How do you catch your state’s biggest blue catfish?
First use a trotline, Christopher Halley told Magnolia State Live — until half the fish is in your boat. Then, you use your bare hands and pull.
Halley hauled in the state trophy record blue catfish in Mississippi on July 31, according to his wife Shelly Halley’s Facebook post, and the catch was certified on Aug. 1, according to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.
It weighed 104 pounds and was no easy feat, the angler told Magnolia State Live.
“It was heavy, and my dip net wasn’t big enough,” Halley told Magnolia State Live. “I got his head in, but his body was hanging out, so I used my hands and grabbed him by the gills to pull him in.”
Halley made the catch using a trotline in the Mississippi River near Natchez, according to the MDWFP.
Photos of Halley’s family next to the massive fish show that his catch is longer than his kids are tall.
The previous record trophy blue catfish was caught in 1997 by Freddie Parker and Brad Smith, according to the department. Halley’s fish is 3 pounds heavier.
“I knew it the day I caught it that it would be close. I brought it home and I had called the game wardens on the way home. It took us a while to find a certified scale,” Halley told Magnolia State Live. “I was proud of the fish either way. I have eaten some of it and it was good eating. My kids have ate a pile of it.”
State fishing records are split into three categories, according to the MDWFP: rod and reel, trophy and fly fishing.
“I wouldn’t want to catch a fish like that,” someone joked on Facebook. “He would pull me in now and eat me.”