By Amy Tittle
A few weeks ago on a cool Sunday afternoon, my husband and I decided to take our kids fishing. My oldest son had just received a new heavy duty fishing pole for his birthday from his grandparents and was very anxious to try it out. He had been chomping at the bit to go fishing for weeks.
So we packed up all our fishing gear and headed to a friend’s pond. When we got there, we unloaded all the poles, bait and cooler and found our spots – either on the dock or around the edge of the pond. My husband so patiently rigged both of our two younger kids’ poles and helped them cast their lines in the water.
My oldest son quickly took off with all of his tackle, rigged his pole and strategically cast his line in the water. They all waited very quietly and patiently for the first five minutes or so. But after not getting any satisfying bites on their lines, my younger two were running off around the pond or trying to see who could catch the biggest worm in the little styrofoam bait box.
My oldest son, Cole, never moved a muscle staying very focused on what he was there to catch. His patience paid off, he eagerly yelled out when he felt the monster hit his line. At first I wasn’t sure it was a fish by how hard it was pulling his line out and when it stopped fighting all together I thought for sure he had lost the enormous creature or had it snagged on something on the bottom of the pond.
A few moments later it started to fight again and he struggled to just simply reel it in because of the size of the fish, so he began to point his pole up and walk backwards to get it closer to the bank. After what seemed an eternity, to me, he was able to drag it out on the bank to get it out of the water.
Never in my life have I seen a catfish that big. I proudly snapped a few pictures of him with his prized, mutant size catfish before he unhooked it. I honestly don’t think he stopped smiling from ear to ear that night until he was asleep. It barely fit in the cooler we brought with us, but we made it work and packed up and headed home.
When we got home he weighed it in at around 40 pounds and it measured 31 inches long and the head was seven inches wide across. I think that is definitely the biggest fish Cole has ever caught and he was one happy fisherman.
Cole and my husband cleaned it and filleted the fish and we fried it up and feasted on it the next night. This was certainly not just another fish tale, it was a 40-pound, gilled memory that one young boy will never forget. So I’m sending out a fair warning to all the catfish in Water Valley and the surrounding areas to watch out for this fish-fevered boy and his fishing pole because you could be his next prize catch and our next family meal!