A Novel by Warren Dickman                                               SEARCH FOR IT


The Dinner That Got Away

Steve and I went up to San Pablo Reservoir a couple of days before it was to close for the winter as it does each year around mid November.  We were top-lining our flatfish down near the launch ramp when Steve tied into something that gave him the fight of his life on the light tackle we were using.  It took him quite a while to get it to the boat, during which time we were trying to figure out if he'd caught one of the big rainbows the lake is famous for or one of its big bass.  The last thing we expected to see when it got up close was this ten pound catfish, which found the flatfish so irresistible it came off the bottom and tore into it.  By the time we boated the big cat the F-5 silver flatfish looked like it had been in a war.  Several of the barbs of its two treble hooks were either broken off or straightened out.  We never cease to be amazed by the variety of fish attracted to the Worden's Flatfish.
        But the real story came after we got him in the boat.  Since the Dam Company has an ongoing contest for big cats we cranked up the big engine and headed for the other end of the lake to have it weighed.  The cat weighed in at just a couple of ounces under the ten pound minimum for catfish.  Now came decision time.  Did we really want to take this one home for dinner or turn him loose for somebody else to enjoy.  The fish had been out of the water over half an hour by the time we finished taking pictures and having him weighed, but he looked like he still had some life in him, so we decided to pump some water through his gills and see if he would revive.  We'd no sooner touched him to the water than he was gone with a swish of his tail.  Steve thought we should have at least cut a couple of fillets off his back first.  He probably wouldn't have even noticed.

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Steve Fuqua of Morgan Hill With His Big San Pablo Cat