Florida man catches record-setting flathead catfish

Animals

Photo: FWC

SANTA ROSA COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida Fish and Wildlife certified a new state record flathead catfish weighing nearly 70 lbs.

Santa Rosa County resident Lavon Nowling caught the 48.5 inch-long fish on a rod and reel with live bait in the Yellow River. It’s the same river the last record-holding flathead catfish was caught back in 2019.

“I’ve caught some good ones before this fish, but none of them were more than 54 pounds,” Nowling said. “I’ve been fishing since I was old enough to hold a pole and have been fishing on Yellow River as long as I can remember.”

Nowling took his fish to the FWC’s Blackwater Hatchery where biologists weighed it on a certified scale.

Flathead catfish are found in many northwest Florida Panhandle rivers. FWC says flathead’s “solitary lifestyle” makes them more difficult to catch than other catfish.

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