Giant Flathead Breaks Lake Jackson Record

Donald Kennedy caught this almost 64-lb. Appaloosa while fishing from the bank.

Jordan Davis | April 19, 2016

A night of catfishing from the bank turned into a record-setting experience for a Lake Jackson angler. Donald Kennedy, of Monticello, reeled in a monster flathead catfish on Wednesday, April 13, from Jackson.

Donald reached his spot on the bank near the split of the South and Yellow rivers at about 5:30 p.m. He immediately began catching bream for bait.

Shortly before catching the big one, Donald caught a 6-lb. channel cat. Roughly 30 minutes later, around 9 o’clock, Donald felt another bite.

“I felt a hard tug,” said Donald. “It hit like a flathead.”

“It seemed as if the catfish pulled off about 100 yards of line in four seconds. It happened so fast,” said Donald.

Donald fishes with circle hooks, which rely on the fish getting the hook to a certain point in its mouth for the hook to set. The good thing with circle hooks is that there’s no need to set the hook. The fish hooks itself.

“I just started trying to reel and finally got him in,” said Donald.

After weighing him unofficially, Donald decided to keep the fish on a stringer throughout the night. The following morning Donald loaded up the flathead and took him to the WRD Fisheries office in Social Circle.

The 50-inch-long fish weighed 63-lbs., 11-ozs. and beat the old Lake Jackson flathead record by 1 1/2 pounds.

Donald took the flathead back to a shallow part near the dam and released him, but after coming back later to check on it, the fish had not moved.

“I was sad he didn’t make it,” Donald said. “I normally let anything over 20 pounds go. I like seeing the big ones get released.”

If you catch a potential record fish, call GON at (800) 438-4663, or e-mail the magazine at [email protected].

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