Catfish Records Set in Lake Worth - December 2011

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Two Star Telegram articles talk about two catfish records set over the last week - "A really big catfish is lurking in Lake Worth" and "Boy catches 37.2 pound Catfish in Lake Worth"

Above, you will see the picture of the 72 pound catfish and a video of the 37 pound fish being released. Below, you will find the articles in the Fort Worth Start telegram. Enjoy!

To see Star Telegram articles, click the links below:

A really big catfish is lurking in Lake Worth:

Boy catches 37.2 pound Catfish in Lake Worth

A really big catfish is lurking in Lake Worth
Tuesday, December 20, 2011

By Terry

LAKE WORTH -- There's a new Lake Worth monster in town.A 72-pound blue catfish shattered the lake's previous 55-pound record when it was caught Monday morning by Tim McKneely, with an assist from Mark Alexander.

"I knew he was big, just not how big until I got him up and he started rolling,"

McKneely said.They were using shad for bait on a 65-pound test line.The big fish came in easily but was the devil to land, McKneely said.

"He bent our net and broke our fish grips,"

McKneely said.After taking pictures, the 24-year-old friends released the 48-inch-long, 35-inch-girth cat back into the lake in northwest Tarrant County.

"I like going for the biggest cat I can get, but I'm not going to eat them," McKneely said.

"Records are made to be broken. This fish will grow more and someone else will break my record.

"The record was broken four days shy of 10 years since it was set -- Dec. 23, 2001 -- said Texas Parks and Wildlife Department spokesman Tom Hungerford.The biggest blue catfish on record in Texas weighted 121.5 pounds and was caught in 2004 in Lake Texoma.

6-year-old boy catches 37.2-pound catfish in Lake Worth Posted Friday, Dec. 23, 2011 
Saturday, December 24, 2011

By Terry

Two days after Lake Worth's record blue catfish was caught, a 6-year-old boy became the lake's new junior certified record holder with a 37.2-pounder.

Michael Jesse Littlejohn is barely bigger than the 40-inch fish he pulled in Wednesday, said his dad, Michael Littlejohn.

The catch marked the end of a day of fishing that saw the boy bring in gradually larger cats each time one hit his gizzard shad bait.

"We immediately got on the fish, and Michael Jesse soon landed an 18.5-pound blue cat," his father said.

A 21.5-pounder came next, followed by a 23.1-pound cat. About 25 minutes later, the record-breaker struck, Michael Littlejohn said.

"He fought the fish for a solid eight minutes, and Dad got him in the net," he said.

Adding to the excitement, Michael Littlejohn's girlfriend, Teri Sivils, got a fish on at the same time and reeled in a 33.5-pound blue cat.Michael Littlejohn got it all on video.Michael Jesse said they were fishing in 7 feet of water near the lake's midpoint not far from the Loop 820 bridge.

After the fish was weighed, he put it back in."We threw it back so it could have babies," he said. "When you have babies, then they can turn into monster catfish, too."The previous junior water body record for Lake Worth was 30.19 pounds, said Tom Hungerford, a fisheries biologist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

The junior state record is a 65.2-pound cat caught in Lake Buchanan in 2008, Hungerford said.The state-record blue cat weighed 121.5 pounds when it was caught in 2004 in Lake Texoma. Tim McKneely, 24, caught the Lake Worth record 72-pound blue cat Monday.Wednesday's catch wasn't the biggest of Michael Jesse's three-year fishing career.

"I caught a 41-pound catfish at Lake Tawakoni about two weeks ago," he said.There are no Parks and Wildlife records for Lake Tawakoni, but Michael Jesse's goal this year is to catch a blue cat that weighs more than he does. Right now, that's 51 pounds.Hungerford said this is the time of year to do it."Winter is apparently when the trophy-size blue cats are caught," he said.

"The 120-pounder in Texoma was caught in January. The harder the wind blows out of the north and the colder it is, the better they bite."Terry Evans, 817-390-7620Twitter: @fwstevans

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