Wednesday, April 11, 2012
It took Lexann Vieth one minute to hook it, and 20 minutes to pull it up out of the water.
And, the 11-year-old from Marthasville, Mo. hopes her 29-pound channel catfish she caught Friday evening off the docks at Robin’s Resort in Osage Beach will make a record with the International Game Fish Association.
“We are going to submit an application for a line record for a channel catfish to the IGFA. I don’t think the world record is too far off but they do have a junior division,” said Lexann’s proud mother, Cheryl. “My husband said they used a 10-pound spider line, but I don’t know how they rate these things; we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”
For Lexann, she was just enjoying fishing with her father, Tim, Cheryl and two of her three older sisters on their annual Easter weekend vacation to Lake of the Ozarks.
“This I our fourth Easter vacation to the Lake. Our oldest daughter usually comes, but she is enjoying spring break down in Florida this year,” she said. “We have four girls – ages 19, 17, 15 and 11, Lexann being our youngest.”
Cheryl said fishing is a big part of their time on their annual Easter Lake trip, thinking that they may catch some bass or crappie.
“Her other sister caught a 15-pound catfish (Saturday) night, too. My biggest channel cat is 3 pounds. Lexann caught the biggest fish out of all of us,” she said. “It was a bonus, because we usually fish for bass. We were going to try crappie, too.”
Cheryl explained that Friday evening, Lexann and her Dad were down on the docks, watching some adult fishermen catching blue catfish and some good-sized ones at that. So, Lexann asked her Dad if she could give it a try.
“I was up at our room cooking, and her Dad was cleaning crappie. He said, ‘Sure go ahead and try it.’ He told me she gone one, and I thought maybe she got a bite and it broke the line. But then he said it was still one line, so I grabbed my camera and headed down to the dock,” Cheryl said.
Lexann said it was only a minute that she had thrown the 10-pound spider line in off her rod and reel before she knew it was hooked well.
“I flipped the bale to let some line out and the pole came up and hit me right in the nose,” Lexann recalled with a giggle. “I gave the pole to my dad and it was still on. He handed it back to me, and I thought it was a carp at first. I remember saying, ‘I hate fishing’ and getting kind of frustrated. All you could see at first was the pole a little bit of string and the water; the pole was coming down and it was trying to take the pole down with it. At one point I had to brace my legs on the railings so I didn’t go in with it. It took 20 minutes to get it in.”
Cheryl said Lexann got it up by herself with a little net assistance for her and support from her father. When they brought up the 40-inch long channel cat, she also got recognition from her fellow fishermen.
“When she got it up out of the water, she got a round of applause from the other men cleaning crappie and fishing down on the dock,” she added.
As of Sunday afternoon, the Vieths had secured the channel catfish near the dock where she caught it, deciding if they were going to mount it for Lexann or make a replica of the large catch. Then, they had to decide if they were going to let it go or keep it for a few big family dinners.
“We didn’t know if we are going to mount it because their skin is so thin. Or we could do a replica,” Cheryl said.
“That is my fish now,” Lexann added as she stood on the dock looking into the water, saying “I love you.”
Even though she is patiently waiting to see if she has set a record with her 29-pound channel catfish, she now was able to officially say “goodbye” later Sunday evening. Cheryl reported back saying she released it back to the Lake and they are getting a replica made for Lexann by a local taxidermist.
For the Vieth’s, it’s an Easter Lake of the Ozarks vacation they soon will not forget and will have an everlasting memento with Lexann’s big catch.
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