For the past several years my family and I have been going to the Brookneal, Virginia area of the Staunton River above Buggs Island/Kerr and fishing the spring Striper run up that river. A couple of years ago someone mentioned that blues ran up the river in addition to the channels and flatheads we had already been targeting, and that a lot of the locals were using goldfish to catch them. I had not ever heard of fishing with goldfish and was surprised that they were only about $8.00-$12.00 a dozen and that they were BIG, up until that time we had used shiners and livers and had caught mostly eater size channels. One late May morning I got up about 4:30 and went down to the dock and put a big goldfish on a couple of poles hoping to hook in to a bigger channel as I was fishing a deeper hole just below our banked boats with plenty of structure in and around it. About 10 minutes later the clicker started screaming and I was tore up to say the least. The eaters we had been catching didnt normally pull out line that fast so I figured I had a bigger channel and was a little hesitant to set the hook in fear it would break my 12lbs. test line that we had been using to catch Stripers with. I thumbed the reel and cranked the handle a turn and set the hook hard, and to my surprise the fish continued to peel off line. I eased a little more drag on the reel and started pumping the rod tip up against the fish to try and get him turned up river. The Staunton, during the spring is pretty swift at times and a lot of water was running this morning so the fight was on and in my opinion extended as I worked for about 15-20 minutes getting the fish in. It was the biggest catfish I had ever caught, a 39 Blue catfish came up rolling and turning in the current. I didnt realize the significance of what I had caught; I had never seen a Blue catfish and had never thought about ever catching one. It was a beautiful creature, and I selfishly decided to try and transport it home to a local pond about 2.5 hours away. It goes with out saying that despite my efforts at changing the water and trying to keep the fish alive in a large plastic container in the back of my truck, it took it last breath as I held it in the water of the pond to release it. That broke my heart, as I knew that I had killed that fish and not until it had died did I take pictures of it, but I knew then that I should have released it back into the Staunton River that morning. I never forgot that feeling of disappointment I had when that fish died and once I discovered the BOC I realized just how important it is to practice CPR on the river or lake of origin. That Blue wasnt the biggest, but as far as I am concerned it was a trophy and deserved to live. I have seen pictures of much larger blues here on the BOC website, but it was my personal best even up to this day, and no one will ever have a chance to catch it again. Please CPR on the river or lake of origin and give our kids a chance to catch the big ones.