Kaufman man catches almost 19-pound catfish in Athens - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Kaufman man catches almost 19-pound catfish in Athens

Posted: Updated:
Jonathan Gonzalez shows off his catch. Jonathan Gonzalez shows off his catch.

ATHENS (KYTX) —The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center's main stocked fishing pond, Lake Zebco, covers only about an acre and a half.  Walking at a brisk pace, you can circle it in three or four minutes.

The lake's small size does not give a hint of what monsters lurk beneath its surface. On the morning of Valentine's Day, Jonathan ("Gonzo") Gonzalez of Kaufman caught a channel catfish measuring 35.25 inches long and 23 inches in girth and weighing 18.6 pounds.

Gonzalez, a frequent visitor to TFFC, is a dedicated fly-fisher who frequently fishes for rainbow trout in TFFC's ponds. As usual, on this occasion he was targeting rainbows using a five-weight rod and a semi-seal lure in peacock green.

Gonzalez is a prolific fly-tier who demonstrates his skills at the annual Fly Fish Texas event at TFFC, scheduled this year for March 9. "A semi-seal fly is named that because it looks like seal fur," he said. "It's bushy." Gonzalez first saw the fly in Arizona, where it is used for trout, and now ties the pattern himself.

"I had seen trout rising on the upper end of the pond near where the waterfall comes in," Gonzalez revealed. "I cast just past the trout, and the catfish hit the fly as soon as it hit the water. I suspect he may have been looking for rainbow trout to eat."

The catfish is his biggest catch on a fly rod, eclipsing the 10.5-pound bass that was his previous best. How big was it? Well for starters, it is a pending state fly-rod record for channel catfish as well as a pending state catch-and-release record. And not surprisingly, it will rank as the Lake Zebco fly rod and catch-and-release records. It will also garner Gonzalez a Big Fish Award from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

"I was pretty lucky," Gonzalez said. "I fish at TFFC a lot, and this was just icing on the cake."

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Tyler Police searching for early morning robber

    Tyler Police searching for early morning robber

    Tyler Police searching for early morning robber

    Monday, April 21 2014 5:53 PM EDT2014-04-21 21:53:35 GMT
    Tyler Police need your help finding an early morning robbery suspect. A woman says a robber tackled her to the ground and stole her purse. More >>
    Tyler Police need your help finding an early morning robbery suspect. A woman says a robber tackled her to the ground and stole her purse. More >>
  • Cherokee County woman found dead in driveway, husband charged with murder

    Cherokee County woman found dead in driveway, husband charged with murder

    Monday, April 21 2014 5:31 PM EDT2014-04-21 21:31:33 GMT
    Cedric Dewayne ThompsonCedric Dewayne Thompson
    CHEROKEE CO. (KYTX) - On Sunday April 20, 2014 at approximately 9:35am Kayla Nicole Thompson (27 years of age) was found deceased in the driveway of her residence, located in the 1500 block of County Road 3201 just West of Lake Jacksonville.More >>
    CHEROKEE CO. (KYTX) - On Sunday April 20, 2014 at approximately 9:35am Kayla Nicole Thompson (27 years of age) was found deceased in the driveway of her residence, located in the 1500 block of County Road 3201 just West of Lake Jacksonville.More >>
  • ETX Deacon arrested for 1981 Pennsylvania homicide

    ETX Deacon arrested for 1981 Pennsylvania homicide

    Monday, April 21 2014 4:34 PM EDT2014-04-21 20:34:38 GMT
    HARRISBURG, PA. (KYTX) - U.S. Marshal Martin J. Pane announced today the U.S. Marshals Service arrested a Pennsylvania fugitive in Texas who was wanted for more than 30 years on a 1981 murder charge.More >>
    HARRISBURG, PA. (KYTX) - U.S. Marshal Martin J. Pane announced today the U.S. Marshals Service arrested a Pennsylvania fugitive in Texas who was wanted for more than 30 years on a 1981 murder charge.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

CBS19, MYTX & KCEB
2211 ESE Loop 323
Tyler, TX 75701
Phone (903) 581-2211
Fax (903) 581-5769

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2004 - 2014, WorldNow and KYTX, Owned and Operated by London Broadcasting Company.
All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.