‘Monster’ catfish caught in Tennessee river, photos show. It could be a new record

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

A massive catfish recently caught in northwest Tennessee could set a new state record, with several pounds to spare, according to wildlife officials.

Micka Burkhart reeled in the 118-pound, 7-ounce “monster” blue catfish while fishing on the Cumberland River in Stewart County on Saturday, Sept. 24, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said on social media.

Burkhart hooked the catfish using a skipjack as bait, the post said. Then the fight began.

From the time the fish bit Burkhart’s hook, it took 45 minutes to pull the beast aboard, he said in another post.

Wildlife officials are looking into Burkhart’s catch and, if it’s proven valid and accepted, he’ll beat the previous state record for blue catfish — set in 1998 — by roughly six pounds, records show.

Burkhart decided not to make a trophy or dinner of the fish, experts say. After it was weighed and measured, he returned to the Cumberland River and set the catfish free.

Several people on social media praised Burkhart for releasing the fish.

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