Massive Fish Caught in Drainage Ditch

fishCatching a record-breaking fish is no small feat, yet it remains the hope and dream of millions each year in the United States. The latest available statistics show that in 2013, there were 49.81 million anglers and fishermen, 10 million of whom were between the ages of six and 17 years.

Yet, a record-breaking catch happens only once in decades, and takes a lot of skill and strength to land. It took Joey Pallotta III five hours to catch his world record, 420-pound Atlantic Blue Marlin. Back in 1985, Les Anderson spent 40 minutes catching the world record king salmon, which weighed 97 pounds. In Nova Scotia, Ken Fraser fought a massive Atlantic Bluefin Tuna for 45 minutes before catching the record-breaking, 1,496-pound fish.

Jamie Schmidt, however, just had to show up with a plastic bag to catch a whopper of a fish.

Schmidt, an animal control officer in Olathe, Kansas, responded to a call on July 14 from a man who’d been out for a walk. The man had spotted a huge fish, which he estimated to be about four feet, lying in a drainage ditch.

“When the guy said it was four foot, I thought ‘Well, most men tell fish stories’ and I thought it wasn’t going to be even close to that,” said Schmidt. “I was very shocked.”

The fish in question had swum from its lake to a roadside ditch after heavy rain had caused a flood.

According to Lucas Kowalewski, fisheries biologist for the Kansas Department of Parks, Wildlife and Tourism, the fish was a grass carp, for which the caught-by-angling record was 77.7 pounds. Schmidt said the fish in the ditch measured to be about three-and-a-half feet long, and weighed 60 pounds.

Schmidt said the fish was lying in shallow water, and hadn’t decomposed yet. She put some plastic trash bags around it, and dragged it to her vehicle, where she loaded into a kennel with a power lift.

“It wasn’t too hard since it was already dead,” she said. “If it had been alive, it would have been more work.”

She snapped a quick picture with the fish, and then took care of it.

“We treated it like any other dead animal,” Schmidt said. “We put it into our incinerator.”

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