Wednesday, May 25, 2022

‘Monster’ catfish breaks state record

record catfishCatfish Marks First New York State Record Fish Established in 2022

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today that the State record for channel catfish was broken on May 8, 2022. Using cut bait while bottom fishing, Bailey Williams of Watertown reeled in a 35-pound, 12-ounce channel catfish from the Black River in Jefferson County. Bailey’s record-breaking catch surpassed the previous state record catfish, caught from Lake Ontario in 2017, by 9 ounces.

Channel catfish are the largest catfish that live in New York. They feed primarily on the bottom at night and are most easily caught using live bait such as worms or baitfish. When hooked, catfish can provide a challenge for even the most experienced angler. For more information on fishing for catfish, visit DEC’s website.

Mr. Williams submitted details of his winning catch as part of DEC’s Angler Achievement Awards Program, which tracks State-record fish. Through this program, anglers can enter freshwater fish that meet specific qualifying criteria and receive official recognition of their catch and an embroidered patch commemorating their achievement. The three categories that make up the program are: Catch and Release, Annual Award, and State Record.

Photo of Bailey Williams of Watertown with a 35-pound, 12-ounce channel catfish from the Black River in Jefferson County, courtesy of DEC

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Information attributed to NYSDEC is taken from press releases and news announcements from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation.

5 Responses

  1. Todd says:

    Congratulations on a Great Catch of a Lifetime

  2. Charlie Stehlin says:

    Was the fish released or was it exterminated so as to prove its weight? I hope the former as it would be a shame for a fish to grow so large, which must have taken more than a few new moons, and than snared by a human and boom… more. It happens all the time! Humans coming in contact with lesser species and then no more just because…… it’s what we do!

  3. William says:

    Fillet it, cube it and shake it in some Zatarains then deep fry! Mmmm

  4. Joseph Van Gelder says:

    Charlie, big fish eat the little fish

  5. Charlie Stehlin says:

    I like your optimism guys, but let’s face it….in general we kill because it’s what we know, it’s a human trait which goes back to even before I saw my first light. It’s not because it is necessary….to kill that is! Not always anyway. I mean think about it! We have grocery stores now where we can shop to our hearts delight to satiate our hunger pangs if it is they even come up.

    I recall the time I was walking with my friend Leah along the Hillsborough River at Lowry Park in Tampa, and there we saw a man place a small painted turtle, which he had just captured, into a five-gallon bucket. Me being soft-hearted for the lesser kind that I am, I inquired, “what do you wish to do to with the lovely turtle?” His response! “I’m gonna take it home and eat it.” First off…the Hillsborough River is not exactly a trout stream meaning who knows what toxins lie beneath its surface! You couldn’t pay me to eat any ‘thing’ which comes from beneath its depths…not then, not now. I suppose the same can be said for the Hudson River. Secondly…that turtle was so small that by the time he would have butchered the poor defenseless, creature, there wouldn’t have been enough meat to fill a quarter of a person up, unless of course it was part of a six-course meal. I could tell the guy wasn’t too bright if you know what I mean! So what did Charlie do? He reaches into his pocket, whips out a ten dollar bill, and says to him….”I’ll give you this if you set the feller free!” Wouldn’t you know….he bit, and so that lovely turtle was set free back into that polluted course.

    Those moments stick with me and I must say, because of them, and other of my moments over time, my conscience is clear and I sleep good at night. I miss them days walking with Leah whom I haven’t heard from since….. She found Jesus and got rid of me.

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