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Alabama Catfish Fishing Freshwater State Records

120-Pounder is New Alabama Record Blue Catfish

by Dylan Polk   |  April 11th, 2012 14

John NicholsIt’s always a pleasant surprise when you head down to the fishin’ hole hoping to reel in some dinner — maybe a couple 18-inchers — and come back with a new state record.

That’s what happened to Samantha, Ala., resident John Nichols, who reeled in a 120-pound blue catfish last month at Holt Reservoir, setting a new Alabama blue cat record.

Nichols, along with friend Robbie Tierce, landed the monster cat and had it weighed on a certified scale Tuscaloosa Scale Co. Inc. with five witnesses present. The catch was later certified by District Fisheries Biologist Jay Haffner.

Nichols’ fish shattered the previous state record, a 111-pounder caught by Elkmont, Ala., resident William P. McKinley on July 5, 1996, at Wheeler Reservoir.

According to the International Game Fish Association, the world record blue catfish was a 143-pounder caught by Richard Nicholas Anderson on June 18, 2011, at Kerr Lake, Va.

  • Orlando Wallace

    What kinda bait did you use

    • Bob

      Better question – Who did you use for bait?

  • adecker44

    Orlando…they were using chicken gizzards

  • harry

    looks like the one I lost last week..knew I should of used stronger line…

  • ronwagn


  • ronwagn

    They could eat Asian Carp whole!

  • ronwagn

    Is it safe to eat catfish that old?

  • MOHunter

    Why are these breeder fish always paraded around in the back of pick-up trucks…so sad.

    • Guest

      That fish is WELL past prime as a breeder. High value as a trophy catch is reason enough to release it though.

  • jim

    it's not safe to eat these giants who are bottom feeders, the bigger they get, the more murcury they absorb. and yes it is a shame these giants are paraded around. when a potential record is caught the fish should be tetherd and never taken out of the water until someone from game and fish gets there with a portable scale. and after being weighed it should be untethered and released immediately.

    • ronwagn

      Excellent advice! I guess we all better make sure to have cameras around. I would guard the critter until I could phone someone though. Plan ahead so you won't be tempted to keep it. Think what a gift it is to let someone else catch it!. Probably good to have a tape measure too. Measure the length and girth.

  • Eli H

    If you look around his fins you can see how red they are and the red mark up his side. This fish was telephoned or shocked up off the bottom

    • Guest

      You sound like a fellow of experience……..

  • guest

    if you want to claim a state record the DNR will take the fish and put it in a tank or something oi know if its a record they wont rerlease it back in

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