After almost seventy years atop the books, Michigan’s state-record flathead catfish has fallen after a Nile, Michigan man recently pulled in a 49-pound behemoth.

From a press release:

The Department of Natural Resources recently confirmed the catch of a new state record flathead catfish. Caught by Rodney Akey of Niles, Mich., on Tuesday, May 22, on the St. Joseph River in Berrien County at 8 p.m., the fish weighed 49.8 pounds and measured 45.7 inches. Akey was still-fishing from shore with an alewife when he landed the record fish.

The record was verified by Scott Hanshue, a DNR fisheries biologist, at the DNR’s Plainwell office. The previous state record flathead catfish was caught by Elmer Rayner of Hastings, Mich., on the Maple River in Ionia County on Aug. 6, 1943. That fish weighed in at 47.5 pounds and measured 44 inches.

“I’ve been fishing catfish on the St. Joseph River for the last 20 years, but it never crossed my mind that I would catch a state record,” said Akey. “And beating a nearly 70-year record – that’s a feat in itself!”

Congratulations to Rodney Akey on besting such a long-standing state record. Seventy years is a long time for any fish to stay on the books. Any longer-reigning record fish in your state?