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Old 05-25-2005, 10:32 AM
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World record blue catfish caught

Not caught on a fly, but a great story of interest nevertheless....
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Man Hooks World Record 124-Pound Catfish

ALTON, Ill. - It sounds like the sort of tale Mark Twain might have cooked up: A man fishing in the Mississippi River hauls in a blue catfish roughly the size of a sixth-grader. But this is no fish story. Early Sunday, Tim Pruitt caught a 124-pound blue catfish.

To get a sense of just how big that is, the state record holder was a mere 85 pounds and the world record holder tipped the scales at 121 pounds, 8 ounces.

Now, Pruitt, whose fish has already been weighed in the presence of a conservation police officer and measured by a biologist for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, is expected to submit documentation to the International Game Fish Association so that it can be certified a world record holder.

Once that is done, the catch should be approved as the world's largest blue catfish, replacing the current champion that was caught Jan. 16, 2004, in Lake Texoma, Texas, said Becky Reynolds, a spokeswoman for the association.

Pruitt's fish, measuring 58 inches long and 44 inches around, was swimming below the Melvin Price Lock and Dam on the Mississippi River at Alton on Saturday night when it grabbed Pruitt's line. The two struggled for more than half an hour, and at one point the fish dragged the boat carrying Pruitt, his wife and a friend before Pruitt could reel it in.

The fish has been kept alive and will be on display in a tank at the Cabela's Outfitter store in Kansas City, Kan., according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Pruitt, 33, of Godfrey, told the (Peoria) Journal Star's outdoors columnist that he considered releasing the fish in the river but decided to donate it to Cabela's "because I thought it might be neat to give people a chance to see a fish that massive."
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Old 05-26-2005, 08:03 PM
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What a monster!

Bad news though, I saw on MSN that it died during transport to Cabela's. Too bad, but you have to wonder how much longer it would have lived anyway. Even having it out of the water for weighing and photos might have been too much for a fish that size.

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Old 05-26-2005, 08:48 PM
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I saw the same thing, Q. It's too bad, but I think you're right about stress on a fish of that age.
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Old 05-27-2005, 07:18 AM
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I was sorry to see that it didn't make it.

I wonder how old a fish like that is?
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