Panhandle Angler catches state record Catfish

Monster Blue catfish was caught Monday in the Choctawhatchee

It could be a water heater or a world-record watermelon, but for a Panhandle angler this week, it was a state-record catfish.

James Mitchell was fishing the Yellow River on Monday when he hung a giant specimen of a blue catfish. The 64-pound, 8-ounce fish was weighed by state biologists who confirmed it as the most prominent blue cat ever caught on hook and line in Florida.

Mitchell spoke by phone from his home in Caryville. The town is midway between Panama City and Dothan, Alabama., just west of Cypress Slough. The official 2000 census said its population was 218, but a more recent count in 2007 put it at 232.

Fishing the local river might be a leading recreational outlet in Caryville. At least it is for Mitchell, who fishes it “pretty regularly.”

Panhandle Angler Catches State Record Catfish

He says the river is “way down right now,” which is both good and bad news. It’s bad because it’s hard to get into the Yellow River or to navigate it without a small boat – which Mitchell has. The upside of the low water is that, with so much of the river nearly dry, the catfish all seek refuge in the holes where he’s finding them “pretty easy.”

A week before the big record fish, he’d caught one over 40 pounds —but that was a channel cat. A couple of days later, he brought up another over 40 pounds.

Details on the battle are sketchy. Mitchell told The Times-Union that he fought the fish for nearly 10 minutes. It was caught on a “big old live bream” and 50-pound test line. A subsequent release from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says the fight was over in a minute. But who’s counting?

Mitchell says he knew it was a big fish right off the bat. The FWC says it took Mitchell, his son, and his grandson to bring the fish on board, which helped the angler catches the state record catfish.

The blue catfish isn’t an indigenous species to Florida. Their range is the Mississippi River. No one knows how or when they ended up in Florida. The blue cat is often mistaken for a channel cat but lacks the channel cat’s mottled – or spotted – flanks.

Typically, when someone says, angler catches state record Catfish! These types of fishing stories end in a gallon of peanut oil beside a stack of hush puppies. But for now, Mitchell’s catfish remains on ice in a cooler at his place. He says his brother, Dewey, said it could be worth something.

More about Blue Catfish

In the realm of freshwater giants, the blue catfish is an epitome of power and resilience. Angler Catches State record catfish as we conclude our journey into the depths of blue catfish territory, the story unfolds into a testament of angling triumphs and the allure of these majestic aquatic creatures.

Encountering a blue catfish is like stepping into a realm where prehistoric legends come to life. Their silvery-blue hue, coupled with the sheer size they can attain, captivates anglers with a sense of awe. The journey to catch a trophy blue catfish becomes a pursuit of not just a fish but an embodiment of aquatic grandeur.

With each tug on the line, the battle between angler and blue catfish becomes a symphony of strength and strategy. These powerful fish, known for their tenacity, put anglers’ skills to the test, creating a narrative of perseverance and accomplishment. Whether it’s the thrill of the chase or the moment when the colossal blue catfish emerges from the depths, the story of angling for these giants resonates with adrenaline and accomplishment.

In conclusion, the Angler Catches State record Catfish encapsulates the essence of freshwater angling, offering a narrative that spans the anticipation of the catch, the struggle against a formidable opponent, and the thrill of a triumphant moment. As anglers cast their lines into waters inhabited by these aquatic titans, they become part of a story where the blue catfish reigns as the undisputed monarch of the deep.

“I might sell him,” Mitchell said.

From Staff and Wire Reports
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