Fishing records could be on the end of your line

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Fishing season should be heating up as water temperatures climb and fish move to shallow waters for spawning. Several people from Southwest Mississippi have set state records in fishing. Keep these records in mind because you might have a record on the end of your line. Perhaps you will catch one at the newly reopened Lake Okhissa. 

Two records were set in Natchez last year. 

Christopher Halley of Brookhaven caught the state record trophy Blue Catfish on the Mississippi River in August 2022. The catfish weighed 104 pounds and was caught on a trotline. 

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Anthony Denny of Washington, Mississippi, caught the state record largemouth bass in the rod and reel category on Natchez State Park Lake in December 1992. The bass weighed 18.5 pounds. Natchez State Park is located north of Natchez off of US61. 

Eugene Cronley of Brandon caught the biggest Blue Catfish on a rod and reel while fishing the Mississippi River near Natchez. He caught his record 131 pound blue catfish on April 11, 2022. 

Tom Wimberly III, of Brookhaven, hauled in the biggest Yellow Bluehead in the state on Mossy Lake in LeFlore County. He caught the 2 pound 13.5 ounce Yellow Bullhead on April 6, 2021 using a rod and reel. 

Earl Stafford of Natchez caught the biggest alligator gar with rod and reel while fishing the Mississippi River near Natchez. He caught the 215 pound Gar on May 3, 2003. People fishing for gar can try St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge. You are not able to keep any Alligator Gar but you can keep other species of gar. 

Mitch McClendon of Crystal Springs caught the state record American Eel in July of 1994 on the Mississippi River near Vicksburg. He used a rod and reel to take the 5 pound one ounce eel. 

State record fish fall into three categories: rod and reel, fly rod, and trophy. MDWFP’s guidelines for state record fish require that the fish is weighed on certified scales, length and girth measurements are recorded, the species is verified by a MDWFP fisheries biologist, and two photos of the fish are submitted with an application. 

Contact the MDWFP Fisheries Bureau at 601-432-2200 if you think you have caught a record and also contact We would love to tell your fishing tale.