Tennessee angler Micka Burkhart likely broke his own state record by catching a 122-pound blue catfish on the Cumberland River on June 28. Burkhart caught the trophy cat at noon in Stewart County on 40-pound-test line baited with a white bass head, according to a Facebook post from Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA). TWRA said the fish will be a new state record pending verification and certification. The official measurements are 122.3 pounds, 57.5 inches long, and 42.25 inches in girth.
Burkhart posted a video on YouTube earlier today that shows the catch from hookup to weigh-in to release. When he first hooked into the fish, he knew right away he had something special on the line. “That’s a good fish,” he says in the video. “I can’t do nothing with him.”
A separate Facebook video shows him releasing the catfish “alive and healthy” at a boat ramp, and in another post, he recounts a memorable day on the water that saw him catch two other big blues weighing 69 and 72 pounds.
The pending state record blue comes less than a year after Burkhart’s current state record blue, a 118-pounder he caught in September 2022 at Barkley Reservoir, which is also on the Cumberland. That catch shattered a record that had stood for 24 years. It’s possible but hard to verify whether or not Burkhart’s most recent catch is the same fish he caught last September. According to the TWRA, blue catfish are the most common catfish harvested by anglers and are found in major rivers and reservoirs throughout the state.