Went fishing a couple of Sundays ago...for catfish...always catfish...I can go out and always count on bringing something home for the table...with the very rare exception. we throw out 30-40 jugs and pole fish, too. Usually get at least 4-10 of the little critters. Been fishing the same spot for thirty years...kind of a Pavlov's dog thing going on...keep getting rewarded...keep going back.
By accident and a lot of time on the water I figured out, decades ago, that right about sun up the catfish come into this area for feeding time. Last about 30-45 minutes. After that...might as well go home...which is what we do. Couple of hours every Sunday or every other Sunday, whatever we can manage, and the freeze is stocked with enough fish fillets to last through the winter time.
A couple of Sundays ago was one of those exceptions...nothing on the jugs...to early in the season. A new tree had been blown over into the lake. Trees in the lake are always good fishing places.
I tossed my line into the tree...and the bobber instantly disappeared. Pole bent double...a medium light rig that can handle a 6 ponder pretty well. I set the hook and that pissed it off. Line peeling off...drag zinging. He's back in the tree.
I can feel the line rubbing against a tree limb. Something I've never felt before but its unmistakable feeling. I try to pull him outa there to no avail. He just sat there. I pull a little harder than I normally would figuring if I let that line rub much its going to break. Out he came away from the tree but not much more willing to get in the boat. I faught...nephs hollerin...get him over here so I can net him. Couldn't do poop with it...just had to let him play out.
Finally got him in...nine pounds and 26 inches long. Biggest catfish we have ever pulled in and definitely the biggest catfish off a pole. Best battle ever!
As catfish go...pretty big...definitely not the biggest one in the lake but nice. We always wondered if a catfish that size and better would be good eating. We filleted him out and each got a share. Enough to make a two person meal, each. We all agree it was one of the best we have had. Interestingly.
Even converted one of the nephs into a "Fish Bacon" connoisseur. I always take the belly meat(hence "fish bacon") from the fish because the nephs always thought it a waste byproduct of the fish. This fish belly piece was to big to discard so he took one side. Three quarter of an inch thick at the fat end and big as your hand. Loved it, he said. Shoulda kept my mouth shut...now I'm going to have competition for the fish bacon.
Not the biggest fish I've ever caught. Caught a 20 pound three foot long Hybrid under the damn out here back in high school but had a near deep sea rig so it wasn't much of a battle and as hybrids go it was a baby...those things regularly get into the 30-40 pound range.
Good fishing trip even if it was only a one fish day.