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Mississippi man catches 131-pound catfish, sets state record

April 15, 2022 GMT
This April 11, 2022 photo provided by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks and taken in Jackson, Miss. shows  Eugene Cronley of Brandon and the record setting 131-pound (59.4-kilogram) blue catfish he caught, April 7 in the Mississippi River near Natchez. (Blythe Summers/Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, via AP)
This April 11, 2022 photo provided by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks and taken in Jackson, Miss. shows  Eugene Cronley of Brandon and the record setting 131-pound (59.4-kilogram) blue catfish he caught, April 7 in the Mississippi River near Natchez. (Blythe Summers/Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, via AP)
This April 11, 2022 photo provided by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks and taken in Jackson, Miss. shows  Eugene Cronley of Brandon and the record setting 131-pound (59.4-kilogram) blue catfish he caught, April 7 in the Mississippi River near Natchez. (Blythe Summers/Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, via AP)
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This April 11, 2022 photo provided by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks and taken in Jackson, Miss. shows Eugene Cronley of Brandon and the record setting 131-pound (59.4-kilogram) blue catfish he caught, April 7 in the Mississippi River near Natchez. (Blythe Summers/Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, via AP)
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This April 11, 2022 photo provided by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks and taken in Jackson, Miss. shows Eugene Cronley of Brandon and the record setting 131-pound (59.4-kilogram) blue catfish he caught, April 7 in the Mississippi River near Natchez. (Blythe Summers/Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, via AP)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Talk about a fish tale: A Mississippi man reeled in a massive blue catfish that set a state record.

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks said Eugene Cronley of Brandon caught the 131-pound (59.4-kilogram) fish April 7 in the Mississippi River near Natchez.

“I’ve been catfishing all my life and I never dreamed of something like this,” Cronley told the Clarion Ledger.

He said he used a rod and reel with skipjack herring as bait.

The department said Cronley’s fish broke the previous rod-and-reel record of a 95-pound (43.1-kilogram) fish caught in 2009. It’s also larger than the 101-pound (45.8-kilogram) blue catfish caught by a team of two people in 1997. Both of those fish were also caught in the Mississippi River near Natchez.

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The world-record catch for blue catfish was broken in 2011 when a 143-pound (64.9-kilogram) behemoth was reeled in from a Virginia lake, according to the International Game Fish Association.

Cronley said his fish was 56.6 inches (1.4 meters) long with a girth of 41 inches (1.04 meters).

“He is a monster,” Cronley said.