‘Monster’ Channel Catfish Breaks State Record

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today that the State record for channel catfish was broken on May 8, 2022. Using cut bait while bottom fishing, Bailey Williams of Watertown reeled in a 35-pound, 12-ounce channel catfish from the Black River in Jefferson County. Bailey’s record-breaking catch surpassed the previous State record catfish, caught from Lake Ontario in 2017, by 9 ounces.

“New York has an abundance of quality habitat that supports healthy fish populations and provides outstanding angling opportunities, and Mr. Williams’ catch is a great example,” said Commissioner Seggos. “I encourage those fishing in New York to check out the Angler Achievement Awards Program before your next fishing trip. It’s an exciting program designed to recognize sizable catches and shed light on where quality fishing opportunities exist around our State.”

Channel catfish are the largest catfish that live in New York. They feed primarily on the bottom at night and are most easily caught using live bait such as worms or baitfish. When hooked, catfish can provide a challenge for even the most experienced angler. For more information on fishing for catfish, visit DEC’s website.

Mr. Williams submitted details of his winning catch as part of DEC’s Angler Achievement Awards Program, which tracks State-record fish. Through this program, anglers can enter freshwater fish that meet specific qualifying criteria and receive official recognition of their catch and an embroidered patch commemorating their achievement. The three categories that make up the program are: Catch and Release, Annual Award, and State Record.

A photo of the record fish can be found on the New York State Freshwater Fishing Records page of DEC’s website. For more information about the Angler Achievement Awards Program, including a downloadable application form, go to DEC’s website. For additional information on the Angler Achievement Awards Program call (518) 402-8891 or email fwfish@dec.ny.gov.

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