By Cory Boothe

Has Calhoun County ever produced a state record fish? The answer is yes. In 1954, a Mr. Bill Dawkins caught a 37 inch, 25 pound freshwater drum out of the Little Kanawha River. To this day, it is still the longest drum ever caught in the state.

Freshwater Drum are a bottom feeding fish that makes loud grunting or drumming sounds to attract mates. They have silver sides and are white underneath. They use their nose to turn over rocks in pursuit of crayfish, snails, and small fish.

Locals talk about a "pearl" in the animals ear area. I remember, local angler, Junior Starcher would collect these "pearls." Actually they are not a pearl but an otolith. This stonelike object is used for the fish to remain vertical in muddy water. So the otolith provides a sense of balance in the often muddy waters of the Little Kanawha.

In 1989, a heavier fish was taken from the South Fork of the Hughes. This fish weighed 27 pounds but was only 35.5 inches long. This fish was caught by a Mr. Charles Mickel Lott.

Personally, I am not sure of where Mr. Dawkins caught his state record Drum in Calhoun County. I am sure it came from the Little Kanawha as the record books can attest. If anyone has any information on the record catch please email me at coryboothe@hotmail.com

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