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Exotic Redtail Catfish Caught in South Florida Lake

Wild post today over in the South Fishing Reports Forum.  Member Jason_TightLine shared pictures of a redtail catfish he caught in a suburban lake in Broward County. Check it out! --Jeff Weakley, Editor

I grew up here in South Florida, having originally been born in California, and our first residence was within the Township in Coconut Creek. Since I can remember I have loved fishing, I actually caught my first fish in a small lake behind my aunt's house in the Township when i was just a few years old, and it just so happens that I now reside in that very same community. I frequent that lake often, only to be rewarded with snakeheads time and time again. Not a bad swordfish bait, so i won't complain. But a few weeks ago something strange was happening, something was ripping through my 20lb braid time and time again. I then saw the beast that was housing my JD's Custom Frog Bait at the surface, that's right, and this fish was unlike anything i'd ever seen before. A Red Tail Fin, A Red Dorsal Fin, but I never got a good look at its face, until my friend Hal pointed out that it was in fact a red tailed catfish and that the fish is usually found in the Amazon or Thailand and its very rare to see them in a lake like this, he actually caught one in Thailand so he gave me a few pointers how to catch it.

I was determined to catch this rare fish. So today, after a long day of work, I tied on a wire leader and placed a chunk of bonito on a circle hook and cast it out into the middle of the lake. Within an hour, i felt the tap, waited for him to swallow it, and saw my small bass rod bow over, I knew I had that fish on. It was great fight, it ripped line out numerous times, and had me walking halfway around the lake to get it in.

I was informed by the FWC that is a very rare occurrence to catch this kind of fish, as people release them from their tanks all the time but not many of them survive, ultimately, it should not be placed back in the water if caught.

It's just really amazing and cool that the lake that i caught my first fish in still rewards with me with so many unique fish on a daily basis. Can't wait to see what other creatures find their way to my little pond!

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