13 Year Old Sets New Blue Catfish Record
Welcome to another week of Anglin' with Austin. Counting the days until Spring and wearing shorts again.
Colton slams blue catfish Texas state record
Well, this wasn't a normal week around the Austin household. Getting a kid out to fish when it's warm is pretty easy, but give this a try. Tell them the drive is four hours and the weather forecast is calling for highs in the 30s and rain for two out of the three days.
All I heard was a grumble and a door lock. After a few hours of sliding candy under the door we were on our way to Twok (that's short for Lake Tawakoni, touted as the catfish capital of Texas).
The last time I had the lake in my sights we were going to hit Texoma and then follow up on Twok. Of course, they had an artic blast unexpectedly roll through, and I was left with three dead batteries and a pull rope in my hand in the middle of cold and windy Lake Texoma.
This time around, I was praying for a balmy 31 degrees and only 15 mph winds.
First day was Friday and it did not go exactly as planned. It's hard to catch fish from a motel room, although, we did have plenty of bait in our ritzy, $49.95 a night, room.
At 1 p.m., the heavy rain stopped and we were headed out in hopes of being covered in fish slime for the rest of the day. After dropping the boat in the water, we anchor up and start baiting lines.
The first five minutes we have a fish lay the rod over and it was a smooth miss by the offspring. A second rod goes down about five minutes later and nada (that means “nothing” in Spanish).
At this point, Colton's steaming and it's time for Dad to step in and give him the old pep talk. Less than an hour later a rod explodes and he lies into this one, driving the 8/0 circle hook into the beasts gum line; fish on!! This is where Colton got hands on experience learning how to work drag on a big baitcasting reel.
The line went slack and he says, “Nooooooo, not again”. Ron and I are screaming, “He's running towards you; catch up with him.” When Colton did get all the line in, the fish took the kid to his knees.
This was a test of equipment rolled up into one long fight with the whiskered whale. I was left worrying about knots and leader strength and praying, “don't fail me now.” Finally, Colton wore the fish out and I managed to get him in the net for everyone to see.
What a remarkable site that fish was.
After all of the hugs and high fives were over, it was time to put the fish on the scale. The only problem was, my scale only went up to 50 pounds. In central Texas, this is usually too much scale.
We laid the fish out to check length and he came in at 48 3⁄8 inches.
After filling out the paper work and getting the notary and witness signatures, the application was approved by a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologist.
Colton is now the official holder of the junior catch and release state and Lake Tawakoni water body records.
I couldn't care less if I ever catch another fish. There will never be another moment like the one at Twok on a cold, wet, windy day with Colton.
By Ray Austin