Many people wouldn’t believe an 11-year-old’s story about being dragged underwater by a huge catfish. Luckily for young Mikie Webb, there were lots of witnesses, including his 18-year-old brother Tyler who jumped in to the pond near the family’s household to pull Mikie out to safety, still holding onto the catfish.
Mikie was noodling for catfish at a pond in Union Grove, Texas after his neighbors from across the pond said they spotted a large fish swimming in shallow water last Wednesday evening. Mikie’s father, Jeff Webb, said the youngster didn’t waste any time getting to the pond and give the fish a chance to get away.
“He’s pretty adventuresome — always has been,” Webb said to the News Journal in Longview, Texas.
Mikie came up on the fish from behind and slipped his arm through the catfish’s gill. When the giant fish weighing half his body weight surprised him and swam off, Mikie held on for the ride. The catfish swept him underwater and dragged him for a few moments before his brother jumped in for the rescue.
Thoughts of drowning passed through Mikie’s head, but knowing that his older brother was nearby helped the 11-year-old remain calm. He was only in chest-deep water while wrestling with the fish, although the pond does get as deep as 12 to 13 feet in the middle.
The Webb boys had been stalking the 51-pound catfish for three weeks before they finally wrangled him out of the water. Previous attempts with a rod and reel and even a net were not successful.
The boys have caught catfish in the pond before, but most weighed two or three pounds. The pond was stocked with bass and channel catfish a few years ago and has been around since the early 1970s. The boys surmise the fish must have been in the pond for a long time to grow to 51 pounds.
Now the giant fish served as one big fish fry, except for one piece. “We saved the head,” Jeff Webb said.
The 100-pound boy will be entering the sixth grade this fall and will have one heck of a story to start the year off.