Surprise Catfish

Surprise Catfish

DateTempWater tempPressureSolunarConditions
2/17/2022 12:10pm67°56°30.18Excellent all dayClear, Windy

I haven’t been fishing in a couple of months because it’s been pretty cold early in the morning here, which would be hard on my fuzzy little fishing buddy, and also would limit the potential fish to catch in my area to Carp and Rainbow Trout. Not bad, but I tend to prefer Catfish. Yesterday was a good Solunar day and we took the day off, so figured we’d give it a try between 11a-3p.

We got to Evelyn Hallman Pond and had the first line in the water around 11:30am. We ended up with four lines in the water, one with Little Smokies, one with raw shrimp and two with corn. As I cast the last line with corn and was placing it in the rod holder I felt the hard tug, so I set the hook and sure enough had a fish. I brought in a ~1lb, ~12″ young Rainbow Trout. He was properly hooked but unfortunately was bleeding from both gills fairly profusely, most likely from stress. I tried to get him unhooked to get weighed and measured, but he was thrashing wildly and continued bleeding all over me, my clothes, everything nearby. So, I quickly unhooked him and threw him back in the water. I’m not happy with the way he entered the water, so I’m not posting a video here of the release because out of a sense of urgency I tossed him in instead of placing him in. Fortunately, he swam away immediately, so I’m sure he’ll be ok.

We continued replacing bait every 15 minutes or so and about 30 minutes later while talking with a few people exercising along the nearby path one of the automatic rod holders went off with a big hit. This one was pulling hard and putting quite a strain on my drag. I tightened the drag slightly and continued fighting. I was expecting a Carp since it’s still a little early for Catfish. I managed to bring in a 5.31lb, 22″ Channel Catfish, the second largest catfish in that pond! I was lifting him out of the water and could feel the strain on the line, so I called for my wife to grab the net, but all I could get out was “net! net! net!” She quickly grabbed the net, placed it near the fish, I started to lower the fish towards the net and the line snapped. If she wasn’t there with the net, I would have lost this one! Regrettably my GoPro was tilted too high, so there aren’t many good shots on video of the fish. Thankfully she came through again with some great phone pics of the catch! My fuzzy little fishing buddy was napping the whole time.

So a good trip overall. Two fish in 1 hour, no other fish but some activity after that for a couple of hours. Great weather, great nature, good company, no complaints!

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