ANNAPOLIS Josh Fitchett of Montpelier, Virginia broke the state record for blue catfish in the Chesapeake Bay division by catching a 65-pound, 8-ounce fish on the tidal Potomac River near Fort Washington on Saturday, September 30. This catch eclipses the previous record of 53 pounds set by Michael Kingree of Arlington, Virginia on December 6, 2001 on the Greenway Flats on the tidal Potomac River.
Mr. Fitchett is a regular participant in catfish tournaments and was named "Angler of the Year" by the Virginia Catfish Association in 2005. He caught the record-breaking fish on a whole gizzard shad bait fished on an 8/0 circle hook and delivered it alive to the Bass Pro Shops Arundel Mills store in Hanover, Maryland. The fish was certified by Department of Natural Resources biologists at the stores quarantine tank and will go on display in their 26,000 gallon aquarium.
Blue catfish were first documented in the tidal Potomac in the mid 1990s, and have increased in numbers since that time.