ELKTON, Md. (WJZ) — A Cecil County man earned the first-ever state record for the invasive flathead catfish, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
Joshua Dixon caught a 57-pound, 50-inch long flathead catfish, or Pylodictis olivaris, on Dec. 27, 2020 while he was fishing near the Lapidum Boat Ramp on the Susquehanna River.
According to DNR, the 34-year-old angler was fishing from the shore with a Zoom plastic swimbait. It took nearly 30 minutes to pull out the fish.
“It was really weird because I thought I snagged a tree,” Dixon said. “It didn’t feel like a fish but after a while, it was going crazy.”
Dixon’s catch broke the state’s minimum flathead catfish weight of 40 pounds. The weight was certified by Jack Manning of Keen Compressed Gas in Elkton and a DNR biologist confirmed the catch.
He donated his catch to friends who harvested the fish for fillets.
The department maintains state records for sport fish in four divisions – Atlantic, Chesapeake, Nontidal, and Invasive – and awards plaques to anglers who achieve record catches. Fish caught from privately-owned, fee-fishing waters are ineligible for consideration.
Anglers who think they have a potential record catch should download and fill out the state record application and call 443-569-1381 or 410-260-8325. The department recommends the fish be immersed in ice water to preserve its weight until it can be checked, confirmed, and certified.