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Record catfish caught at Choke Canyon
by Game Warden Chrissy Plant
Jul 31, 2013 | 2135 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Contributed photo 
Curtis Ogburn caught a record-breaking catfish at Choke Canyon Reservoir on June 23, weighing in at 31.10 pounds it measured 39.5 inches long, with a 25-inch girth. Ogburn's fish broke the previous lake record for a Flathead Catfish caught on rod and reel.
Contributed photo Curtis Ogburn caught a record-breaking catfish at Choke Canyon Reservoir on June 23, weighing in at 31.10 pounds it measured 39.5 inches long, with a 25-inch girth. Ogburn's fish broke the previous lake record for a Flathead Catfish caught on rod and reel.
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For Curtis Ogburn, June 23 began like any other fishing trip at Choke Canyon Reservoir. The weather was hot, and the water still. That day, he chose his trusty Allstar rod and Pflueger reel with a Spro chartreuse crank bait lure. What he reeled in stretched the braided 30-pound test line to the limit.

Ogburn and his fishing buddy Hubert Freisenhahn caught about five black bass near an old road revealed by the lower lake level.

On the next cast towards the roadbed, Ogburn thought he snagged one of the nearby trotlines.

“I pulled, it pulled back. I pulled again, and it pulled back like a lead weight,” Ogburn said while recounting the catch.

When the fish was about four feet under the murky water, it went to front of boat causing the anglers to think they were hung up on each other’s lines.

“All the sudden it did a fly by, and I saw what I really had!” Ogburn said.

The monster catfish swam all the way around the boat. A tug of war ensued, with Ogburn reeling up and the catfish diving down.

“It came up again, and Hubert grabbed the mouth ‘cause the net was too small,” Ogburn said.

The fish had completely swallowed the crank bait. Figuring he had a record of some sort, Ogburn began calling local game wardens for advice on what to do next.

“It was so big, it wouldn’t fit in live well!” Ogburn said with a chuckle.

The catfish is officially certified as a whopping, 31.1 pounds, 39.5 inches long, with a 25-inch girth, breaking the previous lake record for a Flathead Catfish caught on rod and reel.

Anglers interested in getting their name into the record books can go to the Texas Parks and Wildlife website, www.tpwd.state.tx.us, and do a search for “fish records,” then click on “Fish Records and Awards.”

From there, browsers can search records for public waters across the state and see the various categories.

That web page also has a contact list for official weigh stations, as well as instructions for submitting a record catch.

Ethical outdoor sportsmen dedicated to practicing the proven conservation techniques touted by Texas Parks and Wildlife help make such record catches possible.
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