August 28, 2008
Catfish Record Still Stands
By The Associated Press
CARLYLE, Ill. (AP) - Jody Harris is a marked man.Not by law enforcement officials, but by a group of anglers who covet the biggest and ugliest whiskered fish in Illinois lakes and rivers - the flathead catfish.The bigger the flathead the better, and Harris lays claim to the biggest one ever caught in Illinois. During a balmy evening on Carlyle Lake on Aug. 11, 1995, Harris and his buddy, Chuck Frerker, were fishing for white bass when Harris accidentally hooked a 78-pound flathead.Thirteen years later, Harris' record still stands. Many have tried to dethrone him, yet Harris' name remains at the top of the list."I figured it would have been broken by now," he said. "As many people that fish for flatheads, I thought it would be broken. You hear stories all the time about people at lakes that catch them bigger than mine, and for some reason or another, they lose the fish or don't get it weighed."Harris, 39, is a park ranger with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Carlyle Lake, specializing in resource management. He sees anglers every day who specifically come to the lake to catch monster flatheads.Harris' name was in the news in April when a central Illinois angler nearly broke his record. Mark Blough, of Rochester, caught and released a 76.5-pound flathead he landed in Sangchris Lake on April 19.
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