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Giant Catfish Caught in Lake Texoma

Netlore Archive: Image circulating via email purports to document a gigantic catfish caught in Lake Texoma, Texas in 2004.

Description: Viral image
Circulating since: Feb. 2004
Status: Photo is real, text is false (see details below)

Email contributed by Paul G., Feb. 17, 2004:

This is from Texas and you know what they say about everything being big in Texas.

Subject: State Record Catfish

For all you campers out there who swim in the water...beware!

New state record catfish. 140 lbs. caught in Lake Texoma. This is one of those legendary fish that scuba divers say they see at the bottom of dams that are big enough to eat a person.

Click to Enlarge

Analysis: Interestingly enough, there really was a record-breaking blue catfish caught in Lake Texoma, Texas in January 2004 — but this isn't it. The above photo, circulating via email since Feb. 2004, appears real enough, but we have no information about its origin or the two hardy fishermen struggling under the weight of their enormous catch [see update below].

Urban legend has it that man-eating catfish the size of Volkswagens have been sighted near the base of dams by maintenance divers (whose hair reportedly turned white from the shock of it), but the largest specimens ever actually caught in the United States have weighed in at under 150 lbs.

Update: Ownership of the above photo has been claimed by Dutch angler Lucas van der Geest, who reports catching the 187-pound wels catfish near Po, Italy in 2003.

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Sources and further reading:

Texas Angler Gets Record Case of the Blues
ESPN, 20 January 2004

Siluris Glanis (Fishing in Silure)
French anglers' Website

Fat Cat
Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 25 January 2004

Giant Local Fish Still Making Waves
Herald Democrat (Texoma, TX), January 2004

Last updated: 04/05/04

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