Jug-caught giant flathead catfish

Chad Vance raises his big catch. SUBMITTED

A 60-pound catfish will shake your jug.

A large flathead recently caught by Chad Vance of Kingston Springs while jug fishing weighed at least that; how much more is unknown.

“My scale only weighs 60 pounds, and the fish was maxed out,” says Vance, who was fishing on a tributary of the Cumberland River when he caught it. “When I scored him, he bent the net.”

Vance, a computer technician with the Cheatham County School District, was fishing at night. He used cut skipjack as bait, suspended 10 feet below a gallon plastic jug.

“When I saw that gallon jug pulled underneath, I knew it was a big fish,” says Vance, whose largest catfish previously weighed 45 pounds. “It took a while to get him in the boat.”

He asked a friend to take a photo, then released the fish.

“I grew up fishing jugs, trotlines and limblines with my dad,” Vance says. “We keep the small catfish to eat and release the bigger ones. This one is still there, getting bigger and bigger.

The state record flathead weighed 85 pounds, 15 ounces and was caught in the Hiwassee River in 1993.

Happy turkey season

Early reports indicate a good turkey season is underway, with many hunters having reached their two-gobbler limit. The season ends on May 26.

Kayak training

On May 18, the TWRA and a number of Tennessee state parks will partner to provide kayaking instruction. The cost is $15 per person, which includes kayak rental.

Participating parks in Middle Tennessee are David Crockett, Long Hunter and Harpeth River. Visit park websites or call the main office for registration details.

WMA alcohol ban

Users of wildlife management areas are reminded that a ban on the possession and consumption of alcohol was recently imposed, except in certain designated areas such as WMA campgrounds.

The ban applies to all users of the WMA, including hunters, hikers, and off-road vehicle drivers (and passengers). Impaired drivers are a particular concern for the TWRA.

Contact details

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