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Largest Freshwater Fish Landed in Delaware Sets Record

If it’s starting to sound like a broken record, that’s exactly what it is: For the second time in less than a month, the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife has confirmed that Delaware has a new state record blue catfish. Sydney McBroom of Bridgeville landed the 53-pound whopper – which measured 46.5 inches in length and is believed to be the largest freshwater fish caught since DNREC began keeping recreational fishing records – midmorning Sept. 22 on the Nanticoke River.

McBroom caught the big cat fishing from his boat, using a whole bluegill as bait and landing it after a 20-minute wrestling match. His catch eclipsed a record that lasted just 20 days, a 48-pound, 7.2-ounce specimen taken by another Bridgeville angler, Chris Andrews – and another fish, which, like the three most recent blue catfish state records, was caught from the fertile catfishing waters of the Nanticoke.

“You use a big fish to catch a big fish,” Mr. McBroom said of landing the mammoth blue catfish, which stands as the fifth state record of the 2023 Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament. “I don’t fish for attention, I fish for fun, I fish for me. You have to go onto the water and put your time in. We’d see a mess of nice catfish (every time we went out). That was just our day.”

McBroom’s record catch was certified by Cpl. Kyle Wharton, Delaware Natural Resources Fish and Wildlife Police, at Lewes Harbour Marina in Lewes. His blue catfish catch shattered Mr. Andrews’ state record caught Sept. 2 by more than 4.5 pounds after Andrews had surpassed the previous record (set in April 2022) by four ounces. A list of all Delaware fishing records for both freshwater and saltwater species can be found on the DNREC website.

delaware record blue catfish

More information about the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament and state record fish can be found in the 2023 Delaware Fishing Guide and at The guide is also available in printed form from the DNREC Fisheries Section, from the Licensing Desk in DNREC’s main office in Dover, and from license agents throughout the state.