Another record-breaking Blue Catfish has been caught this year in Natchez, Mississippi. This Blue Catfish was caught by Christopher Halley of Brookhaven, Mississippi and it is the new State Record Blue Catfish in the Trophy Category. This second record-breaking Blue Catfish weighed in at 104 pounds. It was caught in the Mississippi River near Natchez on a trotline. The previous Record Trophy Catfish weighed 101 pounds and was caught by the team of Freddie Parker and Brad Smith in 1997.
The first record Blue Catfish that was caught this year was caught in April by Eugene Cronley of Brandon, Mississippi. This fish was caught on April 7, 2022 on a rod and reel. Mr. Cronley said that it took him forty minutes to land the huge fish. This fish was confirmed as the State Record Blue Catfish in the Rod and Reel category by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. You can see our previous article on that record catch here.
State fishing records for Mississippi are separated into three different categories: Rod and Reel, Trophy, and Fly Fishing. As the name implies Rod and Reel is for fish caught on rod and reel. Fly Fishing records are also as the name implies for fish caught on fly and fly tackle. And the final category of Trophy is for any fish caught on any legal methods other than rod and reel such as trotlines, limblines, and throwlines. To see a list of current state record fish visit: https://www.mdwfp.com/apps/fishrecord/.
The Blue Catfish (Ictalurus furcatus) is possibly the largest species of catfish in North America. The other species that could possibly be the larger is the Flathead Catfish. Blue cats are capable of living for up to 25 years and growing over 5 feet in length as well as over 100 pounds, but the average is closer to 2ft long. Specimens like the ones Mr. Halley and Mr. Conley caught are very rare catches.