Everyone who enjoys fishing has a story about "the one that got away" which is usually the biggest one they've ever seen, and it gets bigger every time they tell the story. You've probably heard or told a few yourself. The line gets tight, the pole starts to bend, and as they're fighting to reel in their trophy catch, something happens. The line snaps right as they're getting ready to pull it into the boat, the pole breaks, or some other stroke of bad luck takes place that erases any proof the story is true. Fortunately for Bruce Midkiff, none of that happened, and not only is his story true, it's a matter of public record.

Personally, I rarely go fishing, and when I do I either don't catch anything (other than the occasional piece of garbage), or what I do catch isn't worth keeping. With that said, I completely understand the thrill of the sport. While the waiting can be a bit boring at times, the rush of adrenaline you get as soon as you feel a tug on the line and you try to reel in whatever has bit down on the hook is exciting. I can only imagine the fight the blue catfish Bruce caught put up before he managed to haul it in.

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The Largest Catfish Caught in Indiana

Fishing on the lake at sunset. Fishing background.

According to A-Z Animals, Bruce, an Owensboro, Kentucky resident, had crossed into Indiana to do some fishing in the Ohio River at the Cannelton Dam Tailwaters sometime in 1999 (the exact date is not provided). While I'm sure he was hoping to head back home with something, I imagine he never thought his day would end with a state record. At some point during his day, Bruce hooked a blue catfish that weighed 104 pounds! The massive catch was recorded by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and nearly 25 years later still stands as the largest on record.

As impressive as Bruce's catch was, still is, and always will be (until someone else nabs a bigger one) it's still shy of the largest ever caught in the United States. That honor goes to Nick Anderson who hauled in a 143-pound blue catfish on June 18th, 2011 at the John Kerr Reservoir near the Virginia-North Carolina border. Not only is John's catch the largest in America, it's the largest in the world.

Despite coming up shy of the all-time record, considering the number of rivers and lakes across the state of Indiana, I think it's pretty cool that the record catch happened right here in my area of the state, southern Indiana.

[Sources: A-Z Animals / Indiana DNR]

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