A couple in Leavenworth is putting fishermen across the region to shame.
Charlotte Pennington didn't rest on her laurels when she caught an 84-pound blue catfish Saturday. She hooked the monster while she was fishing with her boyfriend, Frank Sims, near Leavenworth, KS.
"This big ol' fish comes up, and I about thought that I was going to have a heart attack," she said.
The couple was down the Missouri River fishing with a trotline of 120 yards with 33 hooks.
Pennington said she had been catching 30- and 40-pounders in the river for a while, but then she caught "the big one." She started fishing in the Missouri River about seven years ago and said it took her a couple of years to learn to fish in the river. She caught her biggest one in 2008.
"I love to fish in the Missouri River," she said.
Now, the 84-pound fish has a buddy in a kiddy pool, and she and her boyfriend have 184 pounds of fish on their hands. She named the two fish after her friend Norma, the one who has been keeping them alive in the aerator.
Norma 2 and Norma 3 won't be breaking any records though, the big one is 30 pounds shy and the trotline would disqualify it anyway.
"They are lovers. I think they are lovers," Sims said. "I think the one knew the other fish took that bait and took the same bait to be together with the other."
Sims says he has been fishing for 50 years. He believes that if someone told him that they would catch an 84-pounder one day and three days later catch a 100-pounder, they would be lying.
"This is history. Most fishermen probably think I am crazy, but we are going to try and release them back into the Missouri River because that is their natural habitat," she said. "We had fun. We got the chance to experience catching two fish of a lifetime."
Pennington said they are planning on setting the fish free back in the river to let others get that feeling.
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