Florida Fisherman Reels In 120-Pound Blue Catfish In Choctawhatchee River

By  //  April 24, 2018

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Blue Catfish State Record holds at 69.5-Pounds

Joel Singletary reels in a 120-pounder Blue Catfish in the Choctawhatchee River. (FWC Image by Rebekah Nelson)

FLORIDA – This massive blue catfish is causing quite a splash, weighing over 1.7 times more than the current state record for this species (69.50 lbs.).

When Joel Singletary found this 120-pounder on his trotline, he wondered how he was going to get the fish on his boat.

It wasn’t long until his adrenaline kicked in, enabling him to pull the behemoth fish onboard.

Singletary caught this fish in the Choctawhatchee River. However, since it was caught on a trotline, it does not qualify as a state record but remains an impressive catch.

This catch has earned Joel Singletary a Big Catch certificate. Learn about our Big Catch angler recognition program: bigcatchflorida.com



Adults have stout bodies with prominently humped backs in front of the dorsal fin. They resemble channel catfish by having deeply forked tails, but are lack the spots and have a longer, straight-edged anal. The back and upper sides are blue to slate gray, and the belly is white.


Originally found in the Escambia and Yellow rivers in northwest Florida, they are now also in the Apalachicola and Suwannee. Blues occur in big rivers and in the lower reaches of major tributaries. They prefer clearer, swifter water than other catfish, and are usually found over sand, gravel or rock bottoms.


Young blues eat aquatic insects and small fish while larger blues prefer crayfish, mussels and other fish.

Additional Information

State Record:  69.5 pounds.

Big Catch minimum:  36 inches or 25.0 lbs.

Fishing Tips and Facts: One of the strongest freshwater fish; blues are caught on bush hooks or trotlines as well as rod and reel. Most are caught bottom fishing with cut fish, or stink baits rigged on large hooks with heavy lead sinkers.

(FWC Image by Rebekah Nelson)
(FWC Image by Rebekah Nelson)