I was recently asked about a new state record blue catfish that someone had heard a rumor about. I told him that I had heard nothing; which does not necessarily mean anything, but all of Nebraska’s state record fish applications come across my desk and I had not seen or heard anything.
A few days later I did find some chatter on the internet about some big blue catfish being caught near Sioux City and one of those fish was big enough that it might be a new state record in South Dakota, http://siouxcityjournal.com/sports/recreation/outdoors/elk-point-angler-catches-record-blue-catfish/article_6bfc8a98-3a86-5bb0-9740-3b871aa321ac.html .
Wow, those guys have something figured out! Apparently, those fish were caught in the Big Sioux River just upstream of its confluence with the Missouri. In large rive systems, you can bet those fish probably spent a least part of their lives, if not most of them, moving in and around the Missouri River. Those particular fish might have been caught from the Big Sioux in South Dakota, but I am betting they were in our Nebraska border water in the Missouri at some time and maybe most of the time.
The biggest fish those fellows caught was just short of 100 pounds! From what it says in the story, the fish large enough to be a new South Dakota state record was RELEASED after it was weighed in. Thank you guys, and Congratulations!
I would love to see our current Nebraska hook & line blue catfish state record broken. That record has been on the books since 1970 and was a fish taken back when it was legal to take a big blue catfish by snagging. Snagging of course is not permitted now, but I absolutely believe there are some blue catfish swimming in Nebraska’s Missouri River that would break the record. It will take a 100 pound 9 ounce or larger blue catfish to be a new record, and that is a whopping big fish, but we had a triple-digit fish caught from Nebraska waters last fall when the paddlefish state record fell, http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/blogs/2011/10/state-record-paddlefish/ , and I believe it can be done again! The gentlemen from South Dakota have proven it.
Don’t believe me? Here is a blue cat that was collected by one of our Game & Parks Commission sampling crews from Lewis & Clark Reservoir a few years back. That fish was big enough to be a new state record, and it was released back into Lewis & Clark; as far as I know it is still out there!
There is time yet this summer to catch a new state record blue cat. Big blues actually are more active later into the year in colder water than flatheads especially and even channel cats. Late fall, early winter would be a prime time to catch a new state record blue. That fish is out there, somewhere, waiting. . . . Are you brave enough to go get it?