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Bygones of Monroe:

MONSTER CATFISH

(Monroe Democrat, Friday July 26, 1907, p.1)

Sixteen and one half pounds of live catfish, all under one hide and guided by one strong tail fin, last Friday afternoon gave Fred W.G. Wagner, Antione Lavoy and Seymour J. Reynolds the liveliest time any bunch of fisherman have had in the marshes this season.

They were our in Mr. Reynolds' launch fishing for perch, sunfish, or anything inoffensive that eats worms, with perhaps an unexpressed hope that a good sized bullhead might come that way. Suddenly there was a swish, a splash and a series of spray scattering leaps and plunges, accompanied by a two horse power tug at Mr. Wagner's line that bent his fishing rod into a condensed capital "U".

Fred knows all about stem winds, key sets and Waterbury crank winds, but when it comes to manipulating a multiplying reel and a weeks supply of unslaughtered catfish at the same time, he did not know how to adjust the regulator. And the way the fish dived under the launch and leaped out on the other side made Fred think that he intended to jump over the boat, down under again, etc., until he had the boat and the crew wound tight in the fish line.

This brought on visions of being towed out into the middle of the lake, and consumed by the catfish tribe. Therefore, Mr. Reynolds "took the pole," as the horsemen say, and held it throughout the heat; played the fish deftly, scientifically and, best of all, successfully. He got him alongside and tried to scoop him with the dip net, but that was hardly big enough to hold the fish's homely mouth and he spilled out again before he ever got into the net.

Once Mr. Reynolds got a grip on his gills, but not being up on jiu jutsu, he lost his hold. The boat hook was resorted to and abruptly inserted into the nape of the fish's neck and the fish was taken aboard.

The fish was caught at the mouth of Sandy Creek, south of the canal, and dozens of fishermen have gone there to catch another one like it, but all they found there was a hole in the water where the fish had been hauled out.

(Monroe Democrat, Friday July 26, 1907, p.1)


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