Even the most skilled fishermen know that the sport can be a guessing game. You could spend all day on the water and strike out, and then the next day, in the same spot, in the same conditions you could break a record.

You never want to give up. Take it all as it comes. Fishing is a patient person's game. That patience paid off for Fruitland angler Paul Newman (not that Paul Newman!) when he caught a state-record blue catfish that certainly has to be one of the most unusual catches in the state of Idaho's history. Which includes a lot of fishing! So, that's saying something!

Photo by: Clark Young on Unsplash
Photo by: Clark Young on Unsplash

According to reports, Newman was fishing for sturgeon over in the C.J. Strike Reservoir on a guided trip with Captain Tim Parrish, who is the owner of the popular Hammett Valley Fishing Adventures. What Newman found was much more rare than a sturgeon. He caught a 42.5-inch catfish that weight 37 pounds!

This massive catch was named the new catch-and-release record for channel catfish, beating the old record by almost 10 inches! It could have been the new certified weight record, but Newman decided to release the fish back into the water.

The story only gets more interesting for here, too. Roughly two weeks after Idaho Fish and Game announced this new record catch, the department reclassified the catch as a blue catfish. It still remains a state record but also is fascinating because blue catfish weren't an official species here in Idaho.

The Angler community will commonly mistake light-colored channel cats for blues, but this is the first documented catch outside of some blues found by IDFG staff doing survey work close to commercial catfish operations along the Snake River.

Experts still aren't sure how this massive fish got into C.J. Strike, but it's clear this is a once-in-a-lifetime catch, and is a record that will likely never, ever, be broken. Way to go, Paul Newman! Check out his unbelievable catch here!

Photo by: Vidar Nordli Mathisen on Unsplash
Photo by: Vidar Nordli Mathisen on Unsplash

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