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Don't forget those small ponds.
I learned alot about catfishing last year, but my best lesson came from a small farm pond. My brother and I, with 2 friends set up our normal cat poles, pulled out some camp chairs and settled in for a nice evening of fishin'. Our 2 friends were pulling in small Bass all evening, and giving us the blues about not catching anything. I was getting ready to give up on any cats in this pond, Then my pole took a nose dive. This big boy took me on a tour of the pond circling it about 5 times, after 10 mins. of wearing him down, I tightened up the drag to put a bit more pressure on him, and snap goes the line. Wow what a monster, to snap 30lb test line that. While I'm re-rigging my pole, that same fish hits my borthers line, and off he goes lapping the pond the same way he did me. My brother backed off his drag, and fought that fish 20 plus mins, before leaning on him. About 5 ft. off the bank, snapped his 40lb test like cotton thread. That big fish owes me 2 hooks, 1/2 pound of liver, and one more dance. I know where he LIVES.
 

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Eric from Indianapolis
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Sounds like an exciting day of fishing!

I hooked into what looked like a large blue ( even though I heard they don't reproduce in non moving water) in a pond just outside of Clermont. I was watching something swim like crazy into the shallows and make huge splashes and you could see the blue gills scattering. So I caught a gill, chopped his tail almost off, and hooked him through the back with my #2 eagle claw (try not to laugh!) and cast him back into that shallow area. Sure enough, in a minute or two that big cat came rushing into the shallow and slammed my gill. I got the hook set in him, but the 12lb test on my Shimano was no match for the brute. I did see him roll and he was bright blue/gray, I guess it could have been a giant channel cat.

You never know about those ponds! Good luck this year!
 

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I've pulled quite a few 12-15lbers out of small farm ponds and retention ponds, but man would I sure like to hook into a monster in one, that would be kinda fun being able to walk around the whole thing fighting the fish. There's a retention pond in an apartment complex near by where we used to pull some nice cats out of. One night though we kept having our 30lb test broken by something, came to find out it was a big old snapping turtle when we were finally able to get it up to shore on about the 3rd try. The trick to fishing that pond was to cast out around the fountains with cutbait or hot dogs under a bobber. It was always fun.
 
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