The World Record Blue Catfish of Texoma, Texas

In the last 15 years, the world record for blue catfish has been broken at least four times. Now a 121-pound 8-ounce monster caught in Lake Texoma north of Dallas early this year is poised to rewrite the books again.

Cody Mullennix, 27, of Howe, Texas, was fishing on January 16 from the bank at the 89,000-acre lake. He had already landed a 56-pounder when something bigger slammed his bait, a dead shad on an 8/0 circle hook. A 20-minute struggle began, with Mullennix pulling back on the rod with all his strength. Upon beaching the fish, Mullennix discovered that his 50-pound scale was too small. Even a friend's 100-pound scale wasn't big enough.

Word spread quickly, and in short order a Texas game warden arrived and convinced Mullennix to donate the fish to the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens. Before it was transported there, Mullennix officially weighed the fish at a nearby tackle shop.

This blue cat should break at least four marks: the International Game Fish Association's all-tackle and 20-pound line class records, and the Texas rod-and-reel and unrestricted categories. The current world record is held by Charles Ashley Jr. of Arkansas, who caught a 116-pound 12-ounce blue on a hunk of Spam in the Mississippi River in August 2001.

Mullennix's whopper will be displayed at the Texas fisheries center in a 26,000-gallon tank. --ALAN CLEMONS