According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agengy (TWRA), Micka Burhart caught a giant 118-pound, 7-ounce blue catfish about mid-day on Sept. 24 from the Cumberland River in Stewart County, Tennessee.
Burkhart, of Big Rock, Tenn., was fishing with his wife Amarie while using a skipjack herring for bait and 30-pound test line.
It was an epic struggle for Burkhart, who is a lifelong angler and regularly competes in fishing tournaments. But his huge catfish was something to behold after he and his wife wrestled the netted fish into their large aluminum boat.
The fish fight was a “rollercoaster ride,” Burkhart told the Tennessean newspaper.
“We were just in shock. I’ve seen fish like that on TV, but never had one just laying there in the bottom of my boat.”
A video on Burkhart’s Facebook page shows him trying to weigh the massive fish on a large hand-held scale, but the fish bottoms out the scale before hitting 100 pounds.
With the fish in his boat, he contacted officials with TWRA and the big blue catch was weighed on land on certified scales at 118-pounds, 7-ounces. It measured 54-inches long, with a 41-inch girth.
“Now, this is a big blue!” TWRA announced on the agency’s Facebook page. “The 118-pound 7-ounce blue cat will be a new Tennessee record pending verification and certification.”
Following weighing and measuring, Burkhart’s massive 118-pounder was kept alive in a giant washtub and trucked to a boat landing on the Cumberland River where it was released alive. Burkhart has a video showing the release of the big cat, with people in the water helping revive the oversize fish and allowing it to swim away unharmed.
Burkhart’s giant catfish will better the current Tennessee blue catfish record of 112-pounds, by Robert Lewis, also caught from the Cumberland River in June, 1998
The IGFA world all-tackle record blue catfish is 143-pounds, caught in June 2011 at Kerr Lake, Va. by Richard Anderson.