Discover the Largest Blue Catfish Ever Caught in Texas

Written by Angie Menjivar

Updated: September 7, 2023

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The blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus) takes its name from its bluish and grayish coloration. On average, they can weigh 100 pounds, though it depends on their age and where they live. There is a record on the Virginia-North Carolina border of one weighing 143 pounds! These fish can also grow up to 5 feet in length. They reproduce in May and June, and each female can produce up to 8,000 eggs per kilogram of body weight.

They have a distinctive appearance and distinctive taste. Some like them grilled, some like them baked, and some love them fried and crispy. Whatever your favorite preparation, you know that blue catfish makes for a delicious meal and Texas is well known for doing it big — big state, big boots, and big portions! For the blue cat state record holder, the catch was no exception. Discover the largest blue catfish ever caught in Texas!

Infographic of the Largest Blue Catfish Caught in Texas
Blue catfish are more active in the summer and look for shallow water at night to find their favorite food.

Where Are Blue Catfish Found?

Blue catfish are natives of the Missouri, Ohio, Mississippi, and Rio Grande river basins. They do not worry so much about being a victim of the food chain. In fact, they are the predators and are very smart fish. Some of their favorite foods are blue crabs (a little blue-on-blue crime in the water!), shad, menhaden, sunfish, crayfish, smaller catfish species, insects, and plants.

These fish were introduced in the 1970s to the Rappahannock and New York river basins to stock the recreational fisheries. Blue catfish are a delicious and nutritious food source for humans, but they are doing a disservice to other species in some regions. New rules and regulations are now in force to control their population and slow down their ecological impact.                                                                    

Blue catfish in Tennessee aquarium
Blue catfish can be found in the Missouri, Ohio, Mississippi, and Rio Grande river basins.

Blue Catfish Fishing Tips

When selecting the bait, you can include cut bait such as shad or skipjack herring. Or you can try prepared baits like chicken liver, and stinkbait. You would have to test and see what works best in different areas. These creatures are very particular. The places they choose to live are deep, and they like old structures such as big rocks or logs so that they can use them as traps for their unsuspecting victims.

Blue catfish are bottom feeders so it’s necessary to try and aim the bait as close to the bottom as possible. They are more active in the summer, however, and they look for shallow water at night to find their favorite food sources. The best times to catch them are early mornings or late evenings. When you’re out on the water, make sure you’re keeping your eye on shad. When you learn shad behavior and see where they swim off to and what kinds of moves they make, you are keeping your eye on the same target that blue cats are.

The blue cat you’re looking for is hungry and with a voracious appetite, all it can think about is its next feeding time. So long as you find the right bait, you’re going to come up with the right fish. This next tip you’ll hear from any angler and it’s that patience is a virtue when you’re on a fishing trip. Don’t expect immediate results but prepare for them because they’re coming!

American shad

Shad is a part of a blue catfish’s diet.

Discover the Largest Blue Catfish Ever Caught in Texas

The credit for the largest blue catfish ever caught in Texas belongs to proud fisherman Cody Mullenix of Howe. It was January 16, 2004, when Cody caught a blue catfish that weighed a whopping 121.5 pounds and measured 58 inches long! He accomplished this feat at the Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge on Lake Texoma.

It was both a state and world record at the time! The fish was named Splash and it was taken to the Texas Freshwater Fishery Center located in Athens, TX. It became quite the attraction until it eventually passed away due to old age. People from all over the country flocked to see this huge blue cat, especially during feeding time.

Cody went on to become a celebrity at Lake Texoma and monetized his success out on the water by creating a company focused on fishing charters and fishing guides. Cody is well known in the area as an expert fishing guide, and everyone knows he’s a current record holder for the largest blue catfish caught in Texas. If there’s anyone who can guide anglers in finding a trophy fish, it’s Cody. Typically, Cody and his team take anglers out to northern Texas lakes for stripers and Lake Texoma and Lake Tawakani for catfish.

Lake Texoma in Texas is where the largest blue catfish ever was caught in the state!

Lake Texoma is a popular fishing spot in Texas.

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About the Author

Angie Menjivar is a writer at A-Z-Animals primarily covering pets, wildlife, and the human spirit. She has 14 years of experience, holds a Bachelor's degree in psychology, and continues her studies into human behavior, working as a copywriter in the mental health space. She resides in North Carolina, where she's fallen in love with thunderstorms and uses them as an excuse to get extra cuddles from her three cats.

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