Waldorf, MD- William Bates, Jr. of Waldorf, MD recently went bow fishing in Occoquan Bay in Fairfax, VA. And he walked away with a new state record.
According to the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, Bates Jr arrowed a 62-pound, 4-oz blue catfish that measured 3’11” and had a girth of 34″.
After verification by a biologist and review by the State Record Committee, Bates’ catch was certified and is recognized as the current Virginia Archery State Record Blue Catfish. The previous record was held by Logan Horne with a 55-pound, 5-ounce blue catfish caught in Aquia Creek in 2020.
Additionally, this is the second Archery State Record catfish to be caught in the Occoquan Bay area since 2020. The other record is the current 44 lb., 8 oz. Flathead catfish archery record caught by David Raines.
Native to the Mississippi River basin, the blue catfish was introduced to the mid-Atlantic in the 1970s. Since then, it has exploded in population and range, and can now be found in watersheds across the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River. Blue cats are considered an invasive species in Maryland because they threaten the local ecosystem. Adults have few natural predators.