newton held on to win the National Catfish Derby. Newton landed a 52.22-pound blue catfish on June 19. The two-time weekly winner of the six-week contest was crowned winner on the same day Brooks and Raines captured their title.
Jamie Long and Kevin Earnest finished third with 48.55 pounds. Gary Baker and Terry Smith rounded out the top five with 30 pounds. Sponsored by the Packaging Corporation of America, the World Championship of Catfishing Tournament draws top competitive catfish anglers in the country.
The event is believed to be the oldest fishing competition in America. Dating back to the 1920s, the catfish derby was started by Catfish Patterson, who owned a boat rental place where the original Botel is located today. Patterson also owned a company in Savannah that made wooden toy guns, but started out making training rifles for World War I soldiers.
“This is truly the world catfish championship because of all the big catfish weighed in,” said Freeman.