For all thedrama it’s caused lately, Roy Groves’ 55-pound catfish was an afterthought the first time anyone wrote about it.
The star of the May 24, 1949 edition of the Argus Leader was his 94 pound, 8 ounce blue catfish, plastered on the front page next to his son Harold.
A story below the photo describes the elder Groves’ battle with the fish, which lasted more than two hours in the James River north of Meckling.
In the fifth paragraph, the story mentions that Groves caught “a 55-lb specimen last week.”
It’s a clear reference to his channel catfish record, which was set on May 18, 1949 and stood until last Friday, a single day short of holding the record for 70 years.
That’s when South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks voided the record, stating officially what many people had believed for some time: Roy Groves had not caught a record-breaking 55-pound channel catfish. He’d caught an impressive 55-pound blue catfish.