SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. —  The state record for the largest blue catfish by weight has been broken for the fourth consecutive year, Governor Jim Justice and the West Virginia Division of National Resources (WVDNR) announced today. 

On Dec. 8, Michael John Drake of St. Albans, WV, caught and released a blue catfish weighing 69.45 pounds and measuring 50.51 inches. Drake was fishing using cut shad from his fishing boat on the R.C. Byrd Pool of the Ohio River near Gallipolis. Drake’s record fish was measured by WVDNR hatchery manager Ryan Bosserman.

The previous record blue catfish of 67.22 pounds and 50.70 inches was held by Steven Price. 

Anglers who believe they have caught a potential record-breaking fish should report their catch to the WVDNR for verification. Fish that do not qualify as a state record may still qualify for a trophy citation. For more information, visit