DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife has confirmed a new state record blue catfish, the fourth state record of the year for the 2023 Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament. The 42.5-inch, 48-pound, 7.2-ounce blue catfish was caught on cut bait earlier this month by Chris Andrews of Bridgeville, while fishing in the Nanticoke River on his personal boat at night with friends who helped him land his massive catch.
“Fishing is a big part of my life – I go out about three times a week, so I guess you’d say I’m an avid fisherman,” said Andrews, noting it was just another quiet end of summer evening on the water – until he felt a strong tug on his line. “I knew it was a big one, just not how big. I got the fish up and close to the boat multiple times, but it would just take off pulling my drag. I had a smaller net than usual, so it took multiple tries (to get it into the boat). After about a 5-minute fight, the fish was landed.”
The record catch was weighed at Taylored Tackle Shop in Seaford and certified by Sgt. Nathan Evans, Delaware Natural Resources Fish and Wildlife Police. Andrews’ blue catfish eclipsed the previous state record set in 2022 by James Lord, by only 4 ounces – but as DNREC Fisheries biologist Devon Scott, who recorded Andrews’ catch in the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament, noted, “They’re both behemoth fish.”
A list of all Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament state records is available at the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Delaware Fishing Records.
More information about the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament and state record fish can be found in the 2023 Delaware Fishing Guide and at de.gov/sportfish. The guide is also available in printed form from the DNREC Fisheries Section, from the Licensing Desk in DNREC’s main office in Dover, and from license agents throughout the state.
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities, and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on more than 68,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly known as Twitter) or LinkedIn.