Friday, February 3rd, 2023
Friday, February 3rd, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Catfish record for the taking after Jan. 1

Winchester, Ohio – Those who keep track of Ohio’s fishing
records have an early Christmas gift for those who seek
catfish.

The Outdoor Writers of Ohio’s Record Fish Committee is in the
process of including the blue catfish in the Buckeye State’s record
annals.

After Jan. 1, the first official blue catfish record will be
open for claiming, according to Tom Cross, chairman of the records
committee. Anyone who catches a blue of at least 45 inches after
that date could be the first official record-holder.

The non-profit Outdoor Writers of Ohio is the official
record-keeper for sport fish in Ohio.

The new classification for the blue cat comes on the heels of
the species’ downlisting by the DNR Division of Wildlife (Ohio
Outdoor News, Oct. 12). Blue catfish had been considered
endangered, but are now listed as a species of special concern.

“Over the years, we’ve gotten more and more reports of people
catching blue catfish and they’re showing up in (state) surveys
too,” John Navarro, stream conservation manager for the Division of
Wildlife, told Ohio Outdoor News in October. “Obviously, they’re
not endangered if we’re seeing that many of them.”

At the same time, Navarro said there may be some opportunity for
propagation of blue catfish for potential stocking.

“I think we can create some opportunities for (blue catfish) now
that they’ve made a comeback,” Navarro said.

Matt McKinney, a regular Ohio River catfish angler from the
Cincinnati area, said blues have become more common in the creel
over the past few years.

In any event, there are a lot of anglers, particularly on the
Ohio River, who target catfish. The blue catfish record-holder will
most certainly be a sought-after designation.

It is often hard to tell the difference between a blue catfish
and a channel catfish. However, blue catfish have slightly longer
anal fins than channel catfish and blues generally have fewer
spots.

Here is the official word from the OWO’s record fish
committee:

€ No entries will be accepted for blue catfish caught before
Jan. 1, 2008. All potential record fish must be caught legally
using a rod and reel. Fish caught from bank lines, trot lines, jug
lines, nets, snagged, grabbing, or other methods will not be
accepted.

€ All potential state record blue catfish are required to be
weighed on state or county certified scales in front of two
witnesses, whose name, address, phone number and signature must
accompany the record application.

€ All potential state record blue catfish must be examined by a
fisheries biologist from the DNR Division of Wildlife.

€ A clear photograph showing the fish must also accompany the
application.

€ Fish will only be accepted from anglers with a valid Ohio
fishing license caught from the main stem of the Ohio River within
the state borders, any state of Ohio tributary, or from the
shoreline of the Ohio side, or any Ohio public lake. Fish from pay
lakes are not eligible. Fish caught from a Kentucky, Indiana,
Pennsylvania or West Virginia shoreline or tributary will not be
accepted. A copy of the applicant’s fishing license must accompany
the application.

€ Nonresidents will be eligible for Ohio state record fish
recognition providing they have a valid nonresident fishing license
at the time the fish was caught.

€ The minimum length for any blue catfish entered into the state
record fish list must be at least 45 inches.

More information and record fish applications can be found and
downloaded at www.outdoorwritersofohio.com.

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