Man Spearing 27lb Catfish Among Nebraska's Record-Breaking 2021 Catches

Six record-breaking catches were hooked in Nebraska in 2021, including a channel catfish that broke a record that had stood for 20 years, only to be eclipsed a matter of days later.

The catches have been certified by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, which says that three of the record-setting fish were caught at Box Butte Reservoir.

The most remarkable story concerns that of the underwater spearfishing channel catfish record that had stood for nearly 24 years, only to be broken twice in just eight days.

Anthony Nason reeled in a 25-pound, 10-ounce channel catfish while underwater spearfishing on July 7, 1997. That record finally fell on June 5, 2021, when Anthony Borghi caught one weighing 26 pounds, 9 ounces.

However, to the surprise of those at the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Hunter Jordan then tipped the scales even further just over a week later on June 13, with a 27-pound, 5-ounce channel catfish.

All three were hauled in at Box Butte Reservoir.

A green sunfish rod-and-reel record that was set in Nebraska 20 years ago was broken in October 2020, but Steven Carel set a new record when he pulled a 1-pound, 14-ounce fish out of a hole in the ice on Clatonia 3A Reservoir just three months later, on January 3, 2021.

Walton Moore set another rod-and-reel record when he landed a 6-pound, 13-ounce tiger trout at the inlet at Sutherland Reservoir on March 11. Brionna Schafer set a new bowfishing record when she caught a 6-pound, 6-ounce white sucker on April 25, again from Box Butte Reservoir.

On July 28, Marlyn Wiebelhaus, who holds three state fishing records, blew the previous black buffalo bowfishing record—a record that he had set—by hooking a 16-pound, 10-ounce fish on the Missouri River in Cedar County. It weighed more than twice as much as the previous prize black buffalo, a 7-pound, 15-ounce specimen.

Perhaps most surprising of all, however, is that 2021 wasn't an especially remarkable year for fishing in Nebraska, with 2020 seeing nine state records fall.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission said in a blog post on February 2 that at least one new record has already been set in 2022, revealing only that it was "pulled through an ice hole."

One state record that's going to take some beating is one that has stood for more than half a century. Raynold Promes landed a blue catfish weighing 100-pounds, 8-ounces and measuring 59-inches in length on the Missouri River on November 29, 1970.

A man fishing in a river
Nebraska's standing rod and reel record, for a 100-pound blue catfish that was landed by Raynold Promes, has stood for more than 50 years. JANIFEST/iStock