The weather is starting to get colder, which means the water temperature is cooling down. Catfish are supposed to hibernate when water temps dip below 61°. Knowing this I still try, but figured between this fact and today is a low Solunar day, I’d start out going for Carp.
I arrived at the pond right at 6am, got one line in the water and started setting the automatic rod holders. I prepped the second line, got it in the water also and mounted them both in the rod holders. I managed to get the net extended and ready and my left side line went off, but the rod came right back down to the water! I scrambled to get to that rod, set the hook and started reeling it in. What a fight! He ran all over the pond, crossing over my other line, running to shore then back out again. I gave him some leeway to tire him out, and it worked. I continued reeling him in and when he got to shore, I tried getting the net under him but the net was too small! I ended up using the net to help hoist him onto the shore and drag him away from the water.
He tried crawling away on me while I grabbed the lip grippers and pliers to get the hook out. I was so stunned by how big this guy was I felt disoriented, plus it was pitch black out. The only light was from my headlamp. Once I got him lip-gripped, hook removed and detangled from my two lines (and I swear someone’s garbage line they left in the water) I weighed and measured him. 30″ long and 8.15lb!
He was not only the largest catfish I’ve ever caught, it’s the largest fish I’ve ever caught! Prior to this my largest was a 15″ 5lb largemouth bass I caught back in IL when I was a kid.
About an hour later, not long before I had to leave to start my work day, the same line went off again, this time it had a fighter on the end but not nearly as strong. I brought him in, and it was a 12″ ~1lb immature channel catfish. What a difference after catching the monster previously!
What a rush! New personal best to beat the next time I go fishing!