Dreaded Asian carp not totally useless

Published online: Jul 24, 2010 News Steve Pollick - toledoblade.com
Viewed 202 time(s)
Finally, a great use for those nasty Asian carp - cut them up for bait to catch a potential world-record blue catfish.

That's exactly what 47-year-old fisherman Greg Bernal of Florissant, Mo., did in the wee hours of Tuesday morning.

He and his companion, Janet Momphard of St. Charles, Mo., landed a monster blue catfish - 130 pounds even, 57 inches long, with a 45-inch girth - from the Missouri River, just west of its confluence with the Mississippi River. For bait they were using pieces of the maligned silver carp, one of two Asian carp species threatening to enter and ravage the Great Lakes in Illinois.

Bernal, an unemployed land surveyor, was using heavy tackle with 40-pound-test wire line, and it took him 45 minutes to land the huge cat with Momphard's help, he told the Alton [Ill.] Telegraph. The pair, aboard a johnboat, fought the fish through a thunderstorm about 1 a.m.

The catfish, if verified by the International Game Fish Association, easily would surpass the current world record of 124 pounds for a blue catfish.

Resembling a finny football on steroids, the portly behemoth already has been certified as the new Missouri record, which until the wee hours Tuesday was 103 pounds.

The Ohio record blue cat, set last year, is 96 pounds, from the Ohio River.

Read more at http://toledoblade.com/article/20100723/COLUMNIST22/7220353/-1/SPORTS11

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