The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced on Thursday that a new state fishing record has been broken.
Over the weekend, Bill Stewart of Weeki Wachee landed a 69-pound, eight-ounce blue catfish from the Choctoawhatchee River. According to Walton Outdoors, the catch came as part of the third annual Choctawhatchee Catfish Roundup tournament in Caryville. To absolutely nobody’s surprise, Stewart’s behemoth catfish stole the show and easily crushed the competition—beating the runner-up by more than 40 pounds.
“I’m going to kiss him!” a smiling Stewart announced at the tournament’s conclusion, but then the angler looked into the fish’s mouth and though better of it. “No, I ain’t!”
You can see a video of Stewart and the catfish below:
Blue catfish are by far the largest species of North American catfish. The previous Florida record was held by James Mitchell, who caught a 64.5-pound catfish also from the Choctawhatchee River in 2008. For comparison, the International Game Fish Association lists a 143-pound blue catfish from Virginia as the world record. That massive fish was caught by Richard Nicholas Anderson in 2011 near the state border.
Image from Facebook