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Catch from the past

Posted: June 7, 2018 3:03 p.m.
Updated: June 8, 2018 1:00 a.m.
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Pictured is Robert Barnwell “Barnie” Clarkson Sr. He lived in Camden and farmed in Lugoff.

This was around the year of 1922. Clarkson was fishing in the Wateree, right below the dam, which had been constructed a few years earlier in 1919. He got a huge strike on his line, and with the help of his young nephews, Alexander Garden Clarkson III and Robert Johnson Clarkson, he started a long battle to land the fish. Finally, they pulled the catch to within an arm’s length. Barnie still did not know what he had on his line, and he could not get the fish out of the water. So, he got a sizeable stick and thinking it must be a large carp, struck the fish under the muddy water as hard as he could. The water erupted with this angry 7-foot sturgeon, and then he and the boys were eventually successful in dragging the giant onto shore. They proceeded to transport the leviathan to the ice house in Camden and strung him up for all to admire, as seen in the photograph. Then the ice house cut the fish into steaks and sold it piece by piece to the public.

(Robert Johnson Clarkson, father of F.A. “Skip” Clarkson, who sent this photo, is shown with his back to the camera.)

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