PHOTO: 118-Pound Catfish Caught in Tennessee Could Shatter Records

by Craig Garrett
Fisherman holding a big striped catfish - stock photo

Wildlife officials in northwest Tennessee say a huge catfish recently caught might be a new state record with several pounds remaining. On Saturday, Sept. 24, Micka Burkhart captured a 118-pound blue catfish. This was while fishing. on the Cumberland River in Stewart County, as mentioned by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency on social media. To bait the massive fish, Burkhart employed a skipjack. He then had to put up quite the fight to reel it in.

According to another post, it took 45 minutes to haul the monster aboard after Burkhart hooked the fish. Burkhart’s catch is being investigated by wildlife officials. They will determine whether or not it was genuine and accepted if proved valid and authorized. He’ll beat the previous state record by approximately six pounds if verified, The State reports. As of June 7, 1998, the record for the heaviest fish ever caught stands at 112 pounds. Robert E. Lewis accomplished this amazing task also on the Cumberland River.

According to experts, Burkhart didn’t intend to make a trophy or supper of the fish. He returned to the Cumberland River and set the catfish free after it was weighed and measured. Burkhart received praise on social media for releasing the fish.

How the Tennessee catfish catch compares to other State records

On June 18, 2011, Nick Anderson of Greenville, North Carolina caught a 143-lb blue catfish from John Kerr Reservoir. The reservoir is on the Virginia-North Carolina border. The fish was certified by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries as the state’s largest. This set a new state record. The fish had a length of 57 in and a girth of 47 in.

On February 7, 2012, a commercial-fishing trot line caught a 136-lb blue catfish in Lake Moultrie. The fish is the largest blue catfish ever weighed on a certified scale in South Carolina. However, it is not eligible for state record certification.

On the Missouri River, on July 20, 2010, a yet-to-be-certified new world record blue catfish was caught by Greg Bernal of Florissant, Missouri. Janet Momphard, a nurse from St. Charles, assisted in landing the world-record fish. The record catfish weighed 130 pounds and measured 57 inches long and 45 inches around. On May 22, 2005, Tim Pruitt captured the previous angling world record of 124 lb while fishing in the Mississippi River near Vicksburg (Tulsa). This beat the previous Lake Texoma blue catfish record of 121.5 lbs set back in 2004.

Zachary Gustafson is an expert in the field of hand-lining and holds the record for pulling in a 107-lb blue catfish on only a 15-lb test braided line. In April, a 131-pound blue catfish was caught by Eugene Cronley of Brandon, Mississippi. This was while using a rod and reel with skipjack herring bait.