The Biggest Cat Fish Ever Recorded in the US was Caught in Kerr Lake, Virginia

Yana Bostongirl

Catfishes are easily identifiable by their barbels or whiskers coming out of the side of their face. Even though they are known to have been around since the time of the dinosaurs, they have not changed much from an anatomical perspective.

There are over 3000 species of catfish and range in size from the tiny Pencil Catfish to the massive Wels Catfish which can top the scales at a whopping 440 pounds when fully mature!

Catfishes can be found in marine, freshwater and brackish waters all over the world and are known to be opportunistic feeders. Their dining preferences include small fish, crayfish, snails, clams and frogs. Another surprising fact about this mustached fish is that many of their species are venomous and have been known to be fatal to human beings so it is prudent to be on the cautious side when approaching a catfish.

The largest species of North American Catfish is the blue catfish: "The typical length is about 25–46 in (64–117 cm). The fish can live to 20 years. The native distribution of blue catfish is primarily in the Mississippi River drainage, including the Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, and Arkansas Rivers."

In 2011, a record setting catch was made at Kerr Lake in Virginia that remains unbroken: "Nick Anderson of Greenville, north Carolina reeled in a 143-lb blue catfish from John Kerr Reservoir, more commonly known as Buggs Island Lake, on the Virginia-North Carolina border. On June 22, 2011, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries certified the blue catfish as the state's largest, setting a new state record. The fish had a length of 57 in (145 cm) and a girth of 47 in (120 cm)."

Prior to that, Greg Bernal had landed a 130 pound behemoth while fishing in the Missouri River: "In July 2010 Greg Bernal of Florissant Missouri a 130-pound cat which was at that time an IGFA (world) record and a Missouri state record, this broke Tim Pruitt’s previous record by six pounds. Greg Bernal’s fish was officially certified as the Missouri state record blue, breaking the previous Missouri state record of 103 pounds."

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