Watertown man reels in record-breaking catfish

Published: May. 9, 2022 at 4:17 PM EDT
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DEXTER, New York (WWNY) - A 22-year-old Watertown man reeled in a record-breaking channel catfish over the weekend.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation met up with Bailey Williams in Dexter to confirm the catch and species of fish.

It weighed in at 35 pounds, 12 ounces - a state record.

Williams said he caught it Sunday while out on his kayak in Black River Marsh.

He used a fish head as bait and reeled it in after what he calls a tough, 5-minute fight.

The state will need to complete the paperwork before the record is officially in the books, but this fish appears to best the record set by a town of Watertown man in 2017 by 9 ounces.

Williams says this is just the beginning.

“Just hoping I can actually break it again, hoping I can break it again because there’s other huge ones and this place is underrated for big catfish,” he said.

After 7 News interviewed Williams this morning, he released the giant fish. He says if he ever catches it again, he can recognize it by a black birthmark he noticed.

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