Man Catches Biggest Ever Flathead Catfish in Florida

By Victor Westerkamp

Marvin Griffin of Santa Rosa caught the biggest flathead catfish in recorded history in Florida with a catch of a 69.3 pounds.

“I wasn’t expecting to catch a state record when I started fishing that day with John Babb,” Griffin stated in a Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission press release on July 3. “But, it was the first and only fish we caught that day. I never would have been able to bring the fish into the boat without his help.”

Fishing apparently runs in the Griffin family, because Griffin’s uncle, James Auston Jr., held the record previously from 2011 to 2016, with a catch he also made in the Yellow River, before he was surpassed by another reeler that set the record with a catch weighing 63.8 pounds caught in the Chattahoochee River in Jackson County.

“I have always wanted to catch a state record,” Griffin told the FWC. “After my uncle caught his, I made it a mission of mine to catch my own.”

And a record it is: 69.3 pounds, 47 inches long, and a 34.25-inch girth. Griffin only used a rod, reel, angle, and live bait—and of course a little help from his friend John Babb.

“A state record catch is an amazing angling accomplishment,” said Chris Paxton, FWC’s Northwest Regional Fisheries administrator. “With Griffin’s family history of state record catches, it seems that this family takes advantage of their quality time spent on the water. We are proud to award this state record to such an avid outdoor enthusiast.”

A little over three months ago, another amazing catch was made that set the record for the biggest catfish caught by a junior in Texas.

When Brayden Rogers, 13, from Cisco, Texas, went fishing with his grandfather, Steve Billings, and brother on Lake Tawakoni, he didn’t expect to come back with a monster catch.

The trio went out on the lake with guide Noel Ibarra, from the Lake Tawakoni Guide Service, on a fishing trip for the day, on March 16, 2019, and came back with a 67.1-pound blue catfish. Not something to be sneezed at, he has broken the record for junior anglers. This was previously held by Lane Ferguson for a 66.2-pound blue catfish that was caught at Lake Worth in 2011.

The Lake Guide Service took to social media to express their amazement and wrote, “What an amazing day on Lake Tawakoni yesterday.”

“It was so exciting just watching this young man Brayden hold this huge fish that is the New Pending Lake and State Blue Catfish Record JR,” the post further read.

Rogers used a cut shad for the bait. “The rod tip bent all the way to the water and the kid just started reeling,” Teri Littlejohn told FTW Outdoors.

After a 10-minute battle, Rogers landed the fish and kept it alive in the boat’s tank.

As per a report from USA Today, the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife inspected the catch by keeping it alive and weighed it to validate the new junior angler record.

Further, Rogers donated the catch to Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, and it went on display in a large tank for the public to view.

Chris Ford contributed to this article.