Skip to main content Skip to main content

Catching Giant Flathead Catfish Runs in Family

Florida agency certifies new state-record flathead catfish.

Catching Giant Flathead Catfish Runs in Family

Marvin Griffin caught this Florida-record flathead catfish in the same river where his uncle previous held the record. (Photos courtesy of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)

Flathead catfish can be a difficult trophy to catch, given they can be so difficult to find in the first place.

But one Florida man had a distinct advantage on a recent trip — catching record flatheads runs in the family.

The Florida-record flathead Marvin Griffin caught in family hot spot Yellow River weighed 69.3 pounds, was 47 inches long and had a girth of 34 1/4 inches.

It was certified by fisheries biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which announced the record Wednesday, July 3.

The catch beat the previous record (63.8 pounds, caught in 2016 in the Chattahoochee River by Charles Patchen). by 5 1/2 pounds.

The fish was weighed at FWC’s Blackwater Hatchery near Holton a certified scale.

Griffin told FWC the record flathead was the only fish caught during a trip with friend John Babb — “ I never would have been able to bring the fish into the boat without his help,” he said in an FWC news release.

Griffin caught the brute using live bait in the same river his family has been hooking huge catfish for years. That includes uncle, James Auston Jr., who held the flathead state record 2011-16.

“I have always wanted to catch a state record,” Griffin told the FWC. “After my uncle caught his, I made it a mission of mine to catch my own.”

More from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission:

Flathead catfish are a non-native fish found in many Northwest Florida panhandle river systems. Flatheads prefer long, slow-flowing, moderately turbid rivers. Their solitary lifestyle makes them more difficult to catch than other catfish. Adult flathead catfish feed primarily on live fish, crawfish, freshwater clams and mussels.

To properly certify a new Florida state record, an FWC biologist must identify the fish species and witness its weighing on a certified scale. Anglers can check the current state records at by clicking on “State Record,” and should notify the nearest FWC regional office if they believe they have caught a record fish. Contact information for FWC regional offices can be found at by clicking on “Contact Regional Offices.”

The FWC recognizes other memorable freshwater catches through its Big Catch program, which provides certificates commemorating trophy catches of 33 different freshwater species. Largemouth bass catches are recognized by the TrophyCatch program, which is a citizen-science program that partners with industry leaders, such as Bass Pro Shops, to offer rewards for the catch, documentation and release of largemouth bass weighing 8 pounds or heavier.

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

Recommended Articles

Popular Videos

DIY Garage Bow Mechanic: List of Tools and How to Get Started

DIY Garage Bow Mechanic: List of Tools and How to Get Started

Wanting to tune, tinker, and test your archery equipment without taking a trip to the pro shop? Great. Here's a list of tools you'll need and how to get setup to become a DIY bow mechanic in your garage.

A Look at the Lupo

A Look at the Lupo

In the second episode of Beyond the Rifle, we'll discuss the innovation behind the major components of the Lupo. Just how unique is this new rifle? Prepare yourself for some surprises.

The Modern Air Rifle: Big-Bore Air Rifle Hunting: What You Need to Know

The Modern Air Rifle: Big-Bore Air Rifle Hunting: What You Need to Know

Imagine hunting big game with a .50 Caliber air rifle. The Umarex Hammer is a high-pressure big bore air rifle engineered for an ethical harvest. This unparalleled air rifle will push a 550-grain slug to 760 FPS and unlike using a traditional firearm, a shooter in a big game hunting situation won't need to wear hearing protection. It's not just another rifle. It's in an air rifle hunting class all by itself.

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

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

Get the top Game & Fish stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Phone Icon

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 and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now