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Blue Cats—Where to Look for a 150

by Dr. Rob Neumann   |  August 12th, 2011 3

It’s an amazing statistic indeed that the world record for blue catfish has been broken 7 times since 1991. The latest, still being confirmed as a world record, is a 143-pounder caught from Kerr reservoir in Virginia. It hadn’t been a year since the previous world record 130-pounder gulped up a chunk of Asian carp in the lower Missouri River near St. Louis. That fish surpassed a 124-pound brute caught on the Mississippi River near Alton, Illinois, in 2005. Prior to that, Lake Texoma was it, giving up the 121.5-pounder caught by Cody Mullennix.

Reports of remarkable fish have come in from rivers and reservoirs from Virginia to California, the big rivers in the Heartland producing perhaps the most consistent legacy of giant fish, although waters like Santee-Cooper, Texoma, the Tennessee River, James River, and Southern California reservoirs, among others, put up points on a fairly regular basis.

A big reason for the surge in catches of giant blue catfish has to be that anglers are better understanding the nature of blue catfish and are getting better at targeting big fish. More anglers are fishing for trophy catfish, too, and they’re better equipped. Yet some waters still remain relatively untapped for giant blue catfish. When the topic of the next world record comes up, the lower Mississippi and Missouri rivers are always key players in the conversation. Catfish pros Phil King and John Jamison weigh in on this subject in the October-November issue of In-Fisherman magazine. What water would you pick for the best chance at a 150?

  • Mark Orlicky

    I'm absolutely sure that the tidal water area in the James River will produce a 150. Problem is the relative fishery is a little young. It may not happen this year or next, but it'll come.

    A second note to add. A fish that big must have some protection. In the middle of the country, I don't see a lot of catch & release going on with big cats. So, the fish doesn't have as good of a chance of growing really big.

  • NOLA Charlie

    Lower Mississippi tributaries as well as deeper water on the main body. Honestly surprised we haven't had a fish tapping 200 pounds yet (documented at least.)

  • thegrassyknollhitman

    The Cumberland River (TN- KY) has proven capable of producing record class bles (and stripers).

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