Giant State Record Catfish is the Last Fish of an Epic New Hampshire Angling Quest
It took three years, but two fishermen have finished their one year quest to catch and eat every species of freshwater fish in New Hampshire and they did it with a recordbreaking trophy. Dave Kellam from Exeter and Clay Groves from Conway, known as the Fish Nerds, caught a massive 12.3 pound channel catfish in the Connecticut River; besting the previous record by a little more than four ounces.
“I kissed that fish hard when we got it out of the water” confessed Clay. “I don’t think I have ever been happier to see a fish in my life.”
It was a fitting end to a quest that targeted 48 species of Granite State fish and included bloodsucking lampreys, venomous catfish, giant minnows and iconic trout. All fish were legally caught and most were captured using a hook and line. The two men created their own recipes, often using alliteration as their guide with such culinary gems as pickled pickerel, falafel fallfish and madtom mousse. Their final meal of the quest was a charbroiled channel catfish with
“We are the only ones to have caught and eaten this many fish species in New Hampshire,” noted Dave. “It was a great adventure that gave us great memories and some indigestion.” NH Fish and Game Fisheries Biologist Gabe Gries thinks that more channel catfish stories are on the way. “In my opinion, the channel catfish record will continue to be broken in the NH section of the Connecticut River in coming years as anglers become more aware of the opportunities that exist there for this species. Anglers should be aware that these fish are not native to NH and that it is illegal and unwise to transfer them to other water bodies. “ The Fish Nerds are now looking for a new quest to challenge their fishing prowess. They are accepting suggestions posted to their Facebook page or submitted to their Fish Nerds hotline at 607-378-FISH.