largest blue catfish caught in Illinois waters near Alton
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[MAY 25, 2005]
ALTON -- After living more than 30 years in the
Mississippi River, the world's largest catfish is now being
transported to Kansas City. Illinois fisherman Tim Pruitt caught the
blue catfish at around midnight on Saturday.
The blue catfish weighs 124 pounds. It is 58 inches long and has a
girth of 44 inches. It is the largest catfish ever caught in
Illinois and the largest blue catfish ever caught anywhere in the
world. The previous Illinois record catfish was 85 pounds, and the
previous world-record blue catfish was 121 pounds, 8 ounces.
catfish and Tim are about the same age -- in their 30s," said Mike
Conlin, director of resource conservation for the Illinois
Department of Natural Resources. "Tim fought the fish for about 40
minutes, and it dragged him more than three miles downstream in his
boat before he was able to haul it in."
Conlin says Pruitt was fishing with a 30-pound test line, using
mooneye fish for bait. He was fishing below the Melvin Price Lock
and Dam at Alton. Conlin describes Pruitt as a longtime hobby
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"I don't know if there's another fish quite that big down there,
but there are certainly more very sizable catfish in that same
region," said Fred Cronin, district biologist with the Illinois
Department of Natural Resources. "The fishing is just spectacular
The fish has been kept alive and will be on display in a tank at
the Cabela's Outfitter store in Kansas City.
Department of Natural Resources news release]