Texas Angler Hooks Record 31-Pound Blue Catfish on a Fly Rod

A giant Texas blue cat ... caught on a fly rod?
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This record blue cat was caught in Texas.
Ben Christensen hooked this record blue catfish in Texas. Ben Christensen

Texas fly fisherman Ben Christensen may have set an International Game Fish Association world-record, catching a 31.55-pound blue catfish from the Pedernales River. Christensen hooked the big blue cat on an olive creek damsel fly tied to a size 10 Gamakatsu hook, 12-pound Rio Bass tippet, and 4-weight fly rod. He was floating the river on a 3-man Flycraft guide raft.

“I sight casted to the fish and watched it take the fly, then fought it for 40 minutes,” Christensen told Texas Parks and Wildlife Inland Fisheries San Marcos/Austin District.

TPW weighed and measured the fish—it taped out at 40 inches. It is the largest all-tackle blue cat ever pulled from the Pedernales. Christensen will be submitting the fish to IGFA for a tippet class world-record consideration. According to IGFA, the current record sits at 26.4 pounds for a blue cat caught on a 12-pound tippet. That fish was caught in 2018 by Jason A. Schall, who holds four other tippet class blue cat world records, from the Escambia River in Florida.

“Just landed this fat cat at high noon, Christensen said in an Instagram post. “Anyway, sight-casted him with the Scott Flex 4WT and he grabbed the fly. It was on like Donkey Kong! Took me into the backing, and I fought him for 40 minutes like we were offshore or something.”

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Christensen did not release the fish because he thought it may die after such a long battle.

“It was old, blind in one eye, and its stomach was empty when we filleted him,” Christensen told FTW Outdoors. “I took thin fillets off the fish and composted his body in the middle of as piece of land where I hope to plant a wine grape vineyard.”