Blue Catfish Breaks Florida State Record
Bill Stewart, 66, of Weeki Wachee, caught a 69-pound, 8-ounce blue catfish on the Choctawhatchee River, near Ebro, during the Choctawhatchee Catfish Roundup tournament on May 30. He beat the previous state record by 5 pounds.
He used a skipjack herring as bait, which he had caught earlier, on a big circle hook. Fortunately, his reel was loaded with 100-pound line because the blue catfish that took the bait a few minutes later was ready for a fight.
After getting a preliminary weight on tournament scales, he was informed the fish was approximately 69 pounds and if certified by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) would be a state record.
FWC fisheries biologist Paul Thomas then came to Stewart’s on Monday evening to complete the process and verify the weight and that it was a blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus). The official measurements were 49.5 inches in total length, with a girth of 31.75 inches.