Record 131-pound blue catfish caught in Mississippi River near Natchez

Staff Report
A new Mississippi record was set for blue catfish when Eugene Cronley caught a 131-pound fish April 7 from the Mississippi River near Natchez.

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Fisheries Bureau has certified a new state record blue catfish.

Eugene Cronley, an angler from Brandon, Mississippi, caught the 131-pound fish April 7 from the Mississippi River near Natchez.

Cronley told the bureau that it took him forty minutes to land the fish, “It is truly a fish of a lifetime.”

The fish shattered the previous rod and reel record of 95 pounds caught by Dakota Hinson in 2009 and is larger than the trophy record blue catfish of 101 pounds caught by the team of Freddie Parker and Brad Smith in 1997.

Both of those fish were also caught from the Mississippi River near Natchez.

Cronley caught the fish with a rod and reel using skipjack herring as bait.

As reported by the USA Today via the Mississippi Clarion Ledger, Cronley was fishing in a 90-foot hole when his rod bowed over.

"He hit the rod and started pulling drag," Cronley said. "We had to untie the boat and float down the river.

"I couldn't move him. I'd pull on him and take in a foot of line and he'd pull and take 10 feet. I just sat there like I was hung up."