largest blue catfish
expires after capture
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[MAY 26, 2005]
ALTON -- The
largest catfish ever caught was landed in Illinois last weekend but
died while being transported by employees of a store, which had
planned to put the fish on display.
Bethalto fisherman Tim Pruitt caught
the blue catfish at around midnight on Saturday.
The blue catfish weighed 124 pounds. It
was 58 inches long and had a girth of 44 inches. It was the largest
catfish ever caught in Illinois and the largest blue catfish ever
caught in anywhere in the world. The previous Illinois record
catfish was 85 pounds, and the previous world-record blue catfish
was 121 pounds, 8 ounces.
"That part of the Mississippi River
is full of fish," said Mike Conlin, director of resource
conservation for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Pruitt was fishing below the Melvin Price Lock and Dam at Alton.
Conlin describes Pruitt as a longtime hobby fisherman.
[to top of second column in this article]
"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, Department
of Natural Resources district biologist. "The fishing is just
spectacular right now. It's certainly not unusual pull 50-pound
catfish out of those waters."
The cause of death of the
record-sized fish is
Department of Natural Resources news release]