Aurora Man Catches Record Catfish At Aurora Reservoir

Mike Stone Was Fishing For Trout, Walleye

An Aurora man has claimed the state record for catching the largest channel catfish.

Mike Stone was fishing for trout and walleye at Aurora Reservoir on July 26, when he dropped a floating jighead, tipped with a nightcrawler worm, into the water.

"I tied the floating jig to a leader 6 feet below the sinker, which allows the bait to float just off the bottom of the lake, said Stone. "I had just cast my line into the water and started to pour a cup of coffee when I saw the tip of my fishing rod move and jerk."

Stone grabbed his rod, set the hook and carefully played the large fish to prevent breaking his lightweight, 6-pound line. Stone landed his prize catch after 15 minutes of give and take.

Park rangers and Division of Wildlife officers arrived later to take photos and to weigh the fish on a state-certified scale.

Stone's catfish measured 37 inches in length and weighed 35.22 pounds. That's almost 2 pounds heavier than the previous record of 33 pounds, 8 ounces, caught in 1994 by John McKeever at Hertha Reservoir in Larimer County.

Stone hopes to have his record fish mounted in the near future.

"It looks like this fish and I are going to be joined at the hip, at least as long as the record holds," he said. "I'll be happy if my record lasts anywhere near as long as the previous one."

Stone credits his wife with providing added motivation in his early-morning angling pursuits.

"I really need to thank my wife Lisa for kicking my butt out of bed so early every weekend," Stone said. "She sends me out fishing so she can sleep in."

The DOW will add Stone's catfish to the Colorado Fishing Records and update this entry on the DOW Web site in the upcoming weeks.

"We want to congratulate Mike Stone for his exceptional fish," said Greg Gerlich, DOW fisheries chief. "It's always exciting when a record is broken and we get to enter a new name into the books."

The DOW tracks fish records by weight in 42 different species categories. Potential record holders must have a valid Colorado fishing license or be under the age of 16. The fish in question must be weighed on a state-certified scale, and there must be a weight receipt signed by a person who witnessed the weighing.

The fish, before being frozen, gutted or altered in any way, must be examined and identified by a DOW biologist or wildlife manager before an application is submitted.

To view the Colorado fishing records, visit the DOW Web site.

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