Fly angler lands potential world-record blue catfish

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A Texas fly fisherman last week prevailed in a marathon battle with a potential world-record blue catfish.

Ben Christensen hooked the 31.55-pound catfish while casting an olive-colored creek damsel fly on 12-pound tippet with a 4-weight rod in the Pedernales River.

“I sight casted to the fish and watched it take the fly, then fought it for 40 minutes,” Christensen, of PearlSnap Flyfishing, told Texas Parks and Wildlife.

The agency’s Inland Fisheries San Marcos/Austin District weighed and measured the catfish and announced the catch as a new waterbody record.

However, Christensen could also become a world-record holder.

According to the International Game Fish Assn., the 12-pound tippet record for blue catfish stands at 26 pounds, 4 ounces. That fish was caught in Florida’s Escambia River in 2018.

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Christensen on Wednesday told FTW Outdoors that he plans to submit catch details to the IGFA for record consideration.

He said he kept the catfish because he believed it was going to perish after the grueling battle.

“It was old, blind in one eye, and its stomach was empty when we filleted him,” Christensen said. “I took thin fillets off the fish and composted his body in the middle of as piece of land where I hope to plant a wine grape vineyard.”

Of the spirited battle, Christensen stated on Instagram: “It was on like Donkey Kong! Took me to the backing, and I fought him for 40 minutes like we were offshore or something.”

Christensen said he’s writing a book titled, “Fly Fishing in San Antonio and the Texas Hill Country.”

–Images courtesy of Ben Christensen