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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A local angler was already knee deep in the lake at my normal wading entrance. Even from a distance I could see a yellow rope that I first assumed was a bait bucket tethered to his waist. I made a comment about the wind meant as a greeting, but I accidentally startled him. He volunteered that his luck was good and he had caught one. Right then, an enormous sunfish jumped right next to him. I asked if that was his fish.

He said, "No, this is!" and lifted the stringer to reveal a good'un around two and half pounds.

Now, the reason I call this the "Catch & Fillet Pond" is because some years ago a photograph of ostensibly slaughtered black bass carcasses egregiously dumped at a shoreline of a similar or this very same body of water started a thread on this forum. The C&F has bag limits and it is legal to harvest fish from this body of water.

I told him his was a fine looking fish. He asked if I kept fish and I told him that I let them all go. He continued north and I waded south. I caught a couple of short bass. I was reeling in and got short-lined by a strong fish. I lifted the rod and was delighted to see a mud cat. This is my first mud cat which is actually a black bullhead catfish.

I sure hope I got the ID right. Black chin barbels means its a black. Last year some kind forum members pointed out that I misidentified a channel cat as a yellow cat. I let the mud cat go and continued to fish.

The other angler had returned from plying the shallows. He made his way to the clearing where we'd accessed the water. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him remove the good'un from the stringer and let it go. I didn't say anything, but if you happen to read this, I sincerely appreciate your decision to "Free the Fighter"!
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