The monster blue catfish James Franklin Tyus of Brinson, Georgia, recently caught on the Chattahoochee River has been officially approved as a new state record. Tyus caught the 67-pound, 8-ounce blue below the Columbia Lock and Dam, beating out the former record, a 62-pound fish caught on Clarks Hill Lake by Ralph Barbee, Jr. in 1979. "James Tyus can tell an official tale of how he caught the big one--and its certified!," says WRD Fisheries Management Chief Chuck Coomer. "We hope that the recognition of this new state record will inspire experienced and novice anglers to get out and fish at any one of Georgia's numerous lakes and rivers. You might not catch a new state record, but odds are you will still have a great day of fishing and enjoying the tremendous natural resources of this State." Blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus) are one of several types of catfish found in Georgia. The list also includes channel catfish, flathead catfish, white catfish and yellow and brown bullheads. Blue catfish are a silvery blue color and have a "humped" back, forked tail and small eyes. As with other catfish species, they also can be identified by their lack of scales and the "cat-like" barbels on their mouths that look like cat whiskers. They can reach weights over 100 lbs., although 1-20 lbs. is typical for Georgia. They like fast water in large rivers, reservoirs and tributaries. Information about state record fish can be found on the WRD website at www.gofishgeorgia.com or in the Sport Fishing Regulations Guidebook available at all WRD offices and all license agents. In order for a catch to be recognized as a state record, anglers should follow these steps: - Do not clean or freeze the fish - Keep the fish cool, preferably on ice. - Weigh the fish as soon as possible on scales certified accurate to the nearest ounce by the Georgia Department of Agriculture in the presence of two witnesses who are over the age of 18 (witnesses must provide names/addresses and telephone numbers and may not be members of the anglers immediate family). - Take the fish to a WRD Fisheries Management Office as soon as possible and have it positively identified by a WRD Fisheries Biologist or Technician. - Complete an application and submit with a clear side view photo of the whole fish within 90 days of the catch. Make plans now for your fishing trip, and don't forget to introduce someone new to fishing! For more information about fishing opportunities in Georgia, visit the WRD website at www.gofishgeorgia.com or call a WRD Fisheries Management Office.