80 lb. catfish caught again

Friday, April 13, 2007
"Big Mel" required the strength of two men to be pulled out of the lake.

An 80-pound catfish caught at Big Whiskers Catfish Farm last Sunday was no April Fool's Day joke.

Robert Wheeler hooked the gigantic catfish, but it also took Charlie Delk's help to pull the catfish out of the water.

The 80-pound catfish dubbed "Big Mel," has become an icon at Big Whiskers. And, as is the custom, he's back swimming in the fish farm after his release, again.

"People come from miles around to catch Big Mel," said owner Lanny Parkhurst. "We have another fish named MC Hammer weighing in at 65 pounds and others ranging up to 40 pounds."

Big Whiskers, 3171 Scribners Mill Rd., is open to the public virtually all day. No fishing license is needed at the fish farm. A fee, however, is charged for the fun. Fishing tournaments are held every Saturday night.

There are more than 4,000 pounds of fish in the 1.2-acre lake, Parkhurst said.

"It is, without a doubt, the best little fish hole in the South," he said.