Jordan Rethmeier: That's One Helluva Big Catfish, Dude
That's what would have been on the menu at the Jordan Rethmeier home after he reeled in a massive ol' blue catfish at Lake Zebco this weekend, except he released the fish back to the (relative) deep.
Lake Zebco, in Athens, is the Texas Parks & Wildlife's stocked 1.5 acre pond, and it's produced some big fish in its day.
Rethmeier's catch, pictured after the jump, set a record for the lake, though.
His tale is as taut and engrossing as Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea, to be sure.
This fish was big and fighting like it; you could feel the power in every tail stroke! When he would start to get close to shore he would peel off line and head back for the middle of the pond. The difference with this fish was the endurance he had. He just would not tire out and kept peeling line whenever he would get close to the bank. There was one point when he went into a roll, and I thought I was going to lose him. When they do that it sometimes dislodges the hook. We didn't get a look at him for quite a few minutes, but after each run, my dad kept raising his guess as to his weight, 20 to 25, another run, 30 pounds?
Then we caught a glimpse of him and my dad just said, "OH MY! We may need a golf cart to haul him to the scales!"
(Did Hemingway even consider a golf-cart angle? We think not.)
"The fight must have lasted eight minutes or more -- just a tug of war with him taking line whenever he came in close and me pulling him back in afterwards," Rethmeier said. "Thankfully he got tired out just before I did!"
They golf-carted the fish to the scales and discovered they'd landed a 54.3-pound monster that was 47 inches long and 31 inches around.