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  1. Larry Jarboe, Recreational Angler
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Posted on September 28, 2012 | Permalink

How To Verify a State Record Catch

Type: Tidal
Region: Southern
Location: Mallows Bay

This has been a year of first fish for me: first blueline tilefish, first blackbelly rosefish, first chain pickerel, first tidal largemouth bass, first northern snakehead and the first blue catfish that I caught early this week at Mallows Bay on the Potomac.

The blue cats taste great. Even the channel cats from the Potomac don't have the muddy flavor that channel cats in the Patuxent are tainted with. And, the Potomac cats get much bigger!

This afternoon, I caught 14 channel cats, 1 blue cat, and a white cat on the incoming tide plus plenty of white perch and about a dozen fiesty under 18" channel bass.

Remember that this is the first year that white cats will be documented by DNR for record status. They don't grow super big. The Virginia record is just over 7 lbs. If you catch a big headed catfish with a moderately forked tail and white lower chin barbels, you likely have a white catfish. If it is over 5 lbs., you could have this year's record. I caught a 4+ pounder in August but the record keeping did not start till Sept. 4.

Questions to DNR Staff: What is the largest white catfish presently logged in? What is the process to officially verify species of potential record fish?

DNR Response: Sounds like you’ve had quite a year on the water! The tidal Potomac has some great opportunities for catfish. Our latest rules for state record consideration are as follows:

  1. Entries must be submitted within two (2) weeks of the date the catch was made. If the Citation Center you visit does not have a certified scale; it is strongly suggested that every effort is made as soon as possible to obtain an accurate certified weight; since dead fish will lose weight quickly. Local deli meat stores, U.P.S or similar mailing and shipping stores are good locations to look for a scale that is certified by Maryland Department of Agriculture’s "Weights and Measures". A copy of the certified weight with the scale operators witness signature and date are required.
  2. Fish must be a species commonly fished for with rod and reel and caught by legal methods during a legally open season.
  3. The fish must be considered "trophy sized" if a new species category is to be opened for recognition.
  4. The catch must be weighed on certified scales and inspected in person by a designated biologist from the Department of Natural Resources.*
  5. It is the responsibility of the angler to fill out completely and accurately the official Maryland Sport Fishing Tournament entry blank. A side view photograph of the catch must accompany the entry and the actual tackle used must be exhibited to the agent of the citation center if requested.
  6. Fish which are caught from pay to fish areas are not eligible for record consideration.
  7. Citation centers and anglers should immediately notify the Maryland Sport Fishing Tournament Office of a potential State Record fish as soon as possible.
    • Tournament Manager: Keith Lockwood
    • Direct: 410-226-0078 Fax: 410-226-0120
    • Late day or weekend catches should be immersed in ice water until the tournament office is notified.
  8. Positive identification of the species of fish is mandatory for consideration of State Record applications. The actual fish must be inspected by a DNR biologist.
  9. The Maryland DNR reserves the right to investigate the methods used in catching the fish and the accuracy of measuring and weighing. It also reserves the right to reject any application.

*Although citations are awarded based on length only, all fish being considered for State Records must be weighed. This is because existing records have been maintained by weight.

Sorry but we do not keep records of fish not of state record consideration, no one has yet to submit a record white catfish (7lb min).

Tags: blueline tilefish, blackbelly rosefish, chain pickerel, largemouth bass, snakehead, blue catfish, channel catfish, white catfish, white perch