Rocking The Boat
He felt his boat rock as he struggled to get the enormous creature onto the deck of his boat. He smiled with satisfaction, it was by far the biggest catch he ever had.
He stopped for a second to admire the beauty of his catch. The fish didn’t go down without a fight. But there was a surprise for him hidden in the mouth of the beast. He couldn’t believe his eyes. Everything suddenly made sense.
Eugene Cronley was born in Brandon, Mississippi, and thought of himself as some kind of expert fisherman. He had many years under his belt and he devoted all of them to hunting one particular beast.
Eugene loved the peace and quiet of catching and cooking the fish he caught. He also made a living selling the catch when he was sick of fish. But his favorite catch was the catfish. It really took it out of him to drag one of them onboard.
What Had He found?
Catfish aren’t exactly worth it for the taste of their meat. Young catfish can be sold for 3$ a pound. But when they get older they are worth a lot less.
When catfish get older, their meat loses most of what makes it tasty. During their lives, they can also catch a lot of toxins from their environment. But Eugene knew there was something special about the big fish that made them worth the risk.
The Thrill Of Challenge
A lot of ace fishermen claim that the catfish is a real struggle to catch. The large fish flail about and pull really hard. They can also be quite aggressive when they need to be.
This means that they are recreationally caught by fishermen who love the challenge of the hunt. They can be really mean and that’s the challenge that people like Eugene love. But things don’t always go according to plan.
On top of their powerful muscles, they have sharp spines on their fins. And these spines can sometimes even be poison-tipped to complicate matters.
Fishermen can often get hurt by these spines if they aren’t careful. The poison can irritate the skin and even lead to infections if they aren’t cleaned immediately. It really is quite a dangerous fish to try and catch.
It’s Dangerous To Catch
It’s no joke going after a catfish. Trying to catch the enormous river creature can put a man’s life at risk. Especially if they come unprepared.
If the fisherman underestimates the weight or temperament of the creature, it could easily drag them down into the deep. Even if they turn out alright they could end the catch with a lot of scars.
They Are Aggressive
Fishermen who go to the waters alone are also in danger since no one else can help them if they get way too in over their head. This can increase the likelihood of the fisherman drowning. Which is no joke.
Eugene Cronley was one of these fishermen. He loved the peace and quiet of fishing all on his own. But one day, he would wish that he had someone with him to help with his latest catch.
A Beast From Below
In all his life, Eugene had never ever had any problems with catfish. He grew up in Mississippi and was familiar with the swampy waters. He knew about the dangers of alligators and snapping turtles. But he had no idea how dangerous catfish could be.
But Eugene would be faced with a monumental creature. It would be the greatest catch of his life, that was if he could get away with his life. He should have had some help, but he was stubborn.
It Was A Challenge
The beast would fight with Eugene for a long time. Before he saw it, he had been calmly sitting in his boat, waiting around for the perfect catch.
That morning he had gotten two trout. It would fill him up for dinner, but he wanted something better. But he would be regretful once he understood how strong the beast was.
The enormous catfish suddenly came from the deep. He saw how huge it was as it rocked his boat violently. He couldn’t believe how big it was.
Eugene pulled his rod, tensing all his muscles and using all his strength to get that beast out of the water. It took him almost one hour; but eventually, he managed to bring that humongous animal out of the water and drop it on his boat. That’s when he noticed something.
Something In Its Mouth
The catfish had something inside its mouth, aside from Eugene’s hook. He couldn’t tell clearly what it was. The fish was still alive and kept its mouth half-closed.
Eugene grabbed its head and carefully tried to open the catfish’s mouth fully, trying not to get bit. And what he saw left him bewildered to no end.
The catfish had an alligator foot inside its mouth, with the claws and everything! It looked like it had been ripped off recently; the wound was still fresh.
Maybe he had found it somewhere deep in the river. But Eugene thought of the chance that it might have even bitten off an alligator’s foot by itself. Could that even be possible?
Freak Of Nature
It didn’t seem very likely, but who knows? The catfish was bigger and stronger than anything Eugene had ever seen before. It had almost dragged him down into the water.
It looked more like a monster than like something you would expect to find in a river. And when he informed the local authorities about the freak of nature he had just caught, he was in for another surprise.
Its weight was 131 pounds, which is almost 60 kilograms; its size was 16.6 inches long and 41 inches of girth, or 1.4 and 1.04 meters. That made the world record for the biggest catfish ever seen!
That made Eugene feel elated. It was the greatest accomplishment as a fisherman that he could have ever dreamed of. However, it didn’t come easy.
“We had to untie the boat and float down the river,” Cronley told the media. “I couldn’t move him. I’d pull on him and take in a foot of line and he’d pull and take 10 ft. I just sat there like I was hung up.”
“It is truly a fish of a lifetime,” he said, adding, “He is a monster.” He truly has reasons to feel proud of his catch. But was the catfish big and strong enough to really rip off an alligator’s foot?