If Lesley McNeff of Mustang had caught her 78 lb. flathead catfish from Kaw Lake this time last year, she may have been the only one to cherish the sweet memory, but since she caught it March 8 of this year, the big cat will go down in the record books.
McNeff’s catfish goes down as the first lake record flathead catfish and the third lake record caught since the inception of the program. It was caught on a trotline baited with whole shad, and McNeff, 25, and her father braved cold weather to bring home the fish.
“It was really cold,” McNeff said. “It was 19 degrees when we got on the water.” The pair checked her father’s trotline first, coming up with three nice-sized flatheads, then switched to check Lesley’s trotline. There was only one fish on the trotline, but neither of them expected to find a Kaw lake record — weighing an even 75 lbs with a length of 51 inches and a girth of 34.25 inches.
“I was not disappointed that it was the only fish on the line!” McNeff said. McNeff enjoys running trotlines this time of year with her father, who learned the art of successful trotline fishing from his father. “My dad’s the best trotline fisherman I know,” McNeff said. “He knows how and where to set them, how to run them.”
For more information about The New Lake Record Fish Program, or for more on catfishing in Oklahoma, log on to www.wildlifedepartment.com