LOUISA COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A Louisa County man has taken the throne, claiming the state record for the largest blue catfish caught in Virginia.

Jason Emmel now holds a new state record, after arrowing a 66-pound, five-ounce monster-sized catfish from the Pamunkey River. The fish measured 3’6″ and had a girth of a whopping 35 inches. The average size of blue catfish is 25 to 40 inches and around 20 to 40 pounds. It is the largest North American species of catfish.

After biologist verification and review by the State Record Committee, the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources said Emmel’s catch was certified and is recognized as the current Virginia Archery State Record Blue Catfish.

The previous record was held by William Bates, Jr. with a 62-pound, four-ounce blue catfish captured in 2021 from Occoquan Bay in Fairfax. 

Jason Emmel, of Louisa, arrowed a 66-pound, 5-ounce blue catfish from the Pamunkey River for the new Virginia state record archery blue catfish. (Photo Courtesy of the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources)