This November Issue of CatfishNow focuses on what we are calling the catfish trifecta. Although there are many other named species of catfish, channel cats, flatheads and blue catfish are the main targets of the majority of anglers.
With these three species as designated topics CatfishNow researched the world records of each and where they came from.
My personal preference is the flathead. It is also the one I catch fewer of than any other species. I like them for the fight they give when hooked. They don’t exist within an 8-hour drive of me so I don’t get that many opportunities to catch the motley critters.
According to Wikipedia, the world record flathead catfish was caught May 14, 1998, from Elk City Reservoir, Kansas. The brute weighed 123 pounds 9 ounces and was caught by crappie angler, Ken Paulie. Many anglers believe that larger flatheads are out there and will spend hours on the water pursuing them.
Blue catfish are the biggest of the three major species. As fishing equipment and angler skills improve, more and more big blues are being caught. When I think of the blues I think of the successful introduction of blues into Santee Cooper lakes in South Carolina. Wildlife officials traded Santee Cooper stripers for Arkansas blue catfish. Now, years later, Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion are bucket list destinations for blue catfish.
Richard Nicholas Anderson caught the All-Tackle World Record blue catfish from John H. Kerr Reservoir (Buggs Island Lake). The big blue weighed 143 pounds, topping the old record by 13 pounds.
Buggs Island continues to be a big fish lake. Witness the 141.76-pound blue caught by Dale Russell Lowe, Jr in the 2017 Ice Bowl Tournament.
This is the only whiskered critter available near my home. I catch them often in the St. Johns River. To date, the heaviest channel I have caught here in Florida was about 8 pounds. Never being around channel cat fisheries I was not sure what to expect when I looked for the record. I was surprised with this one.
The All-Tackle World Record channel cat dates back to 1964 on Santee Cooper. An angler listed as W. Whaley caught a 47.25-inch beast to set the channel cat mark at 58 pounds. Something tells me this will be the toughest record of the three to surpass.
The Next Record?
Records are made to be broken and it is our wish at CatfishNow that one of our readers will set the next world catfish record and we will tell the story here.
Fish with passion,
Ron Presley, Editor