Late last week, 20-year-old Jessica Walton used a night crawler, egg sinker, and 20-pound test line to reel in a record-breaking specimen—a 40.5-inch-long catfish weighing more than 43 pounds—at the Aurora Reservoir. It took her 10 minutes to land the fish, which is the largest channel catfish caught in the state, according to the Grand Junction Sentinel.
Walton’s catch eclipses the previous record, a 35-pounder that Daris McKinnon hauled in at the same reservoir on June 28. In fact, Walton, a novice angler and Aurora resident, is the third person to break the state’s fishing record in the last 15 months, notes The Denver Post. Department of Wildlife biologists aren’t surprised by the size of the catfish given the creature’s strong appetite and the reservoir’s plentiful food sources.