Angler Lands Blue Cat Record


A 69.45-pound blue catfish caught on Dec. 8 is the new West Virginia state record. It’s the fourth consecutive year the record for the species has been broken.
Angler Michael John Drake, of St. Albans, WV, caught the 50.51-inch blue cat while fishing cut shad on the R.C. Byrd Pool of the Ohio River near Gallipolis. After having the catch weighed and measured by West Virginia DNR staff, Drake released the fish back to the river.

“I’ve caught a lot of fish in the 45- to 50-pound range, and when they hit, they’ll pull some drag,” Drake said. “When this one hit, it smoked my reel. It let me know really quickly that it had some shoulders on it.”

The previous record blue catfish of 67.22 pounds and 50.70 inches was held by Steven Price. The IGFA all tackle world record blue catfish weighed 143 pounds. It was caught in 2011 from Kerr Lake, Buggs Island, Virginia.

Read a detailed account of the catch at

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