Holy Moly St. Josephine!

I got to watch the most epic catfish battle I've seen in years today. Words don't do it justice.

Tait Rassell comes up from Atlanta each summer to visit his grandparents, and thankfully always calls on me. Every trip he has "sized up," last year catching a 35-pounder. Well true to form, Tait "sized up" again today in a big way.

We started out catching good numbers... most 5 to 10 lbs., and one 20-pounder which we were darn proud of.

Then a drift or two later Tait hooked up on what we thought was just going to be another solid fish... but the longer Tait fought, the fish just kept diggin', and and diggin' and diggin'... pulling drag all the way!

Meanwhile we drifted and drifted and drifted. He was using 10# test line, and putting all the pressure on the fish he could. We finally got a glimpse and thought, "well, we beat the 20-pounder." Later a better glimpse and we thought, "Oooo, we've beat 30." And then a better look and we're thinking maybe 40!

But the fish just would not give up... and to complicate matters, he had a deformed lower jaw with a serious underbite, making it nearly impossible for Mr. No Net (me), to get the grabbers on him. We took a picture or two "pre-landing" to insure Tait had photographic evidence.

Then three different times I touched the fish trying to position him to get the grabbers on him.. and the big blue would get another dose of adrenalin and take off again for another ten minutes. I didn't time it, but I know it was nearly a one-hour battle and we drifted nearly a mile down river. As I tell everyone, on light line "it's a matter of patience over power."

Tait did an awesome job and we finally got the grabbers on the solid 50 lb. beast, captured on 10# test line. What a memory. I won't forget that battle for years, if ever.

We caught a few more "little codgers" 5 - 15 lbs, but everything after "The Beast" was somewhat anti-climatic. Of course I told Tait that he's got his work cut out for him if he wants to "size up" on the next trip. Which means 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."