ST. CHARLES, Mo. – Three friends from the St. Louis area scored a holiday haul last week and reeled in three massive catfish from the Missouri River.
Florissant native Ben Webber told FOX 2 he returned home from Florida for Thanksgiving vacation. He and friends Alan Aligholi and Alvin “Meatball” Hale wanted to get in a day’s worth of fishing before the holiday, so they took a boat out to the St. Charles area on Nov. 24.
Webber said they started fishing around 4 a.m. and spent more than five hours just shooting the breeze waiting for that first bite.
Around 9:30 a.m., Hale felt the first pull on his fishing rod. For the next 10 minutes, they fought with the large fish before getting it close enough to the boat to pull it in with a net. The giant catfish weighed 106 pounds.
The biggest fish Hale had ever caught prior weighed 16 pounds, Webber said.
They kept the monster catfish and his scaley compatriots alive in a 100-gallon tank aboard the boat.
The men caught several 30-40 pounders over the next few hours. Eventually, Webber said he and Aligholi caught two more large fish with 10 minutes of each other, a 75-pounder and 54-pounder, respectively.
After returning to the boat launch and weighing their fish, Webber said they released every fish over 10 pounds, including their three monster catches.
Webber said he hasn’t kept a catfish in a decade and fishes for the sport of it.
Webber said he and Alan plan on competing in a New Year’s Day fishing tournament in Alabama. He hopes they’re about to replicate their success.