Big Blue

Picture 003

bradley Wilson

Mercer Pennsylvania

Species: Catfish

Date Caught: 04/02/2011

Kept / Released: Released

Region of Catch: Region 4

Length: 53.5"

Weight: 79

Lure / Bait used: Bait | cut skipjack

I am a SGT in the US Army and found out that I had to report to Ft. Leonard Wood MO in Feb. this year, in March, for 30 days of training. One positive to being in the military is that I have had the oppurtunity to fish approximately 12 or more different states in the last 10 years. Missouri is a state that I am very familiar with. I have been there on training at least a half a dozen times ...including basic training. Being an avid catfisherman, and an all around fisherman in general, I have a few fishing buddies in more than a few places...MO being one of them. I have always tried to take advantage of the best fishing present in the area I was near. In would be Blue Catfish. Whether fishing from the shore or a buddies boat, I always try to add a day or two, to fish the Mississippi River or the Missouri River for cats. I talked to my buddy in STL and he said "this time of year is not like the can be tough". I replied with "I do not care how many we catch..lets just try to go out and boat a big boy". I understand fishing as much as the next "fisherman", and would rather have the oppurtunity to catch a fish of greater size, than have a bunch of time on the rod realing in mid class fish..not that the previously stated is not fun, you just reach a point where you want more. So it was decided, fish bigger baits in areas where the "toads" hang out. To that date I have caught in PA numerous 12+lb channels, a half a dozen 20+ Flatties in PA, and in Louisiana an MIssouri... blues surpassing the 35lb mark. We meet up just outside of STL on the Missouri River. The water temp. was seasonally down quite a bit so we didnt expect the fish to be overly active. Within a few hundred yards of putting the boat in we anchored down. This was a place where there was a submerged boulder underwater..within site of where the current world record blue was Ive been told. Within 30 minutes of starting the boat I had a fish on..700AM or so...As I picked the rod up there was a stiffer rod that doubled over...we both wished we had seen what was on that line, as the hit was stronger, but it was lost. Back to my fish. Currents were really strong that day and my buddy was underestimating my fishing skills and the size of the fish. He wasnt saying anything, but you could see it on his face "come on grandma...just get it in". 20 minutes or so later it surfaced, and he shouted "you got a 50lb'der on there". After a couple times bringing it up to the boat just to have it dive-bomb...I walked the rod buddy netted it, fish boated. We carefully took it out of the net, measured and weighed it. The fish was thrashing about on the was bouncing between the highest, which was over 82lbs, and the lowest was 79.8 lbs. Not wanting to put more stress on the fish it was successfully released hopefully to one day...make someone elses day. The remainder of the day consisted of boating only a couple nice 15lb'ders...didnt matter to me though...I was smiling from ear to ear since 730AM. Thanks for your time.

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