Delaware has a new blue catfish record, according to a press release the state’s Division of Fish and Wildlife published on Tuesday. Angler Chris Andrews holds the record after catching the large fish from the Nanticoke River, which runs into the eastern shore of Chesapeake Bay.
Andrews and his night-fishing buddies were enjoying a peaceful summer trip on the Nanticoke when the big cat took his bait.
“I knew it was a big one, just not how big,” the Bridgeville angler told DelawareOnline.com. “I got the fish up and close to the boat multiple times, but it would just take off pulling my drag. I had a smaller net than usual, so it took multiple tries [to boat]. After about a five-minute fight, the fish was landed.”
The crew then took Andrews’ blue cat to nearby Taylored Tackle Shop in Seaford, Delaware. State wildlife officer Sgt. Nathan Evans certified the 48-pound, 7.2-ounce catch.
Andrews’ catfish beats the previous record-holder by just 4 ounces. That blue cat was caught Oct. 8, 2022 by angler James Lord. Lord’s blue cat measured 40.5 inches long, with a 30-inch girth. Lord also caught his fish from the Nanticoke River, using a hand-size live bluegill as bait.
Record Blue Catfish
Blue catfish are the largest of North America’s native catfish, though they’re not considered abundant in Delaware. Blue cats grow huge, commonly weighing 70 to nearly 100 pounds in the Ohio, Mississippi, and Missouri river drainages.
The IGFA all-tackle world record blue cat weighed 143 pounds, caught from Kerr Lake in Virginia in June 2011 by angler Richard Anderson. He was using a chunk of chicken for bait at the time.
Andrews is no rookie at fishing, he says.
“Fishing is a big part of my life,” he said in the press statement. “I go out about three times a week, so I guess you’d say I’m an avid fisherman.”