I have a passion for catfishing in the Ohio river and have fished several stretches from northern West Virginia all the way to western Kentucky. Ive had some encounters with some large catfish in my time. Some I have caught and then some that I have lost. Along with all the success stories, there is bound to be a few stories of short comings. Yes, this is gonna be one of those short comings stories. lol. Now remind you, Im no pro nor am I a novice at catfishing but enjoy getting out there chasing Mr Whiskers as much as the next person does. Ive always dreamed there will come the day of putting a 50 lb + fish in the net or the boat. In fact before last night's outing on the river I believe I have lost a big fish in every imaginable way as possible of losing one, but I never had this happen to me before. Eric Simcox asked me if I wanted to do some drift fishing on the Ohio river down below the John T. Myers lock and dam. Well of course I said yes (does Howdy Doody have wooden...? , never mind. Anyways we loaded up and took off about 7:30pm in the evening. After launching we headed straight for the dam hoping to catch a few skipjack or shad before catfishing. There was skipjack everywhere and Eric put a few in the boat right off while I was struggling to even get a hit. Seemed they like Eric's feather-tailed jigs better than my curly -tail grub jigs. This should of told me what kind of night it was gonna be for me. I laid down the pole and got the cast net out hoping to net a few shad but only caught 1 skipjack. At this time Eric's pole was tangled up and he grabbed my pole and first cast caught a skipjack, then another and another. Ooooooo K, so now all of sudden they like the curly-tail grub jigs. Eric slayed them while I only got one. We were done catching bait and motored around down father to some calmer current trying to mark fish on the graph. It didnt take long before we seen some good activity on the graph shut the motor down and started our first drift of the night. There were a few hits and take downs and we missed on a couple of strikes. Down goes the end my rod into the water...FISH ON! The battle starts with me struggling to get the pole out of the rod holder from the weight pulling down against the rod. After getting the rod out, this is when I realized that I had hooked the biggest behemoth monster in the area and he was pulling drag out like as if the reel was on free-spool. No problem right? I just wait him out and let him wear himself out then start reeling in. Wrong, this was a powerful fish and was still stripping off drag after about 4 or 5 minutes. When I looked down at my reel I noticed that I was getting low on line and needed to start doing something quick so I tightened the drag slightly and tried to get the monster turned around but it was hopeless as the drag was squealing from line being pulled out. When I tightened down more that is when it happened, no more weight, no more fight, no more fish, only that empty feeling of frustration and dis-belief. Looking back at the reel there was only about 1 layer of line left on the reel before the behemoth broke free. So yes, this was the largest fish that I have ever had on the end of the line and yes, it was the first time I lost a fish by my reel being spooled. I really dont know if there was anything else I could of done differently to stop such a huge creature. I never got him turned around or even got one full rotation reeling in. Was it a giant blue cat...maybe, was it a monster flathead...possibly, was it a state record... very well could have been, was it a world record...who knows. The one thing I do know is that he is wearing my 10/0 king kahle hook with pride. Now I have been in a slump for about at least a month maybe closer to two, and yes I can get down and give up because of all the bad luck lately. Then what would I ever accomplish if I did. Absolutely nothing, so today I took the time to change my lines on the reels to a heavier poundage. Made sure that all my knots were good and strong enough and try to eliminate any possible cause of short comings. I'd rather be lucky than good any day of the week, but can increase my odds with a little prep and upgrading and even some overkill wouldnt hurt any. And my quest in the search of the Ohio river leviathan continues.