Lavon Nowling just reeled in the biggest catfish ever recorded in the state of Florida. The record-setting fish weighed 69.9 lbs and measured 48 inches long.
From what I can tell, Lavon Nowling is a lifelong angler who has been putting a hurting on Yellow River catfish for decades.
Flathead catfish bottom-dwelling beasts that can grow upward of 100 pounds. Not originally native to Florida, flathead catfish now roam in the Florida panhandle, in places like the Yellow River, which stretches over 90 miles covering three counties.
The flathead catfish gets its name from the shovel-like head, which is the easiest way to identify this fish. Flathead usually have a yellow to the brown base with splotching colors mixed in throughout their body. Unique color patterns tend to increase as catfish get older, with some flathead catfish taking on the look of a pair of brown and black acid-washed jeans.
Some think of catfish as merely scavenger fish who spend their lives dredging the bottom looking for a stinky meal; this partially true; but flathead catfish are also ferocious predators feeding on sunfish, shad, crawfish, and even small catfish.
If you want to increase your chances of catching a monster cat, spend more time throwing big baits in areas where you think the giant kitties might be hiding.
Lavon is a local fishing hammer who puts his time in on the water; it’s nice to see a record fish go to someone who has been putting in the work for years. Kudos to you, Lavon.