Waldorf, MD- William Bates, Jr. of Waldorf, MD recently went archery fishing on Occoquan Bay in Fairfax, VA. And he left with a new state record.

Courtesy of the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources

According to the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, Bates Jr arrowed a 62 lb, 4 oz Blue Catfish that measured 3’11” and had a girth of 34″.

After biologist verification and review by the State Record Committee, Bates’ catch was certified and is recognized as the current Virginia Archery State Record Blue Catfish. The previous record was held by Logan Horne with a 55 pound 5 ounce Blue Catfish captured from Aquia Creek in 2020.

Additionally, this is the second Archery State Record catfish to be captured in the Occoquan Bay area since 2020. The other record is the current 44 lb., 8 oz. flathead catfish archery record caught by David Raines.

A native of the Mississippi River basin, blue catfish were introduced to the mid-Atlantic in the 1970s. Since then it has exploded in population and range, and can now be found throughout the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River watersheds. “Blue cats” are considered an invasive species in Maryland as they threaten the local ecosystem. Adults have few natural predators. 

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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