The Michigan state record catfish caught on January 12, 2014 is a 52-pound flathead, the second record breaker in as many years.
According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the fish was caught by Dale Blakley of Niles, Michigan on Barron Lake. It measured 46.02 inches. The record confirmation was made on January 13, 2014 by Brian Gunderman, a DNR fisheries biologist.
Blakely was ice fishing for crappies when he reeled in the record. Blakely recalled the catch for the DNR:
“Catching this fish was the most exhilarating experience. It was only the second time I’ve ever gone ice fishing and it was the only bite we had on the lake the whole day. This definitely sits at the top of my list!”
Though flathead catfish are typically found in large riverways, they are suspected to have made their way to lakes like Barron through illegal stocking. It should be noted that transferring fish from one body of water to another is against regulations, mainly because of ecosystem disruption problems.
Related story: Read about an ecosystem untouched until recent commercial fishing began to threat.
The best part of all? The catch was captured on video produced by the Blakely family. WARNING: Some muffled foul language can be heard. Viewer discretion advised.