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Jim Pankey       jpankey@gmail.com 5-30-2005 3:57 PM
ALTON, Illinois (AP) -- Tim Pruitt went fishing and pulled up a whopper of a beast.

No, seriously: It was roughly the size of a sixth-grader.

Pruitt, casting his line in the Mississippi River on Sunday, hauled up a 58-inch (146 cm) long, 44-inch (111 cm) around blue catfish that weighed a whopping 124-pounds (56 kg).

To get a sense of just how big that is, the state record holder was a mere 85 pounds (38 kg) and the world record holder tipped the scales at 121 pounds, eight ounces (55 kg).

"My adrenaline was really pumping, so it wasn't that bad," said Pruitt. "Later on, when I was lifting him out of the livewell and into another tank I really felt the weight."

Now, Pruitt, whose fish has already been weighed in the presence of a conservation police officer and measured by a biologist for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, is expected to submit documentation to the International Game Fish Association so that it can be certified a world record holder.

Once that's done, the catch should be approved as the world's largest blue catfish, replacing the current champion that was caught January 16, 2004, in Lake Texoma, Texas, said Becky Reynolds, a spokeswoman for the association.

Jim Pankey's note: The live catfish was being transported to Cabela's in Kansas City for display, but died enroute.

Old Clunker       8-7-2011 5:02 PM
143 lb. caught in Kerr Reservoir in Virginia in June 2011.
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