PHOTO: Tennessee Angler Catches Monster Catfish, Releases Without Weighing

by Amy Myers

Whether you catch and release or catch and cook, generally, you always measure the fish before putting it on ice or letting it back into the water. However, this Tennessee angler wasn’t interested in breaking any records when he caught this monster of a catfish.

Cleveland, Tenn. native Ivan Garren was fishing on the Wolftever Creek on Thursday when he found himself battling a catfish that was almost as long as he was tall. Located in Hamilton County near Middle Valley, Wolftever Creek. Tennessee anglers flock to the creek banks for a chance at large and smallmouth bass, catfish, bluegill and white crappie. The best time to fish tends to be early in the morning or right at noon. Surely, Garren knew when was the right time to cast his line.

The Tennessee angler spent four days at the creek with no other objective other than to enjoy his time by the water. That’s when he found this giant at the other end of his line, and somehow managed to wrestle the catfish onto the creek bank for a photo. The bottom-feeding fish had some debris on his back, but beyond that, it was a picturesque catch. Garren proudly held up the fish while someone snapped the moment of triumph. Then he quickly released the massive creature back into the depths without a second thought.

On Facebook, Garren shared the two photos of his catfish with friends, family and fellow Tennessee anglers.

“Been a grind for the last four days but found my big one,” Garren explained.

When one of his friends asked how much the fish weighed, Garren stunned us all when he admitted, “I don’t weigh them, but I guess 38.” Meanwhile, the friend estimated that it was a bit heavier, at 45 pounds.

Why Didn’t the Tennessee Angler Weigh His Incredible Catfish?

Of course, it’s not mandatory to weigh your catch before releasing it back where it came. But neglecting to do this norm is kind of like lifting weights with unlabeled dumbbells. Weighing your fish gives you a sense of progress and accomplishment – something to brag about to other fanatics. So, naturally, fellow fishermen are scratching their heads wondering why Garren decided to forgo with common ritual, especially since he was clearly such an experienced angler.

According to the Tennessee native, he didn’t have any profound reason or lesson behind his decision. Rather, as he explained on Facebook, “it was just fun.”

He later told the Tennessean, “I release all big fish for other people to enjoy.” 

Garren also added that this wasn’t even the biggest catfish he’s ever caught. But without a scale, we’ll never know if the Tennessee angler managed to find a record-breaking catfish.