Pugh breaks lake cat record

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 30, 2003

Ray Pugh has been fishing at Pike County Lake for most of his life and has seen some pretty big fish looking back from the other end of his pole.

Friday while he was night fishing, Pugh reeled in a record-breaking channel catfish. His 17.1-pound fish just barely beat the lake's old record of a17-pound channel catfish. The state record, which was set in 1967, is 40 pounds.

&uot;This is a big one, but I've seen some bigger out there,&uot; Pugh said.

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Pugh's fishing buddy Tony Senn, who is a pretty good size, had to scoop the fish up in a net.

Hanzel Thompson, who manages the lake, said there are more record-breaking fish just waiting for someone with a pole strong enough to catch them.

&uot;I've seen deep sea poles that have been broken out here,&uot; Thompson said.

Pugh has also seen some big fish who manage to slip away somewhere between the end of the line and the edge of the boat. But Pugh managed to hold on to this one.

Some would mount the fish, but Pugh said the only one he'll stuff is himself, rattling off dishes ranging from catfish steak to catfish sandwiches.

&uot;You just get you some yellow grits and hot sauce. I tell you, there's no better eating,&uot; he said.