Jack Williamson had a break from his classes so his Dad, Scott, decided to try and hook him up with some catfish.

We were launching onto Chickamauga Lake at first light into a cold wind leftover from yesterday's storm system. But as has been the case for me lately, the early bite was good.

We had plenty of fish eager to eat some shad or bluegill either one. Plenty of fun was to be had for all the first couple of hours, and we had my "secret hole" all to ourselves.

But every fish we caught was in the 5-10 lb. range. We just couldn't get into the bigger double-digits.

About the time everybody else got out of bed, the bite slowed down.

But we persevered and were rewarded just before we had to quit.

Jack went toe-to-toe with what I knew was going to be a good fish. When he finally got him into the light of day I was shocked. It was an absolutely submarine. Took me a little while to manhandle him into the boat and almost didn't have enough floor. He wasn't the heaviest, but I swear this may have been the longest catfish I've ever had in my boat. He measured just over 50-inches long.

However he'd done battle with either a trotline or a net. He was beat up and almost skinny. Still he dragged the scales down to 46 pounds and Jack had a tough time showing him off.

He was the last fish we caught, but what a way to end a brisk, beautiful morning. Life is good and gettin' better every day.
Read my book, "An Outdoor State of Mind"
"The outdoors is not just a place, it's a state of mind."