Biggest Catfish Records in the U.S.

Biggest Catfish Records in the U.S.
Charles Patchen (right) caught Florida state record flathead in 2016. (Photo courtesy of FWC) Read more:

Game & Fish dived into the record books to find the catfish records for every state. How does your best blue, channel, flathead and white catfish catches compare?

We know Game & Fish fans love fishing for catfish — whether it's for trophies and state records, or eaters. Our voluminous catfish library of content is one of the biggest, best and most visited on the Internet.

So, we took a look at the state fishing records (based on weight and traditional methods) listed on official websites of wildlife agencies or other official sources to see where the big cats roam. The answer? Everywhere. Well, almost; Alaska doesn't have catfish listed among their state fishing records.

catfish records
Posts about big catfish records are well-liked by readers.

Our search included records for blue, channel, flathead and white catfish (sorry, no bullheads) — the four most common targeted species in the U.S. Catch-and-release, length and line class records were not considered.

Here are some interesting factoids we found:

  • At least seven catfish records have been set so far this year (Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Maryland, New York, South Carolina and Wyoming). 
  • The oldest record — a 55-pound channel catch in South Carolina, 1949 — is approaching 80 years old
  • Michigan's flathead record (70-0) was reportedly caught while ice fishing
  • The IGFA world records for the four species were caught in the U.S.
  • However, while the IGFA recognizes California as the home of the world white catfish record (19 pounds, 5 ounces; 2005), California's official state record (22-0, 1994) is heavier
  • Indiana and Kentucky share the same record for blue catfish (104-0)

Note: This list was compiled from data currently available. It you see a mistake or omission, let us know.

State-by-state catfish records in the U.S.

2017 records are bold-faced.

Alabama Catfish Records

  • Blue: 120-4, John Paul Nichols, Holt Reservoir, 3/9/2012
  • Channel: 40-0, Donald R. Cox, Inland Lake, 6/17/1967
  • Flathead: 80-0, Rick Conner, Alabama River, 6/22/1986
  • White: 10-5, Roy Britton, Chambers Co. Public Lake, 4/3/1981

catfish records
Carson Pete's Arizona record channel catfish measured 39 1/2 inches and took about 20 minutes to land. (Arizona Game & Fish photo)

Arizona Catfish Records

  • Channel: 33-5.76, Carson Pete, Upper Mary Lake, 3/26/2017
  • Flathead: 76-8.64, Eddie Wilcoxson, Bartlett Lake, 4/13/2013

Arkansas Catfish Records

  • Blue: 116-12, Charles Ashley Jr., Mississippi River, 8/3/2001
  • Channel: 38-0, Joe Holleman, Lake Ouachita, 6/3/1989
  • Flathead: 80-0, Wesley White, Arkansas River, 10/28/1989

California Catfish Records

  • Blue: 113-5, Steve Oudomsouk, San Vicente Reservoir, 7/24/2008
  • Channel: 53-8, Randall Gilgert Jr., San Joaquin River, 9/22/2008
  • Flathead: 72-14, Billy Joe Potter, Colorado River, 4/22/2003
  • **White: 22-0, James Robinson, Land Park pond, 3/21/1994

Colorado Catfish Records

  • Blue: 24-7.7, Charlie Black, Pueblo Reservoir, 2016
  • Channel: 43-6, Jessica Walton, Aurora Reservoir, 2010
  • Flathead: 30-9.6, Michael Flock, Pueblo Reservoir, 2017

Connecticut Catfish Records

  • Channel: 29-6, Appleton Barrows, Mashapaug Lake, 2004
  • White: 12-12, John Shatas, Connecticut River, 1999

Delaware Catfish Record

  • Catfish (any species): 36-3.2 (blue), Jordan Chelton, Nanticoke River Creek, 6/20/2017

catfish records
Charles Patchen caught the Florida state record flathead in 2016. (Photo courtesy of FWC)

Florida Catfish Records

  • Blue: 69.5 pounds, William Stewart III, Choctawhatchee River, 5/30/2015
  • Channel: 44.5, Joe Purvis, Lake Bluff, 5/19/1985
  • Flathead: 63.8, Charles Patchen, Chattahoochee River, 5/15/2016
  • White: 18.88, Jim Miller, Withlacoochee River, 9/21/1991

Georgia Catfish Records

  • Blue: 80-4, Earnest Timpson, Lake Walter F. George, 2/2/2010
  • Channel: 44-12, Bobby Smithwick, Altamaha River, 5/18/1972
  • Flathead: 83-0 (tie), Carl Sawyer, Altamaha River, 6/22/2006; Jim Dieveney, Altamaha River, 7/11/2010
  • White: 8-10, James Sanders, Savannah River, 6/10/1996

Hawaii Catfish Record

  • Channel: 43-13, Dayton Miyamura, Lake Wilson, 3/24/1974

Idaho Catfish Records

  • Channel: 31-0, Kenny Decker, Mann Lake, 8/25/2001
  • Flathead: 58-8, J. Newberry/K.McCormick, Brownlee Reservoir, 8/23/1994

Illinois Catfish Records

  • Blue: 124-0, Mississippi River, 5/21/2005
  • Channel: 45-4, Baldwin Lake, 2/7/1987
  • Flathead: 81-6.4, Sangchris Lake, 8/29/2015

Indiana Catfish Records

  • Blue: 104-0, Bruce Midkiff, Ohio River, 1999 (also Kentucky record)
  • Channel: 37-8, Randy Jones, Vanderburgh County, 1980
  • Flathead: 79-8, Glen Simpson, White River, 1966
  • White: 9.72, Melissa Grimes, Wabash County pond, 1985

Iowa Catfish Records

  • Blue: 101-0, Mike Rush, Missouri River, 6/8/2004
  • Channel: 38-2, Dustin Curtis, Missouri River, 6/11/2005
  • Flathead: 81-0, Joe Baze, Ellis Lake, 6/7/1958

Kansas Catfish Records

  • Blue: 102.8, Robert Stanley, Missouri River, 8/11/2012
  • Channel: 36.5, Rick Barnow, Mined Land, Cherokee Co., 6/3/2003
  • *Flathead: 123-0, Ken Paulie, Elk City Reservoir, 5/15/1998

Kentucky Catfish Records

  • Blue: 104-0, Bruce Midkiff, Ohio River, 1999 (also Indiana record)
  • Channel: 32-0, Kyle Estep, Ohio River, 5/26/2004
  • Flathead: 97-0, Esker Carroll, Green River, 6/6/1956
  • White: 5.27, Ethen Vest, Guist Creek Lane, 10/11/2016

Louisiana Catfish Records

  • Blue: 114-0, Lawson Boyte, Mississippi River, 3/2014
  • Channel: 30.31, Harold Clubb, Minor's Canal, 8/1977
  • Flathead: 95-0, Roland Lasseigne, Wax Lake, 7/2007

Maine Catfish Record

  • White: 6.69, Danny Shores, 7/7/2015

state record catfish
Jacob Vosburgh, 20, of Lexington Park, set a Maryland white catfish record in 2017. (Photo courtesy of Maryland DNR)

Maryland Catfish Records

  • Channel: 27.92, Steven Trent Abell, Upper Potomac River, 7/5/2004
  • White: 8.27, Jacob Vosburgh, Southern Potomac River, 6/1/2017

Massachusetts Catfish Records

  • Channel: 26-8, Dana Dodge, Ashfield Lake, 1989
  • White: 9-3, Michael Payne, Baddacook Pond, 1987

Michigan Catfish Records

  • Channel: 40-0, Houghton Lake, 1964
  • Flathead: 52-0, Barron Lake (ice fishing), 2014

Minnesota Catfish Records

  • Channel: 38-0, Mississippi River, 2/16/1975
  • Flathead: 70-0, St. Croix River, 1970

Mississippi Catfish Records

  • Blue: 95-0, Dakota Hinson, Mississippi River, 3/16/2009
  • Channel: 51-12, Tom Edwards, Lake Tom Bailey, 5/31/1997
  • Flathead: 77.7, Matt Bingham, Mississippi River, 4/21/2012

Missouri Catfish Records

  • Blue: 130-0, Greg Bernal, Missouri River, 7/20/2010
  • Channel: 34-10, Gerald Siebenmorgen, Lake Jacomo, 10/12/1976
  • Flathead: 77-8, Scott Brown, Montrose Lake, 4/28/2003

Montana Catfish Record

  • Channel: 34.8, Dan Davenport, Fort Peck Reservoir, 7/26/2013

Nebraska Catfish Records

  • Blue: 100-8, Raynold Promes, Missouri River, 11/29/1970
  • Channel (tie): 41-8, John Cunning, Merritt Reservoir, 7/26/1985; Heather Cunning, Merritt Reservoir, 8/11/1986.
  • Flathead: 80-0, William Swanson, Loup Power Canal, 4/16/1988

Nevada Catfish Records

  • Channel: 32-7, Scott Barrett, South Fork Reservoir, 6/27/2011
  • White (tie): 17-4, Corey Ryan, Lahontan Reservoir, 6/26/2008; Jose Mendoza, Humboldt River, 9/17/2005

New Hampshire Catfish Records

  • Channel: 12-4.8, Dave Kellam, Connecticut River, 9/20/2014
  • White: 5-11, Zachary Cross, Big Cub Pond, 8/4/1996

New Jersey Catfish Records

  • Channel: 33-3, Howard Hudson, Lake Hopatcong, 1978
  • White: 14-4, Timothy Jasko, Dallenbach Pond, 2004

New Mexico Catfish Records

  • Blue: 54-1/4
  • Channel: 36-8
  • Flathead: 78-0

catfish records
Eric Scordo used a nightcrawler to catch New York's record for channel catfish. (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation image)

New York Catfish Records

  • Channel: 35-3, Eric Scordo, Lake Ontario, 4/29/17
  • White: 10-5, Joe Silicato, New Croton Reservoir, 5/17/1998

North Carolina Catfish Records

  • Blue: 117-8, Landon Evans, Lake Gaston, 6/11/2016
  • Channel: 23-4, E.J. Bowden, City Lake in Rocky Mount, 9/1/1970
  • Flathead: 78-0, Brian Newberger, Cape Fear River, 9/17/2005
  • White: 13-0, Jerry Wayne Bentley, Lake James, 5/21/1990

North Dakota Catfish Records

  • Channel: 42-1, Tina Willis, Moon Lake, 7/25/2009

Ohio Catfish Records

  • Blue: 96-0, Chris Rolph, Ohio River, 6/11/2009
  • Channel: 37.65, Gus Gronowski, LaDue Reservoir, 8/15/1992
  • Flathead: 76.5, Richard Affolter, Clendening Lake, 7/28/1979

Oklahoma Catfish Records

  • Blue: 98-0, Billy Nabors, Texoma, 11/11/2004
  • Channel: 35-15, Gary Doak Jr., Taft Lake, 9/11/2005
  • Flathead: 78-8, Richard Williams, El Reno City Reservoir, 5/11/2010

Oregon Catfish Records

  • Channel: 36-8, Boone Haddock, McKay Reservoir, 1980
  • Flathead: 42-0, Joshua Kralicek, Snake River, 1994
  • White: 15-0, Wayne Welch, Tualatin River, 1989

Pennsylvania Catfish Records

  • Channel: 35-2.5, Austin Roth III, Lehigh Canal, 1991
  • Flathead: 48-6, James Shabrach, Blue Marsh Spillway, 2006

Rhode Island Catfish Record

  • White: 16-12, L. Angell, Tiogue Lake, 8/1994

South Carolina Catfish Records

  • Blue: 113.8, Paula Haney, Lake Moultrie, 2017
  • *Channel: 58-0, W.H. Whaley, Lake Moultrie, 1964
  • Flathead: 79-6, Danny Aderhold, Cooper River, 2014
  • White: 12-2.9, Charles Earp, Lake Murray, 2014

South Dakota Catfish Records

  • Blue: 99-4, Steve Lemmon, Big Sioux River, 7/21/2012
  • Channel: 55-0, Roy Groves, James River, 5/18/1949
  • Flathead: 63-8, David Holland, James River, 6/18/2006

Tennessee Catfish Records

  • Blue: 112-0, Robert Lewis, Lock C, Cumberland River, 6/7/1998
  • Channel: 41-0, Clint Walters Jr., Fall Creek Falls Lake, 7/30/1982
  • Flathead: 85-15, Larry Kaylor, Hiwassee River, 7/25/1993

Texas Catfish Records

  • Blue: 121.50, Cody Mullennix, Texoma, 1/16/2004
  • Channel: 36.5, Mrs. Joe Cockrell, Pedernales River, 3/7/1965
  • Flathead: 98.5, James Laster, Palestine, 12/2/1998

Utah Catfish Record

  • Channel: 32-8, LeRoy Mortenson, Utah Lake, 1978

Vermont Catfish Record

  • Channel: 35-14.7

catfish records
The Virginia state record blue catfish is also a world record. (Photo by Dallas Weston; courtesy Virginia DGIF)

Virginia Catfish Records

  • *Blue: 143-0, Nick Anderson, Buggs Island Lake, 6/18/2011
  • Channel: 32-0, Hugh Wyatt, Lake Chesdin, 4/28/1980
  • Flathead: 66-4, Mike Willems, Occoquan Reservoir, 5/6/1994
  • White: 7-6, Thomas Elkins, Western Branch Reservoir 3/24/1992

Washington Catfish Records

  • Blue: 17.75, Rangle Hawthorne, Columbia River, 7/9/1975
  • Channel: 36.2, Ross Kincaid, I-82 Pond #6, 9/6/1999
  • Flathead: 22.8, C.L. McCary, Snake River, 6/28/1981
  • White: 19.85, Donald Huffman, Walla Walla River, 4/17/2002

West Virginia Catfish Records

  • Blue: 59.74, Mark Blauvelt, Ohio River, 2016
  • Channel: 33.42, Michael Sears, Patterson Creek, 2005
  • Flathead: 70-0, L.L. McClung, Little Kanawha River, 1956

Wisconsin Catfish Records

  • Channel: 44-0, Larry Volenec, Wisconsin River, 1962
  • Flathead: 74-5, Stan Hagensick, Mississippi River, 3/30/2001

catfish records
Wyoming's record channel cat was caught in 2017. (Photo by Brandon Chadwick)

Wyoming Catfish Records

  • Channel: 28.52, Christian Cosby, Flaming Gorge Reservoir, 6/24/2017
  • Flathead: 22.46, Dallas Stanton, North Platte River, 4/18/2004

*IGFA-recognized world record

**IGFA recognizes the world white catfish record (19 pounds, 5 ounces, 2005) as being caught in California, but the state's official record (22-0, 1994) is heavier

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