Missouri Record Fish Stories – Blue Catfish

Missouri Record Fish Stories – Blue Catfish


NARRATOR: On a hot July night back in 2010,
Missouri became the center of the world… the catfishing world that is. Greg Bernal: I fished one spot for like about
three hours. Not even a bite.
I figured we go ahead and pull the anchor and let me take a look behind this dike.
Just one last shot. NARRATOR: On the Missouri River now just off
of Columbia Bottoms Conservation Area near St. Louis, Greg Bernal was about to make history. Greg: All of the sudden had three big monster
fish pop up on the sonar. Rod just took off, racing.
Set the hook and the fight was on. NARRATOR: In the dead of night on that pitch
black river, man and fish began their desperate struggle. Greg: I’m like; man he’s going to break
this line any minute. But he didn’t.
And so we finally fought him, come right up to the boat and his head broke the water and
I couldn’t believe it, but we finally got him in the boat. NARRATOR: Now just by luck, it was fisheries
biologist that took the call to the Missouri Department of Conservation. Sarah Peeper: It was Greg on the line, saying
he had a really big catfish and I told him to bring it on in.
And when I went out and took a look, I could tell this was going to be the new state record. NARRATOR: Before Greg landed this monster,
the Missouri state record stood at 103 pounds, with the world record weighing in at 124.
Just where Bernal’s cat was going to land could only be answered on a certified scale.
So the whole bunch packed off to the feed mill in nearby New Melle. Sarah: We heaved the fish onto the scale.
And everybody was all kind of excitement waiting for the announcement. It was 130 pounds! I just sort of turned to
Greg and said, “You got it”. Greg: You don’t have the state record, you
got the world record. 130 pounds! I couldn’t believe it, I couldn’t believe
it. NARRATOR: Greg enjoyed the predicable blur
of television and magazine interviews. Oh, but alas, world fame can be fleeting.
Just 11 months later another giant blue was pulled out of a Virginia lake.
143 pounds! Well, although the world record was broken, the new Missouri state record
was left intact. Greg: I’m out for the big catfish.
I want to try to regain the world record. NARRATOR: And for that the state of Missouri
will be forever grateful.

Daniel Ostrander

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