Angler fishing for carp lands pending world-record catfish

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A Connecticut angler has shattered the state record for white catfish and Ben Tomkunas’ catch also is a pending world record.

“This was a tough one to verify as Channel Cats and White Cats, especially when so large, look very similar,” Connecticut Fish and Wildlife stated last week on Facebook. “With multiple sets of expert eyes, we confirm the new state record.”

Tomkunas, 25, was night fishing for carp earlier this month at Coventry Lake when the 21.3-pound white catfish ingested a boilie bait and ran “like a 30-inch striper,” Tomkunas told Field & Stream.

“It was the craziest fight. When we got it on the shore, we said ‘Holy moly!’ ”

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The previous state-record white catfish weighed 12.75 pounds. The current all-tackle world record, set in Oakdale, Ca., in 2005, stands at 19 pounds, 5 ounces.

The International Game Fish Assn., which keeps world records for most species, typically waits weeks or months before announcing a new record.

–Images courtesy of Connecticut Fish and Wildlife