Reader Report: Jacob Howat’s catfish

My name is Jacob Howat. I am hooked on fishing. With my school, St. Charles Borromeo, closed and mandatory social distancing because of the coronavirus pandemic, it has allowed me to pursue some homeschool learning this spring. Ever since I was a little boy, I have wanted to be a marine biologist. I enjoy reading about marine biology, watching fishing shows and of course, going fishing, crawfishing, crabbing or just scooping in our canals and bayous to see what I can find.

After a few days of running catfish lines along the batture of the Mississippi River, with my dad, we came across a once-in-a-lifetime catch. The afternoon of April 2, as we were checking our second to last line, I pulled up a rare “white” blue catfish. According to my research, albino fish have red eyes, while leucistic catfish have a lack of natural color and have blue or black eyes. They are rare because it is more difficult for a white catfish to hide from predators when it is young and to hunt. My leucistic catfish weighed 5 pounds, 1 ounce and measured 22 inches long.

At first, I was shocked to see it was a white catfish and second, how the events unfolded. When I lifted the net and brought the fish into the canoe, I did not see a hook in its mouth, so my dad and I were amazed by the fact that we were so lucky to catch it since it came off of the hook so easily.

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