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Halstead, KS 67056
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Halstead Residents Reel In Giant Catfish

Posted 3/16/2017

By Jared JanzenKENYON and Dana Meyer, Travis Fagen and Noel Casner proudly display the blue catfish they caught at Milford Lake last Thursday. One fish weighed 40 pounds and the other 45, and they were caught within minutes of each other. KENYON and Dana Meyer, Travis Fagen and Noel Casner proudly display the blue catfish they caught at Milford Lake last Thursday. One fish weighed 40 pounds and the other 45, and they were caught within minutes of each other.

HALSTEAD—A couple Halstead residents had the catch of their lifetime last week when they reeled in two blue catfish that were 40 and 45 pounds, respectively. Dana Meyer, who reeled in one of the big fish, said these were the biggest fish that she and her fishing-enthusiast friends had ever caught using rod and reel.

Making the situation even more impressive is the fact that the two catches happened almost simultaneously.

Meyer, along with her husband, Kenyon and friends Travis Fagen and Noel Casner, all of Halstead, made these incredible catches last Thursday at Milford Lake near Junction City.

They were accompanied by fishing guide Ryan Gnaggy, who has been profiled by Wichita media and is well known among fishing enthusiasts.

Meyer said that fishing with Gnaggy was very educational for all of them. She and her friends go fishing nearly every weekend during the summer, but Gnaggy showed them some new tricks. He had them fishing in shallower water, about five to 10 feet deep, and they would move to a new location if they went 30 minutes without a bite. Meyer said she is usually more patient when she fishes and might sit in the same spot all day without a bite.

Gnaggy also used the wind to their advantage, telling them it would mask the noise of the boat, which was another new concept for her, Meyer said.

All of this paid off when they started reeling in the big catches. Fagen caught the 45-pounder, and as everyone was helping him pull it in, Meyer was on the opposite side of the boat battling her own giant fish.

“I was struggling with it,” she said. “I wanted to yell out for help.”

Evidently the fishing boat was in a prime location, because within that 15-minute period, members of the group also caught five or six other fish weighing around 10-15 pounds. Meyer said fishing poles were flying everywhere.

So what became of the two giant catfish?

“We threw them back in,” Meyer said. “Anything over eight to ten pounds is a good spawner, which means they’ll produce more fish in the future.”

Meyer estimated that they had caught 15-20 fish altogether that day, and of these they only kept three, which they ate for supper that night.

The group is already planning a return trip to Milford Lake, and Meyer said they’d try to say hello to Gnaggy when they’re out there. She said they enjoyed how he listened to them and tailored the experience to what they wanted.

“We had a blast with him,” Meyer said. “We definitely felt like we made a friend.”