Largest Ever Blue Catfish Record Broken in Delaware… Again

Blue Catfish
© M Huston/Shutterstock.com

Written by Rob Amend

Updated: November 7, 2023

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Maybe it’s something in the Delaware water. Well, it’s something in the Delaware water—blue catfish! The record for the largest blue catfish caught in Delaware was broken again only 20 days after it was recently set.

Sydney McBroom, of Bridgeville, Delaware, reeled in a 53-pound, 46.5-inch blue catfish from his boat on the Nanticoke River on the morning of September 22. He was using a large bluegill as bait, and the catfish fought for about 20 minutes before being landed by McBroom.

Coincidentally, the previous record, set on September 2, belonged to Chris Andrews—another Bridgeville resident. His 48-pound, 7.2-ounce blue cat (also caught on the Nanticoke River) just edged out the record set in 2022. This record is now eclipsed by over 4.5 pounds.

The blue catfish record was the fifth to fall during this year’s Delaware Sports Fishing Tournament. When McBroom brought his catch in, the record was certified at the Lewes Harbour Marina by Cpl. Kyle Wharton of the Delaware Natural Resources Fish and Wildlife Police.

Where Do Blue Catfish Live?

Distribution

Blue catfish are native to some of the larger river basins in the United States and Mexico, including the Platte, Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, and Rio Grande. They have spread along river drainages in eastern Mexico and south to Guatemala. Anglers introduced blue catfish to the western United States and river drainages along the Atlantic Coast. It is a destructive invasive species in the Chesapeake Bay area, and they have made their way up from the bay into the Nanticoke River. This is where the recent Delaware records have been broken.

Preferred Habitat

While the blue catfish can live in various water environments, it prefers subtropical rivers, tributaries, lakes, and ponds. It’s most comfortable living near the bottom of its water bodies at depths of up to about 50 meters. This catfish thrives in deep, fast-flowing bodies of water. During daylight hours, it will lurk in deep water near the floor of the water body. At night, it will move into faster-flowing water near the surface to feed.

What Do Blue Catfish Eat?

Blue Catfish

Blue catfish are omnivorous predators. They will feed on plant matter and just about any animal, living or dead, smaller than them.

©M Huston/Shutterstock.com

The blue catfish is an omnivore, a predator, and a scavenger. It will feed on whatever it can catch or whatever dead or wounded animal it can find. Frogs, mussels, insect larvae, crayfish, small clams, and other fish are its main prey, while young catfish feed on smaller fish and aquatic insects. Its predatory nature damages the shad, blue crab, and herring populations in the Chesapeake Bay, where it is invasive.


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About the Author

Rob Amend is a writer at A-Z Animals, primarily covering meteorology, geology, geography, and animal oddities. He attained a Master's Degree in Library Science in 2000 and served as reference librarian in an urban public library for 22 years. Rob lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, and enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, photography, woodworking, listening to classic rock, and watching classic films—his favorite animal is a six-foot-tall rabbit named Harvey.

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