Virginia man catches 66-pound blue catfish, breaks state record

Jason Emmel beat the previous record holder, William Bates, Jr., who caught a 62-pound blue catfish in 2021

There is a new fishing record in Virginia. 

Jason Emmel, of Louisa, Virginia, broke the state record catching a 66-pound, 5-ounce blue catfish with a bow and arrow, according to the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources. 

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The fish – which Emmel caught in the Pamunkey River on Monday – was 3 feet, 6 inches long. 

It was verified by biologists and reviewed by the Virginia State Record Committee, according to a Facebook post from the Virginia DWR. 

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Emmel’s catch is now "recognized as the current Virginia Archery State Record Blue Catfish," the DWR said on Facebook.

Jason Emmel caught a 66-pound, 5-ounce blue catfish with a bow and arrow in Virginia's Pamunkey River on Monday. 

Jason Emmel caught a 66-pound, 5-ounce blue catfish with a bow and arrow in Virginia's Pamunkey River on Monday.  (Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources)

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Emmel beat the previous state record by about four pounds. 

In 2021, William Bates, Jr. caught a 62-pound, 4-pounce blue catfish from Occoquan Bay in Fairfax, Virginia, according to the state DWR.

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