Kearns fishermen reel in 20-pound catfish

Posted at 10:53 PM, Sep 02, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-03 00:53:27-04

KEARNS, Utah -- A couple fishermen in Kearns are comparing their latest trip to the river to winning the lottery.

Over the Labor Day weekend John Porter, with the help of his good fishing buddy Mike Mitchell, reeled in a 20-pound catfish from the bank of the Jordan River using shrimp as bait. It’s the largest fish he’s ever caught.

“When I actually saw him in the water a couple times I didn’t know he was that big,” Porter said. “When I put him in the net and pulled him up I did.”

“When you feel these big one’s tug, it’s like a tank, it’s like pulling a tank off the bottom,” Mitchell said.

It takes 15 to 20 years for a fish to get this big, according to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. The largest catfish on state record is 32 pounds, a record which has stood since 1978.

“Very rare do we see fish like this one this gentleman caught, they are a fish of a million cast,” said Drew Cushing, of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

Mitchell and Porter say they bring out the best in each other, when it comes to casting their lines. Their goal is to reel in the state record.

“It’s kind of a brotherly love type of competition, we just see if we can catch the most poundage around,” Mitchell said.

Porter named the fish grandpa because its age and thick whiskers.

The plan is for the friends to fry the fish and serve dinner to all of their friends.

“If you’re not a fish lover you will be after you eat some of this,” Mitchell said.