Whitaker has epic catfish battle

Jake Whitaker felt a fish hit his lure on the fall, while making another cast in the marina that has produced all his bass this week. He thought he'd hooked the big bass that he needs to cut the 5-13 deficit he started the day with. But that thought quickly vanished.

"I don't think this is a bass," Whitaker said, as his rod bowed double. "I've got me a catfish."

But Whitaker couldn't see it, so there was still hope.

"It's a catfish, I just felt the roll," Whitaker said. "I want to see him. I'd crap if it was about a 15-pounder (bass)."

When Whitaker finally did see the fish, after a long, line-stretching battle, he confirmed it was a catfish, but said he wanted to land him in order to get his jig hook back. Whitaker did just that, lifting a blue catfish weighing an estimated 30 to 35 pounds into his boat.

"It's not a bass," Whitaker said, "but I tell you one thing. I would not go hungry at Lake Chickamauga this week."

Photographer Shane Durrance documented the catch. And he heard a local man on the dock explain that breakfast leftovers, like yogurt and Cheerios, are regularly fed to a family of blue cats living under the boat dock.

"You caught one of our pets," the man told Whitaker.

Page views