Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My, that's a BIG fish (and it was released)

Ohio now has the largest-ever caught new state record fish: A 96 pound blue catfish.

The fish was taken June 11 from the Ohio River across from downtown Cincinnati. The angler was Chris Rolph of Williamsburg who caught the brute while fishing from a boat on the Kentucky side of the river.

It beat the current state record blue catfish by a country mile. The previous record blue catfish weighed "only" 57 pounds, 3.2 ounces. This catfish was caught also from the Ohio River last year by Keith Setty.

The new record was certified by the Outdoor Writers of Ohio and its State Record Fish committee. In Ohio, the state record fish list is maintained by the writers' group, the only such organization in the country to maintain such a list.

Tom Cross, the committee's chairman, says Rolph caught his fish using a skipjack for bait, a baitfish commonly found in the Ohio River and one that is popular with catfish anglers like Rolph.

It took Rolph 30 minutes to land his fish and also required him and his fishing partner Jon Owens to man-handle the catfish into the boat. The fish had a mouth large enough that a basketball could fit into it, Cross said.

Rolph kept the fish alive in an aerated livestock tank and had it weighed on a certified scale at a feed and grain store.

After an examination by an Ohio Division of Wildlife fisheries biologist for verification the catfish was released into a large private lake.

However, a fish this size can eat up to 20 pounds of baitfish a day, said one OWO Record Fish Committee member.

Ohio just recently delisted the blue catfish from endangered status to a species of concern, which allowed specimens to be legally caught and also recognized as a legitimate record.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

1 comment:

  1. That's a great fish. Glad it was released. It would likely be better off back in the Ohio river though.