HUGE flathead catfish caught on Wilson Lake — and fisherman throws it back!

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KILLEN, Ala. — Colby Morrow, an 18-year-old and recent graduate of Rogers High School, had started fishing on Sunday afternoon around 4:30 p.m. on Wilson Lake. The only company he had was his father, Vince Morrow, and his rod and reel…or so he thought. Little did he know, a “monster” would soon make a particularly surprising appearance.

An avid fisher and hunter, Morrow mostly fishes for bass. He and his father had pulled up on a spot where they bass fish regularly, and within half an hour, Morrow had what felt like a log on the end of his line, about 25 feet underwater.

“It felt like [a log] because I believe the fish was buried up in the mud on the bottom of the river,” he said. “Then finally I get it off the bottom of the river and the fight was on. I knew at this point it wasn’t a bass that I was used to fishing for.”

After a 30-minute brawl between man and fish, Morrow finally brought the flathead catfish to the surface.

“At this point I was in shock. I had no idea how I was going to get this fish in the boat,” Morrow said.

With a net in the boat only big enough to catch the bass they were expecting, Morrow and his father had to improvise. They fit the head of the catfish into the net and then Morrow actually wrapped his arms around the body of the catfish and rolled it into the boat.

Colby Morrow, 18, caught this flathead catfish on Wilson Lake Sunday afternoon. Photo taken by his father, Vince Morrow.

“Neither of us had ever seen a fish this big come out of that water,” Morrow said. “I’m 5 feet 10 inches tall and this fish was almost as tall as me if not as tall.”

Much like the net, Morrow was only prepared with scales that could weigh fish under 25 pounds, so the true weight of The Wilson Lake Monster will never be known. However, experienced family and friends later told Morrow that the fish was easily more than 50 pounds.

So, what did Morrow do with his unexpected monster catch?  Although a fish fry that could feed the population of a small country was certainly a possibility, Morrow didn’t even consider it.

“I didn’t have any intentions of keeping the fish,” he said. “Since it had lived long enough to grow to be this huge, it deserved to live.”

The Wilson Lake Monster will live on… until next time, when someone else may not be so kind. And even after experiencing such a rush, Morrow wasn’t ready to call quits on the day.

“After I caught the fish I continued fishing the rest of the day, even though knowing I’ll probably never catch one that size ever again in my life.”