SEAFORD — Bridgeville’s Chris Andrews hooked a state record blue catfish that weighed in at 48 pounds, 7.2 ounces and was 42.5-inches long in the 2023 Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament.
The catch marked the fourth state record fish of the year for the year-long tournament sponsored by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Fish and Wildlife.
Mr. Andrews caught the record blue catfish while fishing in the Nanticoke River on his personal boat at night with friends who helped him land his massive catch.
Mr. Andrews said it was just another quiet end of summer evening on the water until he felt a strong tug on his fishing line.
“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,” Mr. Andrews said, in a press release. “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 five-minute fight, the fish was landed.”
The record catch was weighed at Taylored Tackle Shop in Seaford and certified by Sgt. Nathan Evans, of the Delaware Natural Resources Fish and Wildlife Police.
Mr. Andrews’ blue catfish eclipsed the previous state record set in 2022 by James Lord, by only 4 ounces — but as Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control 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.