The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


June 5, 2014

Catfish tournament coming to Bolt this weekend

Mike Hylton of Fairdale will offer some top prizes this weekend at his catfish pond located near Bolt. The pond is called Brandy’s Catfish Fish Pond and is well-known for its recreational fishing during the past two decades.

On Saturday, a mega-tournament will pay out 75 percent of the entry fees for the anglers who score first, second, third and fourth places.

There will be an entry fee of $100, but fishermen stand a chance to win some serious money, according to Hylton. He purchased the pond last year from Tommy Craft, who originally started the pond for his daughter 22 years ago.

Tonight, there will be a $30 entry fee at the pond. “We payback $20 out of every $30, and we have tagged fish as well,’ the owner explained. ‘The size of the tagged fish vary from 36 inches to 39 inches. But there are other fish in the pond that measure 45 inches and weigh up to 70 pounds.”

Fishing tournaments are held each Friday and Saturday nights.

“‘We draw names at 7 p.m. and fishing begins at 8 p.m. and extends until 1 a.m.,” Hylton explained. “When the fish are biting well, it’s not unusual for some crafty anglers to catch 10 to 15 large fish in a single night.”

Shovelhead catfish are stocked each year, a minimum of 1,000 pounds going into the pond at a time. “We have a lot of fish in the fish pond,” Hylton said.

The most popular kinds of bait include creek chubs, gold fish, bluegills and red-eyes. Others use cut bait.

“There is no age limit when it comes to fishing at the pond,” Hylton said. “You do not have to have a license. Parents bring their kids down to fish. Some folks even bring their mothers and fathers. We have three handicapped docks for anglers’ convenience.”

Hylton noted that some people have come to the pond who have never caught a catfish before. Benches are set up around the facility so people can sit and rest even while they are fishing.

“You don’t have to stand at all if you don’t want to,” Hylton said. “We also have some shelters here in case it rains.”

Later on this month, there will be fishing tournaments on Sundays. Entry fees for the Sunday sessions are only $20. There is plenty of parking room at the facility.

Advice to anglers? “Be very patient,” Hylton said. “Fishing for these shovelheads is a slow process; it isn’t like bass fishing.

“Bring good fishing tackle that is heavy enough to land a sizable catfish. That includes heavy rods, reels and braided fishing line. People use hooks from 3/0 to 5/0. They are good size hooks that will hold any size bait you want to use. Circle hooks and stainless steel hooks are not allowed for the protection of the fish, which are returned to the pond.

“We invite everyone to come out for fishing and fun and have a good time with us,” the owner said. “Hot dogs and hamburgers are on the grill and drinks are in the cooler. We do have some great hot dogs with homemade chili and slaw. They’re lip-smacking good.”

— E-mail: jabbb

Text Only
  • 071714 Coda and Callie.jpg Coda and Callie’s excellent adventure

    How is it something that you profess to love so much can cause you so much anxiety and grief? No, I’m not talking about dealing with your children (or your spouse). This is worse. This is about dogs. More specifically, hunting dogs. 

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 071314 Chris Ellis.jpg DNR’s ‘outdoor summer school’

    Attention all West Virginia hunters and trappers. It is once again time for outdoor summer school and the course materials are hot off the presses.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Meet the Eurasian collared-dove

    Back in 1974 a local pigeon fancier imported a flock of about 50 Eurasian collared-doves to the Bahamas. Ultimately he released the birds, and they took to living in the West Indies. By the late 1970s some had reached south Florida, and by the late 1980s, some had been seen in Georgia and Arkansas.

    July 13, 2014

  • July in W.Va.: Recreational opportunities abound

    It’s July in the West Virginia mountains, which brings vibrant orange tiger lilies, blooming rhododendron, and of course fireworks. Usually the heat and humidity is in full force, but so far the weather has been nice.

    July 13, 2014

  • Shotgun 101: Shoot more and live better

    “God is not on the side of big battalions, but on the side of those who shoot best.”
    — Voltaire

    July 9, 2014

  • Fireflies are living lights

    At recent Fourth of July fireworks displays, spectators squealed with delight at the annual spectacle that illuminated the night sky. And I’m sure more than a few compared the spectacular pyrotechnics to the subtler displays of fireflies that punctuate backyards, parks, and campgrounds all summer long. We call these displays “nature’s fireworks.”

    July 5, 2014

  • Get on up, or you’ll get left behind

    “Let me embrace thee, sour adversity, for wise men say it is the wisest course.” —
    William Shakespeare

    July 3, 2014

  • Catfish, it's whats for dinner

    I think for far too long the catfish has had an image problem. They seemed to be the Rodney Dangerfield of the fish world. You know, they got no respect. Fortunately though (maybe unfortunately if you are a catfish), that seems to be in the past. They are a fish whose time has come.

    June 28, 2014

  • It’s more than a boat, it’s an adventure

    Growing up on Elk River, I couldn’t help being connected to the river and its waters. It is where I caught my first fish, learned to swim, paddle a canoe, to read water and throw a buzz bait, killed my first duck, gigged frogs and spent many a Saturday night fishing for catfish. We lived in a river bank community, and the Elk provided us with everything from water for our homes to all the recreation a young boy would need to fill his youthful requirements for adventure.

    June 28, 2014

  • Old friends at the beach

    If your summer vacation plans include a trip to an east coast beach, I can’t predict everything you might see. But one bird that I guarantee you’ll encounter many times is the laughing gull.

    June 28, 2014

Web Special Sections
  • Special Web Sections

    Click HERE for stories about natural gas and Marcellus shale gas extraction.

    Click HERE for stories about the Upper Big Branch mine disaster.

    Click HERE for stories about the passing of U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd.

    Click HERE for stories from The Greenbrier Classic PGA TOUR event.

    August 6, 2010

Helium debate
AP Video
Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return