Paula Curtis Smith catches a 69-pound catfish in the Tennessee River
Paula Curtis Smith of Waverly, Tenn. didn’t allow his battle with cancer to affect his fishing.
Smith, who has caught huge catfish in the Tennessee River over the years, recently started finishing again while undergoing treatment for cancer. She was diagnosed with cancer in October.
Over the weekend, she caught one of the biggest catfish she’s ever caught – a 69-pound blue catfish in the Tennessee River in Humphries County.
Smith caught the big fish in about 45 feet of water using frozen cut bonito as bait.
It took him about 10 minutes to put the fish in his boat. Smith released the fish after weighing it and taking some pictures with it.
Smith caught a 70-pound catfish last May before his diagnosis.
“Nobody should ever give up, no matter what they’re up against,” Smith said.
Smith’s goal is to catch a 100 pound catfish. She caught an 88-pounder in 2018.
The Tennessee record blue catfish weighed in at 112 pounds, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. It was captured in 1998 by Robert Lewis in the Cumberland River.
In 2019, Smith caught four catfish that weighed at least 40 pounds each.
Smith will return to competitive fishing on April 28 in the SeaArk Owners Invitational Catfish Tournament at Ingalls Harbor on the Tennessee River in Decatur, Alabama.
Contact Mike Organ at 615-259-8021 or on Twitter @MikeOrganWriter.