A 7th grader was fishing on Lake Tawakoni back in early March when he hooked into an absolute beast of a fish. Once he got it back to the scales, 12-year-old Cade Childress would discover that he’d just caught a new Junior Anglers Division Texas state record Blue Catfish.
Cade and his dad Shiloh Childress were fishing with Whisk’R Fish’N Trophy Guide Service captain James Evans on March 6th and the fishing started out oddly slow. The fishing charter was a Christmas present for Cade but the timing was throwing the guide off of his routine because the day prior James Evans brought out two lady anglers who caught 10 catfish totaling 314 pounds. He expected the bite to be red hot.
Evans told the Dallas Morning News “My shallow bite pretty much died. We spent most of the morning fishing alleys around stumps and timber, but it just wasn’t happening. I’m not sure what happened, but we never caught a fish.”
Fishing’s funny like that. It’s always the days when you’re lulled into thinking there’s no action that something extraordinary happens out of nowhere. Around noon, they moved to deeper water and were fishing a ‘chunk of gizzard shad’ at the bottom of a 22-foot creek channel when the rod bent in half and the action exploded, according to Field and Stream.
12-year-old Cade weighs just 85 pounds. His Junior Anglers Division Texas state record Blue Catfish tipped the scales at 72.4-pounds which broke the previous record of 67-pounds. That 67-pounder was caught at Lake Tawkoni back in 2019.
I’m not sure I’ve ever caught a freshwater catfish weighing over 15 pounds. To be fair, I grew up in Florida and almost exclusively fish in the saltwater and when I’m freshwater fishing it’s generally in upstate New York for Brook Trout or Smallmouth Bass. But I have to imagine that when you’re fishing for catfish in a lake you’re almost never planning on reeling in a fish over 70 pounds and that must’ve felt like he was holding on to a semi-truck with the rod ready to buckle at any moment.
If you happen to be in that part of Texas (Lake Tawakoni is 48 miles east of Dallas) and want to try and catch a massive catfish you can follow that Facebook page above and hit up that fishing guide. For comparison, the all-tackle Texas state record for Blue Catfish is 121.50 pounds. That fish was caught by angler Cody Mullennix using shad as bait in Texoma back in 2004.
The only Texas state fishing record that bests that is a 279-pound Alligator Gar caught on the Rio Grande in 1951. All of the other species records weigh less than the Blue Catfish.