A 72-Pound Catfish is Lurking in the Missouri River, Just Under State Record
Iowa biologists made an eye-popping discovery this week... and, fittingly, just in time for National Catfish Day, which is Saturday, June 25th!
Local biologists were conducting a survey on the Missouri River, the longest river in the United States, and discovered a massive, 72.4-pound catfish. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources shared a photo of the fish on Facebook for anyone planning on hitting the water this weekend.
The flathead catfish is less than ten pounds shy of the state record, which was set in 1958 after someone caught an 81-pounder. Flathead catfish are native to Iowa. The record blue catfish is 101 pounds; it was caught in the Missouri River in June 2004.
The fish currently thriving in the Missouri River measures at 49.5-inches and 72.4 pounds. With National Catfish Day coming up on Saturday, there's a good bet some local anglers are going to want to hit the water and try and catch the beast for themselves.
The day was established by then-President Ronald Reagan in 1987. Reagan issued the proclamation to recognize "the value of farm-raised catfish." June is also a prime month to catch catfish, as they're at their most mobile and nomadic, according to a Management Biologist at the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
For most of us, the day is perhaps an invitation to fry up some delicious fish. For others, it's a call to get the fishing boat ready.
The Missouri River's nearly record-setting flathead catfish got some love on social media when Iowa Department of Natural Resources' photo showing off its size amassed more than 1,000 likes on Facebook.
You might need to consider hitting the gym before attempting to go to battle with this fish.