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    Fisherman stunned after catching 10ft. monster he never dreamed of

    A lifetime fisherman in Mississippi set a new state record when he caught a 131-pound (59.4-kgs) “monster” catfish.

    Eugene Cronley of Brandon, according to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, captured the blue catfish on April 7 in the Mississippi River near Natchez.

    “I’ve been catfishing all my life and I never dreamed of something like this,” said Cronley in an interview with the Clarion-Ledger.

    It took him around 40 mins to catch the fist with a rod and reel with skipjack herring as bait.

    Cronley said that the fight with the fish started five minutes after his bait entered the water.

    “We had to untie the boat and float down the river,” Cronley added. “I couldn’t move him. I’d pull on him and take in a foot of line and he’d pull and take 10 ft. I just sat there like I was hung up.”

    “It is truly a fish of a lifetime,” he said, adding, “He is a monster.”

    Cronley had to take the fish to Van’s Deer Processing and Sporting Goods in Rankin County, Mississippi because it was the only place with a certified scale large enough to weigh the fish.

    Cronley’s fish, according to the department, shattered the previous rod-and-reel record of a 95-pound (43.1-kilogram) fish captured in 2009. It’s also bigger than a pair of people caught a 101-pound (45.8-kilogram) blue catfish in 1997. Both of these fish were also captured around Natchez in the Mississippi River.

    According to the International Game Fish Association, Cronley was just over 10 pounds shy of the world record capture for a blue catfish, which was set in 2011 when a 143-pound (64.9-kilogram) giant was pulled in from a Virginia lake.

    Cronley estimated his fish to be 56.6 inches (1.4 meters) long with a 41-inch girth (1.04 meters).

    Blue catfish, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, rarely exceed two feet in length. They can grow to be over 5 feet tall and weigh over 100 pounds in rare situations.

    Image Credit: Blythe Summers/AP

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