Bullitt County constable catches 50-pound catfish in front yard
The rising floodwaters over the weekend may mean headaches for homeowners, but to Robert Watkins, they mean something else: great fishing weather.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The rising floodwaters over the weekend may mean headaches for homeowners who live along the Salt River in Bullitt County -- but to Robert Watkins, they mean something else.
Great fishing weather.
Watkins, the Constable for Bullitt County's First District, is making waves on social media after his daughter posted pictures of the massive catfish he recently caught. In his front yard.
Watkins lives in a home next to the Salt River Bridge, and the water level has risen so high that his yard is completely flooded.
"Anytime the river gets up to where it's at, we'll go out -- me and a buddy of mine will go out in it -- and we'll set limb lines," Watkins explained. "We'll hang lines out of the tree. Then we'll give it four or five hours, and go back and run 'em and see what we got. Normally, the Salt River is good for them big cat[fish]…we'll do it every time the river gets up."
Watkins says the fish seen in the Facebook picture weighed in at around 55 or 60 pounds.
"That scale we had wasn't no good," he said. "We had a 50-pound digital scale from Walmart, but it just -- it maxed out. It wouldn't go no higher."
At the time of this writing, the fish was tied to his porch. Watkins says he'll likely either give it to a friend who has a large pond to accommodate the catfish, or simply release it back into the water.
"We don't eat none of them big ones," he said.
It's not the first time Watkins -- who has lived there since 1964 -- has gone fishing in his yard. In 2011, he says the water level rose to the shutters of his home, and he caught an 80-pound catfish.
In any event, he says the 50-pound fish he caught this weekend is far from his record.
"In 2011, we got 16 of 'em in three days that was bigger than that," he said. "We got 'em up to 85 pounds."
Watkins says the only time he can catch big catfish is during flooding periods like these.
"Them big fish won't stay up in here," he said. "They go down to Fort Knox where it's deep and muddy. So when it floods, they come up here. That's why we take advantage of the floodwaters and get some of them."
Thankfully, Watkins says the waters haven't gotten inside his home yet, so they haven't had to move any furniture or suffer any damage. And as long as that's the case, he says bring on the rain.
"About 4 or 5 o'clock this evening, we'll probably go back out and try for some more," he said.
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