Record Setting Fish Gets New Home, Name - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/6/04 - Athens

Record Setting Fish Gets New Home, Name

The world's largest blue catfish finally has a new home, and a new name. The new 121.5 pound star attraction at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens seemed right at home in her new 26,000 gallon aquarium at the fishery. Dozens of people of all ages turned out for the big unveiling.  Receiving just as much attention as the fish today, was the man who caught it. Cody Mullennix accepted award after award for his record-setting prize.

"Wow, you know," said Mullennix.  "I didn't know catching a record blue cat is going to draw all this attention. I was just doing it out there for the fun, the sport of it."

"When anyone does a new world record, it's the same as McGwire batting the baseball, you know," said Sugar Ferris of the National Fishing Hall of Fame.  "Within the fishing world it's really important."

"We want all the world records in Texas," said Phil Durocher, the Director of Inland Fisheries at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.  "That's one of the things we strive for. It creates excitement. It increases the value of fishing in the state. It gets people excited about coming here."

But, what had most of the crowd excited about coming here today was the new name Cody was to give the 60-inch long fish. In the end, he called her "Splash".

"Splash, he did make a big splash up there in the water," said Mullennix.  "We talked about this, this is the hardest thing I had to do was name this fish. It took me along time.  It wasn't until just last night that finally something came and stuck.  I think splash was a good name for it."

Cody says "Splash" will be on display for awhile at the Fresh Water Fisheries Center in Athens for anyone to see. But, he vows to return "Splash" to Lake Texoma, where he says is her real home.

Kevin Berns reporting


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