Largest Catfish In Florida History Caught In Santa Rosa County

July 5, 2019

It’s not a fish tale but a real record — the largest catfish in the state of Florida was caught recently in Santa Rosa County.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) fisheries biologists certified a new state record flathead catfish weighing 69.3 pounds, measuring 47 inches long, with a girth of 34.25 inches, caught by angler Marvin Griffin from Santa Rosa County. Griffin caught his flathead catfish on rod and reel using live bait in the Yellow River.

“I wasn’t expecting to catch a state record when I started fishing that day with John Babb,” said Griffin. “But, it was the first and only fish we caught that day. I never would have been able to bring the fish into the boat without his help.”

Griffin brought his catch to the FWC’s Blackwater Hatchery near Holt, where biologists weighed it on a certified scale.

Griffin’s family has been fishing the Yellow River for years and have historically caught exceptionally large catfish there. Griffin’s uncle, James Auston Jr., caught a state record flathead catfish in the Yellow River and held the record from 2011 until 2016.

“I have always wanted to catch a state record,” said Griffin. “After my uncle caught his, I made it a mission of mine to catch my own.”

The former state record weighed 63.8 pounds and was caught on the Chattahoochee River in Jackson County in 2016.

“A state record catch is an amazing angling accomplishment,” said Chris Paxton, FWC’s Northwest Regional Fisheries Administrator. “With Griffin’s family history of state record catches, it seems that this family takes advantage of their quality time spent on the water. We are proud to award this state record to such an avid outdoor enthusiast.”

Flathead catfish are a non-native fish found in many Northwest Florida panhandle river systems. Flatheads prefer long, slow-flowing, moderately turbid rivers. Their solitary lifestyle makes them more difficult to catch than other catfish. Adult flathead catfish feed primarily on live fish, crawfish, freshwater clams and mussels.


8 Responses to “Largest Catfish In Florida History Caught In Santa Rosa County”

  1. Scott McCauslin on July 6th, 2019 11:25 am

    Congrats on a State Record catch!! Any hints on WHAT live bait you used?

  2. Jeni Senter on July 6th, 2019 8:42 am

    And now I don’t want to swim in the river, either. That thing could swallow a child…

  3. Bernie D Silcox on July 5th, 2019 4:22 pm

    Very nice….Now for 30 lbs of hushpuppies & 40 lbs of cole slaw…….

  4. molino jim on July 5th, 2019 3:24 pm

    How many lunch plates could David’s make from this big boy?

  5. Phillip Ware-Ehlers on July 5th, 2019 2:42 pm

    Congratulations. Fantastic catch.

  6. Sage2 on July 5th, 2019 10:05 am

    Get that grease hot and ready and fry some of that big boy up! Be sure to invite all the family and friends to eat on a state record!

  7. Vicki on July 5th, 2019 9:11 am

    Amazing!! Congratulations on such an accomplishment.
    Bet he was fun to pull, (for the first 5 or 10 minutes!)

  8. Willis on July 5th, 2019 7:58 am

    That’s a good one .

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