i know i've got at least two decent catfish stories, and i'd like to here y'alls "one that got away" stories also. i'll start it off with my best one. my wife and the guy i was fishing with thought i was crazy for this, but i'd do it just the same if i could turn back time and do it over. only this time, i think i'd tell my buddy to bring his ill-caught cat to me. there's a mitsubishi plant in my hometown that makes god knows what, but the recreational facilities that they have there are amazing, and it's all open to the whole town. anyways, they've got a little lake that's lightly stocked. i don't think i've ever caught anything from there but a headache, but i've tried a few times. one day when i was still a bachleor in kigh scholl me and some idiot buddy went fishing over there at the mitsubishi plant. that buddy of mine was one of those guys that said he was all about catfishing, but he couldn't sit still for more than five minutes at a time. me on the other hand, i don't mind sitting and watching my line for awhile. well, he was bored so he started going aroud the pond with a bluegill setup trying to snag stuff and he finally managed to get a little yellow belly cat that was about 6 inches long and started yelling bloody murder for me to come and look at it. now, i was fishing on a storm drain that was right on the edge of the lake that stuck out about 5 feet into the water. it had loops of wire sticking out of it that i had my rods hooked into. it was that really stiff lifting wire that they used to move that concrete drain cover with when they built it. i just had my rods hooked into them, and they were real tight just as if someone was holding them. anyways, i rolled my eyes and went ahead to get up and go on over there and take a look at his "giant" fish that he snagged through the belly with a treble hook. but wouldn't you know it, for the first time in my life, i left my rods, without opening the bails first. don't know why i did it, but i did. so i walked the 50 feet to where he was looked at that poor little yellow belly sticking out of his hand. i gave him the good ol' "good job" and POB award (pat on the back) to keep him from pouting (he was 3 years older than me but never did grow up. but he did have a truck and could take me to fish farther away than the bluegill pond that i could walk to). so i start heading back to where my two rods are at, and about the time i'd taken about five steps and still a good 40 feet away, i see my one rod starting to bend something fierce. something was taking the bait and it wasn't playing. i could tell by the steady pull instead of jerking yanks, that it was either a cat or a carp. i also knew that the only carp in there were grass carp and there's no way they would've taken chicken liver. so i took off at a full sprint to those rods. just as soon as my first foot hit the concrete of that storm drain, that cat got my rod loose from the wire and in went my rod. well, i never missed a step. didn't slow down to think about it or anything. still at a full sprint, i jumped right in the water with that rod and swam after it. sadly, i can sprint a whole heck of a lot faster than i can swim. the butt of my rod was only inches away from my outstretched fingertips, but i just wasn't quick enough. i chased it about 15 feet into the lake before it went down to deep for me to be able to see it anymore. i tell you folks, i think i'm a masculine enough man, but that almost brought me to tears. i wanted that fish. he could keep the rod and reel if he wanted it that bad, but i at least wanted the thrill of fighting him into the shore. you better believe i've never again stepped away without opening my bails.