Angler breaks catch-and-release record for flathead catfish

An angler has broken the state record for flathead catfish in the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ catch-and-release length category. 

Mark Mosby of St. Anthony caught, measured and released the new record flathead catfish Aug. 2 on the St. Croix River near Stillwater. He caught the 52-1/2 inch fish on 80 pound braided line with a 40 pound monofilament leader. It had a girth of 32 inches.

Mosby, who describes himself as an occasional angler, said his fishing partner made sure his fishing gear was ready for a battle as they were targeting big flathead catfish known to inhabit this stretch of the river.

“Kudos to my fishing partner John Kaiser for his knot-tying ability,” Mosby said. “The flathead put up a great 15 minute fight right up until he got to the boat, and the knots held true.”

Although weight is not required for the catch-and-release record, the fish was estimated to weigh about 70 to 80 pounds, based on length and girth. The current record for certified weight of a caught-and-kept flathead is 70 pounds.

There are two kinds of Minnesota state records: one for catching and keeping the biggest fish in each species based on certified weight; and the other for the length of a caught and released muskellunge, lake sturgeon or flathead catfish.

Mike Kurre, the DNR’s mentoring program coordinator, recommends anglers become familiar with the record-fish guidelines and be ready to take the required photos and go through the correct procedures for submitting a record – especially when equipped with the fishing tackle and on waters where they might catch record fish.

The DNR announces new state records in news releases, on social media and on the DNR website. Find current records and guidelines for each type of state record at mndnr.gov/recordfish.