Illinois angler catches, releases 105-pound blue catfish
Jason Jackson had a fishing day he'll likely never forget -- during the River Bend Classic Tourney the Piasa, Ill., resident pulled a 105-pound blue catfish out of the Mississippi River.
"I knew it was a pretty big fish when I hooked into it," Jackson told The Telegraph, in Alton, Ill. The 23-year-old caught the lunker using 100-pound braided line and a river herring as bait, and took 20 minutes to land the fish.
While not the largest blue catfish ever caught, it's impressive nonetheless and is believed to be one of the largest ever landed. (The all-tackle world record is a 130-pounder caught July, 2010 on the Missouri River; before that the record blue weighed in at 124 pounds and was caught on the Mississippi River in 2005.)
"I think it was an inch shorter than the world record and the second-biggest blue catfish taken in North America in a tournament. We were pretty excited. It was definitely a century fish."
An environmental biologist, Jackson decided to release the lunker whiskerfish after it was weighed.
"We catch and release all of our fish," he said. "Something that big has to have some great genes and want to spread as much of that offspring as possible."
-- Kelly Burgess
Photo: Jason Jackson and the 105-pound blue catfish he caught and released. Credit: Jason Jackson