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Categorized | Outdoors

New state-record flathead catfish tops 53 pounds

Lloyd Tanner, from Hobart, Indiana, was fishing the St. Joe River in Berrien County in the early-morning hours Sunday, May 29, when he caught a flathead catfish weighing 53.35 pounds and measuring 48 inches. Courtesy photo.

While fishing with cut bait recently in Berrien County, Michigan, an angler from Hobart, Indiana, caught a new state-record fish: a flathead catfish weighing in at 53.35 pounds and measuring 48 inches!

Lloyd Tanner was fishing the St. Joe River, a tributary of Lake Michigan, in the early-morning hours of Sunday, May 29, when he reeled in the record-breaker.

This fish beats the previous state-record flathead catfish—52 pounds, 46.02 inches long—caught in 2014 by Dale Blakley, of Niles, out of Barron Lake in Cass County.

Tanner’s fish was verified by Jay Wesley, Lake Michigan Basin coordinator with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

A passion for catfish

“I’ve been fishing Michigan for almost 30 years,” Tanner said. “What draws me to Michigan is fishing for big catfish.”

Tanner said that he usually comes here every weekend to fish with friends in the Michigan Catfish Anglers Trail, or MCATS, an amateur fishing club.

“We have several fun tournaments that anyone who enjoys fishing for catfish can come out and fish,” he said.

About state-record fish

Michigan’s state-record fish are recognized by weight only. To qualify, fish must exceed the current listed state-record weight, and identification must be verified by a DNR fisheries biologist.

To view a current list of Michigan state-record fish by species, visit Michigan.gov/StateRecordFish.

For more on planning your next fishing adventure, visit Michigan.gov/Fishing.

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