Man Catches Record-Breaking “Monster” Catfish

photo credit: Jonathan Pierce

Jonathan Pierce from Roxborough, Pennsylvania has officially reeled in the largest fish ever caught on record in the state of Pennsylvania.

The 34-year-old father of four said he got to a very rocky and snaggy area of Schuylkill River around 8:30pm and was using trout heads as bait.

On his first cast into 200 feet of water, he hooked the massive flathead catfish weighing a whopping 56.3 pounds. Within seconds of his bait hitting the water, the fish took it and rose to the top of the water with a violent splash of its tail.

“And then it torpedoed away from me. I had my drag tight, and it was still pulling line. I knew it was something massive. I thought I was going to lose the fish. I couldn’t budge it,” Jonathan told Penn Live.

photo credit: Jonathan Pierce

He struggled with it for “the longest two or three minutes of his life” before letting the drag off to try and trick the fish into thinking it had freed itself. Jonathan then reset the drag and began the battle of reeling it in again.

After eight minutes, he finally pulled it close enough to the shoreline for his girlfriend Angelina Wilson to capture it with a net. He secured the fish with a rope and put it back in the water to keep it breathing. Later, he put it in a 45-gallon tote of water in the back of his vehicle and hauled it off to go get officially weighed.

photo credit: Jonathan Pierce

His main priority was to keep the fish alive so that after he weighed it he could release it back into the river. Jonathan transferred it to the Blue Marsh Outdoors in Berks County where they officially weighed it. The flathead was certified weighing 56.3 pounds on Monday afternoon, May 25th, 2020.

Jonathan beat the previous record of a 50-pound, 7-ounce fish caught by Jeff Bonawitz in the Susquehanna River on April 6, 2019. Right after weighing the fish, he took it back to Schuylkill River where he released it in an undisclosed location.

photo credit: Jonathan Pierce

Check Out The World Record Flathead Catfish In The Video Below