The biggest catfish caught in Missouri on rod and reel was landed by Greg Bernal of Florissant, Missouri. We’ve all had dreams of catching a trophy monster catfish like this 130 lb. blue that’s officially Missouri’s largest catfish on record.
Bernal caught the fish on a cut bait of Asian carp. You would think he would need 100 lb. test to land something like that on a rod and reel, but he did it on 40 lb. test.
I have personally never fished with Asian carp cut bait, but Blue catfish are similar to channel catfish in what type of bait the eat. Flatheads will mostly feed on live or cut bait while blue’s and channels will eat anything from homemade catfish bait to night crawlers. You can even catch both species with soap and cheese.
I’m not sure if he was using mono or braid, but if you have a catfishing rod with back bone and a reel with a solid drag, you can pull very large catfish from any waters.
What’s so surprising is how long it took him to get the fish in the boat. I’ve fought with 35 lb. flatheads and it sometimes takes 30 minutes to get the catfish in the net.
Bernal reportedly got the record-breaking blue in the boat in 15 minutes. There are times when a fish will swallow the bait and swim toward you, but for a record-breaking blue catfish to take your bait and bring it to you is very lucky.
The previous world record for the largest blue catfish caught was held by a gentleman by the name of Tim Pruitt. This guy pulled a 124 lb. blue catfish out of the Mississippi River.
The previous record for the largest catfish caught in Missouri weight 103 lbs. and was caught in the Missouri River in 1991.
Conservation officials believe Bernal’s blue catfish to be at least 25 years of age and as old as 30. The fish was 57″ long and 45″ round.
He currently holds the record for the biggest catfish caught in Missouri.