Fat Charlie, Rock Bass
6.5 inches (approx), .5 lb
Caught Conestoga river

I thought I was going to have a terrible day. I never managed to get to sleep and when I stepped outside this morning around 10 am, it was cold and rainy.

I was bummed, the idea that I wouldn’t get to enjoy a nice summer day on the lake was sticking in the back of my mind. I questioned when I could manage to find the time, now that I was working again.

I stopped by Walmart to cash a check. I decided that since I was already in the building, I might as well check out some of the fishing stuff they had. I bought myself some new Trilene line, Gulp Minnows, and some minnow jig heads.

That’s when I realized I had a good 5 hour block of time between then and work. I wasn’t gonna let a little rain get in the way, besides I could throw my work clothes in the back of the car and try out a new spot near my job site. I didn’t have to sit out there all day long, I could hang around for an hour or two and still have a good time.

I put the new line on my rod, packed my gear, and headed out to a small park along the Conestoga River to try out this new spot. As I entered the park I tried to read the park rules, I thought it had said “No Fishing” Going in, but was reassured by a bulletin next to the river that had a list of different species, but no signs to shoo me away.

I threw the minnow jig head into the fast moving river, in between some trees near the shore. And after only a few seconds I felt the tug of a fish taking my bait. It was only a small fat little rock bass, but it put up one heck of a struggle as I pulled in this little wonder. after a few second he calmed down so i could weigh him, but flopped off the hill into the river before i could get my tape measure out to measure him. Though he looked to be around 6–7 inches.

After loosing Fat charlie, I sort of ignored my reel for a good 5–10 minutes. Letting it just sit in the raging river,hanging near the bottom as best it could. It was a complete surprise to me, when I started reeling my line in. On the other end was something fighting me hard. Something not happy to be on the recieving end out the hook.

I had never felt a fish fight me so much. I’m used to over powering them quickly, but this guy wasn’t having it. He darted back and forth until i managed to drag him onto the hill. He was so heavy. If i had to estimate it was about 5–8 pounds. I fought so hard i almost broke my rod, i decided dragging him up the hill was the best choice, and that i would need gloves as to avoid getting barbed.

This was my first channel catfish. A beautiful 16 inch long grunting little bastard, fighting me every stretch of the way. I don’ blame him. He grunted as i heaved him up the hill. I tried to lay my rod down so i could grab gloves, and my camera. But he must have unhooked himself, or tore his lip. Because by the time I turned around. he was sliding down the hill and back into the river. Doing a small flip back out of the water as if to say one final, “fuck you, buddy”.

I spent the rest of my time by the water, trying to recapture that moment. But it was gone. I had lost my first catfish as quickly as I caught him. But mow I have a new location to play in, and new tactics to use. I’m going to try and get out again tomorrow, and see what else I can find in a different part of the river.

If you want to have your fun, you have to make time for it.