August 11, 2010
Cermele: New Maryland Record Cat Has Me Thinking
By Joe Cermele
I've yet to find a solid news story about the potential new Maryland state-record blue catfish shown below. So far, all I know is what I've read on a few forums. The official weight on this beast is 79 pounds, and it was caught (and released) just this past weekend in the Potomac River. Most interesting is that several forum posters hinted that they were mildly shocked a blue of this size fell in Maryland. As I understand it, fish to 40 pounds aren't terribly uncommon in the Potomac, but it doesn't have the same rep as, say, the James River. It's catches like this that really make me think I should spend more time on cats.
Every angler has heard stories of elusive monster fish that dwell in the deepest holes. I feel as though most of the time, these tales revolve around catfish. Look at the facts: cats have a voracious appetite, a long life span, can lay dormant for long periods of time, and in many parts of the country they are not targeted as seriously as they are in the South and Midwest. Point, being that while I might be able to catch a 23-pound largemouth in the pond down the street, odds are much better of breaking a state catfish record because not that many folks mess with them 'round these parts. Big cats are more likely to come from unlikely places.
I catch a lot of channel cats in the Delaware River and curse every one that slurps up a tube intended for smallmouth. Maybe it's time to start taking some chicken livers and really see how big those nuisances get. The Jersey state record is 33-pounds, and I swear I've seen fish damn-near as big while wading. - JC