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Last month, a 34-year-old angler from Philadelphia hauled in the heaviest flathead catfish on record in Pennsylvania.
On the evening of May 24, Jonathon Pierce was fishing the Schuylkill River at East Falls. According to the official press release from the Pennsylvania Pressroom, the record fish hit Pierce’s line around 8:30 p.m. that night.
The release states that Pierce was fishing a brown trout head on a 8/0 circle hook with 50-pound braid line and a 20-foot, 60-pound test monofilament leader in 12 feet of depth.
Pierce — an experienced catfish angler whose previous best flathead was 37 pounds — fought the monster for around five minutes before hauling it in.
The next day, Pierce took his massive flathead to Blue Marsh Outdoors in Berks County, where he received an official weight: 56 pounds, 3 ounces!
The mammoth catfish also measured 50 inches in length as had an impressive girth of 28.875 inches.
The catch comfortably displaced the previous Pennsylvania flathead catfish state record, which was caught in April 2019 on the Susquehanna River in Lancaster County. That flathead weighed in at a respectable 50 pounds, 7 ounces.
For comparison, Ohio’s state catfish record sits at a ridiculous 76.5 pounds (and 58 5/8 inches), whereas West Virginia’s flathead record is 70 pounds (and 52 inches).