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There’s just something about big catfish. Sure, world-record bass get all of the glory, and big brown trout get the glamour. Nothing grabs our attention quite like a mean, toothy monster muskie, and few gamefish can match the pound-for-pound frenzy of catching a slab crappie. But folks just love giant cats. And who could blame them? They’re fun to catch—and even more fun to fight. And while you probably don’t want to fry the fillets off of a trophy catfish, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more delicious fish than the smaller keepers.

But this story isn’t about small cats. It’s about giants—specifically, the biggest world-record catfish of all time. Our friends at the International Game Fish Association were kind enough to open their record book and share the photos and catch details of these 10 all-tackle and line-class records. Some of these trophies have lasted for decades—but that doesn’t mean they can’t be beat. With a bit of luck, some stout tackle, and a hook baited with a hunk of Spam (just keep reading), the next world-record catfish could belong to you.

1. All Tackle World Record Blue Catfish

Richard Nicholas Anderson with the all-tackle world record blue catfish
Anderson’s record blue cat weighed 143 pounds. IGFA
  • Angler: Richard Nicholas Anderson
  • Species: Blue catfish
  • Weight: 143 pounds
  • World Record Line Class: All Tackle
  • Location: Kerr Lake, Buggs Island, Virginia
  • Date: June 18, 2011
  • Lure or Bait Used: Chicken

2. All Tackle World Record Flathead Catfish

10 of the Biggest World Record Catfish Ever Caught
Paulie’s world-record flathead weighed 123 pounds. IGFA
  • Angler: Ken Paulie
  • Species: Flathead catfish
  • Weight: 123 pounds
  • World Record Line Class: All Tackle
  • Location: Elk City Reservoir, Kansas
  • Date: May 19, 1998
  • Lure or Bait Used: Live minnow

3. Junior World Record Blue Catfish

world record catfish caught by landon evans
Landon Evans shows off his 117-pound, 8-ounce blue. IGFA
  • Angler: Landon N. Evans
  • Species: Blue catfish
  • Weight: 117 pounds 8 ounces
  • World Record Line Class: Junior
  • Location: Lake Gaston, North Carolina
  • Date: June 11, 2016
  • Lure or Bait Used: Cut shad

4. 16-Pound Line Class World Record Blue Catfish

world record blue catfish caught by Charles Ashley
Ashley caught his record blue cat with…Spam. IGFA
  • Angler: Charles Ashley Jr.
  • Species: Blue catfish
  • Weight: 116 pounds 12 ounces
  • World Record Line Class: 16-pound
  • Location: Mississippi River, Arkansas
  • Date: August 3, 2001
  • Lure or Bait Used: Spam

5. Eight-Pound Line Class World Record Blue Catfish

Zachery Lovelady's world record catfish
Lovelady’s giant blue weighed nearly 110 pounds. IGFA
  • Angler: Zachery R. Lovelady
  • Species: Blue catfish
  • Weight: 109 pounds 12 ounces
  • World Record Line Class: 8-pound
  • Location: Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee
  • Date: March 31, 2005
  • Lure or Bait Used: Cut bait

6. 12-Pound Line Class World Record Blue Catfish

Roger Rohrbach's world record catfish
Rohrbach caught this record blue cat on a live shiner. IGFA
  • Angler: Roger Rohrbach
  • Species: Blue catfish
  • Weight: 101 pounds
  • World Record Line Class: 12-pound
  • Location: San Vicente Reservoir, California
  • Date: March 12, 2000
  • Lure or Bait Used: Live shiner

7. 20-Pound Line Class World Record Flathead Catfish

Stacy Small's world record catfish
Small’s giant flathead has remained in the record books since 1987. IGFA
  • Angler: Stacy Small
  • Species: Flathead catfish
  • Weight: 84 pounds 6 ounces
  • World Record Line Class: 20-pound
  • Location: San Jacinto River, Texas
  • Date: May 27, 1987
  • Lure or Bait Used: Shad

8. 130-Pound Line Class World Record Blue Catfish

Eric Maurer's world record catfish
Maurer duped this monster blue with herring. IGFA
  • Angler: Eric Maurer
  • Species: Blue catfish
  • Weight: 84 pounds
  • World Record Line Class: 130-pound
  • Location: Chickamauga Lake, Tennessee
  • Date: March 18, 2007
  • Lure or Bait Used: Herring

9. 80-Pound Line Class World Record Flathead Catfish

Edward Davis's world record catfish
Davis proudly stands beside his 69-pound flathead. IGFA
  • Angler: Edward Davis
  • Species: Flathead catfish
  • Weight: 69 pounds
  • World Record Line Class: 80-pound
  • Location: Cape Fear River, North Carolina
  • Date: July 27, 1994
  • Lure or Bait Used: Perch

10. Eight-Pound Line Class World Record Flathead Catfish

Darrin Sealey's world record catfish
Sealy’s record flathead tipped the scale at 66 pounds. IGFA
  • Angler: Darrin Sealy
  • Species: Flathead catfish
  • Weight: 66 pounds
  • World Record Line Class: 8-pound
  • Location: Hartwell Lake, Georgia
  • Date: May 3, 2010
  • Lure or Bait Used: Unknown

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