The Largest Blue Catfish Ever Caught in Washington was a River Leviathan

Written by Angie Menjivar
Updated: October 6, 2023
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They have a distinctive bluish-silver color and whisker-like barbels. They’re not the easiest to catch, which makes them a good challenge. Discover the largest blue catfish ever caught in Washington. Plus, learn about the largest blue catfish ever caught in the world!

Blue Catfish Overview

Blue catfish live in different environments, including inland waters and coastal waters. They’re native to a few states including Missouri and Mississippi but they have also been introduced into different waters because they offer anglers a good thrill. They’re not the easiest to catch, especially because they can grow to weigh over 100 pounds and can be between two and five feet long. Most are under two feet long though. Blue catfish have silvery blue, smooth skin. They have white bellies.

They also have a deep fork in their tail. Around their mouths, their barbells appear much like a cat’s whiskers. In the Chesapeake Bay, blue catfish have become invasive. Recreational fishing is encouraged in the area. Part of encouraging recreational fishing is educating the public about the nutritional content of these fish. For instance, only four ounces of blue catfish give you 19 grams of protein and only amount to 90 calories. These fish deliver omega-3 fatty acids and can be prepared in a variety of ways.

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Blue Catfish

Blue catfish put up a good fight, which makes them a challenge for anglers.

©M Huston/

Blue Catfish Fishing Basics

The stinkier it is, the better your bait. Think of something like mud shad or cut herring. Once you’ve decided on your bait, your strategy should be to just let it sink to the bottom and keep it dead. Ultimately, you want the blue catfish to be able to take a little nibble without feeling the lead’s resistance. Set up several rods and use circle hooks. Once you notice movement, you can engage the reel but be slow and intentional as you apply tension. This ensures that the circle hook is doing what it needs to.

The Largest Blue Catfish Ever Caught in Washington

The largest blue catfish ever caught in Washington weighed 17.75 pounds. It was caught on July 9, 1975, by Wrangle Hawthorne on the Columbia River.

The Largest Blue Catfish Ever Caught in the World

The largest blue catfish ever caught in the world was caught by Richard Anderson at Kerr Lake in Virginia. This fish weighed as much as a grown human at 143 pounds! The year was 2011 and along with its hefty weight, the blue catfish measured 57 inches long and had a girth of 44 inches!

The photo featured at the top of this post is © M Huston/

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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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