|May 25, 2005
Fish Landed in Illinois Waters Near Alton
ALTON, ILLINOIS -The world's largest catfish was caught in
Illinois. Bethalto Fisherman Tim Pruitt caught the blue catfish at
around midnight on Saturday, May 21st.
The blue catfish weighed 124 pounds. It was 58 inches long, and had
a girth of 44 inches. It was the largest catfish ever caught in
Illinois, and the largest blue catfish ever caught in the world. The
previous Illinois record catfish was 85 pounds, and the previous
world record blue catfish was 121 pounds, eight ounces.
"That part of the Mississippi River is full of fish," said Mike
Department of Natural Resources Director of Resource
Conservation. "Tim fought the fish for about forty minutes, and it
dragged him more than three miles downstream in his boat before he
was able to haul it in."
Conlin says Pruitt was fishing with thirty-pound test line, using
moon eye fish for bait. He was fishing below the Melvin Price Lock
and Dam at Alton. Conlin describes Pruitt as a long-time hobby
"I don't know if there's another fish quite that big down there, but
there are certainly more very sizable catfish in that same region,"
said IDNR District Biologist Fred Cronin.
"The fishing is just spectacular right now. It's certainly not
unusual to pull fifty pound cat fish out of those waters."
The fish died while being transported by employees of a store, which
had planned to put it on display. The cause of the fish's death is