Captain Ahab had his white whale and as it turns out, a Texan 12-year-old was catching a catfish big enough to break a youth record. Luckily, he finally did it earlier this week and he couldn’t be happier about it.
The youth, Colt Franke, now is the proud record-holder for the largest blue catfish caught by a junior angler. He caught the fish at a notable fishing reservoir southeast of San Antonio, USA Today reports. The Inland Fisheries San Antonio District – Texas Parks and Wildlife, both recognized and posted about it on Facebook.
“Help us congratulate Colt F. who caught this 33.5 inch, 24.5 lbs. Blue Catfish at Calaveras Lake,” the post reads. “He had been trying to break the youth record the past 3 years and was able to achieve his goal last week! His next goal is to get his name on the Texas Elite Angler list. No doubt we will see it there someday!”
The achievement excited Colt so much, he wrote a letter back to them and thanked them for helping young anglers like himself.
Though it’s a bit difficult to read, Colt says he was “trying to catch this fish for 3 years while working on my dad’s boat.” His father, Travis, serves as a guide for San Antonio Fishing Charters. Incidentally, he also disclosed when he hooked the catfish, he tried passing it to someone else, knowing it was huge. However, his father rejected the offer and said “No, you reel it in.”
And reel it in he did. Though the duo usually releases fish they catch, they kept the trophy for the sake of setting the record. The overall Texas record for blue catfish is currently 72.4 pounds, so maybe Colt will set his sights on that next.
Texas Fly Fisherman Landed Giant Blue Catfish That May Crush the World Record
Colt Franke isn’t the only person in recent memory to snag a huge blue catfish. Another Texas angler caught one so big a few months ago it might eclipse the world record.
Speaking to USA Today, Texan fisherman Ben Christensen recounted the tale. “I sight casted to the fish and watched it take the fly, then fought it for 40 minutes.” Christensen hooked the 31.55-pound catfish with his 4-weight rod and casting an olive-colored creek damsel fly on a 12-pound tippet.
Already happy enough with the catch, the International Game Fish Association said the current record for that category stands at 26 pounds, 4 ounces, meaning Christensen kind of crushed it.
Like Colt Franke and his father, Christensen typically releases fish but noted he’s keeping this one because he didn’t think it would last much longer after their bout. “It was old, blind in one eye, and its stomach was empty when we filleted him,” Christensen said. “I took thin fillets off the fish and composted his body in the middle of a piece of land where I hope to plant a wine grape vineyard.”