A Sportsman's Tale / From Jacob Serafin
I was fishing unfamiliar water on Cattaraugus Creek around 6 p.m. on June 2. It was the first time fishing with my cousin, Christopher Koszuta. He took me out to what he called his "honey hole" and it was actually my first time catfishing.
He showed me his spot to make sure I hooked on to something. When I hooked into this fish I assumed it was another cat but the fight was different, just dead weight pulling. I initially thought it was a snag but then it kept pulling so I kept fighting. My forearms were sore by this time. Then it finally surfaced 10 feet from the bank. My cousin yelled out "It's a giant sheephead" in excitement. As I pulled it in closer he helped me grab it out the water so it didn't unhook.
Two guys on a boat down the creek yelled out 'Nice fish!." Me and my cousin were ecstatic. I quickly handed him my phone to snap a few pics . We were both laughing at the size, and as my arms got tired I decided it was time to let it go. We both sat down looking at the picture in amazement and he thought about the state record. (The state record for this fish is 29 pounds, 14 ounces and was set June 4, 2016 with a catch from Lake Champlain.)
Unfortunately, I did not weigh it. I really wish I did. I never thought I could come close to a state record. The next day I went to Cabela's to buy a scale so nothing like that would ever happen again.
I caught big salmon before on the Olcott pier and this fish was something else. So much fun because I never expected to pull anything out that big. Really, I couldn't care less about the record. I'm happy I got a picture for memories and the reaction of people when I show them is priceless I had a great time with my cousin and I'll remember it for the rest of my life.
I felt like Jeremy wade of "River Monsters" when I saw that thing. I can't wait to get back out there soon.