Chattanooga is a honeyhole for rare white catfish

Photo courtesy of Scenic City Fishing Charters / Captain Sam Simons caught this good-sized leucistic blue catfish in October 2019, while fishing near the Chickamauga Dam with friends Brian Strauss and Andrew Karpinko.


On June 28, 15-year-old Edwards Tarumianz caught a gorgeous, almost pure white blue catfish on the Tennessee River near downtown Chattanooga. Captain Richard Simms, who was guiding the young angler, snapped a photo and posted it to Facebook.

The response was incredible. Within a week the photo and story were circulating worldwide on social media. National news outlets like Field & Stream, Coastal Angler Magazine, USA Today and Newsweek picked up the story.

Comments such as "one in a million" and "like winning the lottery" characterized the catch every time it was reposted. It was a very rare fish, but that's not the end of the story.

It appears the odds of hooking one of these amazing white catfish may be significantly better than "one in a million" in a particular stretch of Tennessee River downstream of Chickamauga Dam.

Simms