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Angler Fulfills Catfish Passion with Record Flathead

Michigan giant continues trend of state-record catfish.

Angler Fulfills Catfish Passion with Record Flathead

Lloyd Tanner, of Hobart, Ind., was fishing the St. Joe River in the early-morning hours of Sunday, May 29, when he caught a flathead catfish weighing 53.35 pounds. (Photo courtesy of Michigan DNR)

Catfish record-seekers take notice. There’s been a run on record catfish catches this year, the latest a 53-pound flathead caught by an Indiana anger that set a new fishing challenge in Michigan.

Lloyd Tanner, of Hobart, Ind., says he frequently travels on weekends to Michigan to catch big catfish with friends with the Michigan Catfish Anglers Trail, or MCATS, an amateur fishing club.

"I've been fishing Michigan for almost 30 years," Tanner said in a news release from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. "What draws me to Michigan is fishing for big catfish."

Tanner broke the Michigan flathead record on May 29 while fishing with cut bait at St. Joe River, a tributary of Lake Michigan.

Officially, the fish weighed 53.35 pounds and measured 48 inches long. The catch broke Dale Blakley’s previous record of 52 pounds, caught at Barron Lake in 2014.

So far, 2022 state-record catfish reports have included:

Though Michigan does not keep state records for length, Tanner’s record also was nearly two inches longer than Blakely's catch, which measured 46.02 inches.

Jay Wesley, the Lake Michigan Basin coordinator with the Michigan DNR, verified the catch.

To view a current list of Michigan state-record fish by species, visit

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