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Colleyville kid catches 'monster' catfish

05/31/2011 2:05 PM

06/02/2011 7:56 AM

COLLEYVILLE -- Karen Curran didn't get too excited Sunday when her 14-year-old son shouted in her cellphone that he'd caught a monster catfish in Colleyville's Kimsey Park.

"He fishes there almost daily and has caught some 20 pounders before," she said.

But the catfish caught by Brett Lee Curran was no 20 pounder. His scale went to only 50 pounds and the fish maxed out.

Brett's father, Brett Patrick Curran, said that in the more than 11 years they've been fishing together his son has landed some big ones. However, this is his biggest cat.

"They said it was 42 inches long and 32 inches around," said the dad. "He caught it on a 7-foot bait-casting rod-and-reel with 17 pound-test line."

After measuring and photographing the fish, the Cross Timbers Middle School eighth-grader let it slip back into the water. The 1-acre public pond is catch-and-release.

"Something that old is special, anyway," Karen Curran said. "It's lived so long that it deserves to live longer."

City spokeswoman Mona Gandy said she was surprised that such a fish was caught in the pond. The storm-drain-fed pond is not stocked with catfish, but the city releases small, algae-controlling fish there.

Tom Hungerford, a fisheries biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife, said the state stocked the pond with rainbow trout in 1994, but never with catfish. Even if the state had stocked it with cats, it wouldn't have been that kind.

"Blues aren't necessarily desireable in such a small pond like that," he said. "Usually we release channel cats because they don't get so big."

Hungerford said that, given the park's proximity to Grapevine and Lewisville lakes, it's likely that someone caught the blue at one of them and released it into the pond.

"Technically, that's illegal," he said. "A stocking permit is required to put fish into a public body of water."

Though he was impressed with the pictures, Hungerford said Brett Lee's wasn't a record blue cat.

"For the longest time the record has been one caught at Lake Texoma, and it was 121.5 pounds," he said.

The record blue in the junior angler rod-and-reel category is 65.2 pounds; and the record junior catch-and-release is 48.37 inches, Hungerford said.

Karen Curran said that her son and his regular pond-fishing buddy, Trey Jones, dream of being fishing guides when they grow up. Her husband wouldn't mind that himself.

"When I quit my full-time job I may do some guide fishing, too," Brett Patrick Curran said. "His fallback plan is to be a chef. He could catch what he cooks."

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