People are obsessed with an 88-pound 'river monster' catfish

  • A Tennessee fisher-woman caught an 88-pound catfish.
  • Paula Cathey Smith of Waverly, Tennessee, caught and released the animal on Sunday.
  • People are obsessed with the so-called “river monster.”
  • It’s not her first giant catch.

They say a little bait can catch a big fish. And in the case of Tennessee fisher-woman Paula Cathey Smith, that’s a really, really big fish, ABC News reports.

While fishing on the Tennessee River Sunday, Smith caught an 88-pound Blue catfish, according to the outlet.

“We were probably sitting there 30 minutes, and bam!” Smith told ABC News of her fishing excursion. “He hit.”

And folks, that is one large fish.

After posing for a picture, Smith released the fish back into the wild, according to a Facebook post from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

Whether it’s an otter or a cow, people historically love large animals. And this so-called “river monster” is no exception.

Read more: Meet Lil’ Bill, a tiny bull that’s the size of a cat

Here’s what people had to say about Smith’s catch of the day in the comments section of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s Facebook post.

Many applauded her for releasing the fish.

“Not just caught (Awesome!! Incredible!! Fantastic!!!) but also released??! WOOHOOOOO!!! Good on ya, girl!!” one person commented. “This is cool. No telling how old that fish is. Bet it put up a heck of a fight. I would have turned it loose too, to live out the rest of its years in the Tennessee River,” someone wrote. “Awesome catch! Congratulations! Thank you for releasing it,” a third person said.

Others were simply in awe of her.

“A woman can do anything,” someone commented. “She knows how to catch the monsters!” another wrote.

Smith said it wasn’t an easy catch.

“It put up a heck of a fight,” she told ABC News. “And when I got it in the boat, it was just the most amazing feeling in the world.”

This wasn’t Smith’s first time at the rodeo, so to speak. In the summer of 2018, she caught an 82-pound catfish, she told ABC. The fisherwoman, who catches and releases at least one 30-pound catfish a week, estimated that the fish she caught on Sunday actually weighed over 90 pounds – but it was too large to fit fully on the scale, ABC reported.

But for Smith, catching large fish is all about the adrenaline rush.

“The thrill of seeing your pole go down, and then trying to get it in the boat without breaking or snapping the line – it’s unbelievable,” she said. “It’s the most awesome feeling in the world.”


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