World Record Channel catfish?

How big was the world record channel catfish?

The current World Record Channel Catfish, as recognized by the International Game Fish Association, is a 58 Lb. specimen caught on Lake Marion, SC by W.B. Whaley, in 1964. I do not personally recognize this record, because if you look at the photo, IT IS NOT A CHANNEL CATFISH. You may need to read this again to get the full impact. Channel catfish have a deeply forked tail, no matter how large they are. This fish has a flat tail. like a bullhead and flathead. From the shape of the head, to me it looks like a very large bullhead. Also, I have seen the location of the catch listed variously as Lake Marion, Lake Moultrie, Santee-Cooper Reservoir, and Moultrie Lake. They can’t even agree on where it was caught? I concede that technology has progressed considerably since 1964, but fish identification is still the same. There has been no attempt to correct, or explain this mystery. This fish certainly would not have qualified by todays standards. I can find no information on the next largest catfish, but if anyone catches one over 50 lbs., they’d be smart to save the photo and all the information on it, because someday, the IGFA will re-examine this old record and correct it. Yours could be the real record. The problem is that over 20 lbs., it almost requires a biologist to tell the difference between a channel catfish, and a blue catfish. Most really large channel catfish are invariably identified as blues. ‘m hedging my bets that soon, a new and genuine world record channel catfish will be caught. Happy fishing!


Dan Eggertsen is a fellow catfish fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on catfish fishing since 2004.

2 Responses to “World Record Channel catfish?”

  1. Burt Croft says:

    If that is a bull head my friend then it beats the record for one by over fifty pounds, seeing as bullheads only averages five to eight pounds fully grown second the world record channel was caught out of lake moultrie not lake marion, third those old photographs don’t always do justice. Fourth it does not take a biologists to determine the difference between a blue male channel and a blue catfish, any fisherman who has had some experience with catfish can tell you its not a blue, just by looking at the head and the anal fin. I know from firsthand experience, the first time I caught a blue channel I thought it was some kind of hybrid, but I knew it wasn’t a blue catfish

  2. lp willhite says:

    Well the current south dakota state record channel catfish comes in at
    55pounds was caught on the james river on may 18th 1949 by a mr. Roy groves.
    And there is a picture on the south dakota game fish and parks website
    in the state records section….

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