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That's tough because I have plenty of blues and flatheads less than 30 minutes from the house on the Susquehanna River but they aren't big there yet. I've only had 2 that bottomed out a 30lbs scale. It would have to be a location where I stand a good chance of getting a personal best. Even if numbers of fish were really low. Probably Tennessee River, maybe Nickajack. At home, I'm used to fishing below a hydroelectric dam and timing my fishing around a generation schedule. Doing that same type of fishing but in a different location would give me some level of comfort and familiarity.
Buggs Island/Kerr Lake would be good but I would need a guide. That place would be a bit overwhelming in my kayak. Too much water to try and cover.
 

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I can leave my drive and be sitting at osceola ramp on the Mississippi in 1.5hrs. Less than 4hrs to the tn river at pickwick. Less than 4hrs to the tri rivers area of the white, Mississippi, and Arkansas rivers. May not be the best fishing in the country, but it ain't bad. Day trips we go to osceola, weekends or longer trips we go to one of the other. It's always fun to fish new places tho. I've wanted to fish the Ohio river for a long time. Actually it's less than 4hrs to the mouth of the Ohio from my house. Never been there to try it.
 

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Seems that most folks want to go south for the big blues and I can definitely understand that. For me, fishing for big channels in the Red River is on my wish list.
Our river is in great shape! I just interviewed the area DNR biologist for my podcast and he said probably the best shape ever.

For me it is go south for blue cats just because it is different.
 

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I live in the Raleigh-Durham area in NC and there's excellent catfishing within about an hour so in any direction that I go. Gaston / Kerr to the north, the Cape Fear River to the south and east, Badin Lake to the west... I fish the lakes a lot in the winter for big catfish and saw a 100 lb fish on my livescope the other week at Kerr (a.k.a. Buggs Island... where the world record blue is from) 😮 100 lb catfish on livescope
 
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