CO Flathead Catfish State Record Broken by La Junta Angler

CO Flathead Catfish State Record Broken by La Junta Angler
Angler Tony Chavez, of La Junta, with his new record-setting 39 9/16-inch, 27-pound 3.68-ounce flathead catfish.

HASTY, Colo. - A La Junta man has crushed the previous state record for flathead catfish. On Jan. 19, Tony Chavez pulled a monster from the stilling basin below John Martin Reservoir. Chavez's catfish weighed nearly double that of the previous record fish that was caught back in 2011.

Chavez said he lured his new record-setting 39 9/16-inch, 27-pound 3.68-ounce flathead catfish with chicken livers. The previous record holder was a fish from Pueblo Reservoir that weighed 15-pounds 6-ounces and was 32 2/8-inches long.

Flathead catfish were stocked at John Martin sporadically from 1994 - 2009. These fish were acquired from the state of Arkansas through special trades. Although no flathead catfish have been stocked since 2009, populations of these fish continue to be evident and appear to be self-sustaining.

Flathead catfish have tremendous growth potential. Fish weighing well over 50 pounds are common in the midwestern states. The angling world record for flathead catfish is more than 120 pounds. CPW aquatic staff have sampled several large flatheads at John Martin in recent years, so this record may be broken again in the near future.


"We are really excited for Tony and for John Martin Reservoir," said, Jim Ramsay, CPW Aquatic Biologist. "It is gratifying to see a fish of this size caught in southeastern Colorado. This fish was taken from the stilling basin below John Martin Dam which means the fish escaped from the main reservoir during water releases."


Record Catfish

Ramsay added that many more flatheads could be available to catch in this area. The best opportunity to catch flatheads is in the main lake, Ramsay said. These fish can be found along the dam and the rocky points of the north and south shorelines.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife tracks fish records by weight in 46 different species categories. Potential record-holders must have a valid Colorado fishing license or be under the age of 16. The fish in question must be weighed on a state-certified scale, and a weight receipt must be signed by a person who witnessed the weighing. The fish, before being frozen, gutted or altered in any way, must be examined and identified by a CPW biologist or district wildlife manager before an application is submitted.

To view other state fishing records, visit http://cpw.state.co.us/learn/Pages/RecordsbyWeight.aspx.


Colorado Parks and Wildlife manages 42 state parks, more than 300 state wildlife areas, Colorado's wildlife, and a variety of outdoor recreation. Get your CPW park passes, camping, recreational vehicle registration and hunting and fishing licenses online at cpw.state.co.us.

Like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ColoradoParksandWildlife, and follow us on Twitter @COParksWildlife.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Mustad Skatter Shad Bladed Jig

Mustad Skatter Shad Bladed Jig

As Mustad continues to expand into an all-around tackle company, Reid McKinstry shows off some innovative features that make the Mustad Skatter Shad bladed jig a winner in big bass waters.

Lure Lock Options Includes LED Light Boxes & More

Lure Lock Options Includes LED Light Boxes & More

Pro angler Jonathan VanDam showcases new offerings at ICAST 2019, including the ultra-thin, big bait boxes, LED-lighted boxes and backpack-able gear lockers. With Game & Fish Editorial Director Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2019 in Orlando.

Electric Filet Knife from Bubba Blades

Electric Filet Knife from Bubba Blades

As OSG's Lynn Burkhead looks on, Josh Neville shows off the cordless and corded versions of a new electric filet knife from Bubba Blades.

13 Fishing Omen Black Baitcasting Rod

13 Fishing Omen Black Baitcasting Rod

Multiple time FLW Costa winner Jessi Mizell is no stranger to catching big Florida bass on a popping frog. As he tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead, with the new 13 Fishing Omen Black baitcasting rod, the job just got easier.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Dozens of different bait types are commonly used for catfish, including these great options. Catfish

12 Great Catfish Baits

Jeff Samsel

Dozens of different bait types are commonly used for catfish, including these great options.

You can catch bluegill faster with these strategies. Panfish

Find and Fish Bluegill Beds Efficiently

Terry Madewell - May 22, 2019

You can catch bluegill faster with these strategies.

As most catfish anglers know, blue cats, channel cats and flatheads will eat darn near anything that fits in their mouths. Catfish

5 Ways To Catch Catfish on Lures

Keith Sutton - September 16, 2015

As most catfish anglers know, blue cats, channel cats and flatheads will eat darn near...

Here are the 10 most common spinning and baitcaster reel performance problems and how to fix them. Fishing How-To

10 Most Common Reel Performance Problems

Anietra Hamper

Here are the 10 most common spinning and baitcaster reel performance problems and how to fix...

See More Trending Articles

More Stories

Where and how some of the state's best archery bucks were killed last season. Whitetail

Oklahoma's Big Archery Bucks of 2018

Kelly Bostian

Where and how some of the state's best archery bucks were killed last season.

Bow fisherman arrows fish of a lifetime on South Texas trip. Other Freshwater

240 Pounds! Massive Alligator Gar Taken on Father's Day

Lynn Burkhead - June 22, 2020

Bow fisherman arrows fish of a lifetime on South Texas trip.

Could the northern stretches of the Lone Star State one day rival the south for big-buck supremacy? Whitetail

The Next ‘Big Tex' for Trophy Bucks?

Jordan Michaels - October 18, 2019

Could the northern stretches of the Lone Star State one day rival the south for big-buck...

How a humble Virginia hunter bagged the biggest non-typical whitetail a bowhunter has ever seen. Whitetail

The Story Behind Brewster's World-Record Buck

Lynn Burkhead - October 17, 2019

How a humble Virginia hunter bagged the biggest non-typical whitetail a bowhunter has ever...

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now