Angler catches 26-pound fish on 2-pound test line

Staff writer

Longtime angler Martha Serviss of Canton caught a whopping flathead that far out-weighed the test strength of her line and pole Friday while fishing from the north side of the heated dock at Marion County Park and Lake.

“Boy, my muscles are sore,” she said, “but it sure made my day.”

She baited her hook with a chartreuse and black-speckled plastic tadpole at about 8:30 a.m. The fish bit down shortly thereafter.

“My pole just arched straight down when it hit,” Serviss said. “My eyes got real big because I knew it wasn’t a crappie and I hoped I could get it.”

She said she has caught some bigger fish before on her crappie pole, but this time she hoped her line and pole would not snap as she fought the flathead for about 15 minutes before she hollered at a friend for help.

“I got it up out of the water once before I yelled at my friend Gary, Gary Busey, not the actor but his name is spelled the same way, for help,” Serviss said. “I think I fought it for about 10 more minutes before we got the net around it. “It’s one of the biggest ones I caught on this pole.”

At 26 pounds and about 3 feet long, the flathead exceeded her line test by 24 pounds and was about the same length of the crappie pole she used to catch it.

“It’s incredible,” Lake Superintendent Steve Hudson said. “The fish could have taken off any time and her line would have snapped.”

Serviss cleaned the flathead on the heated dock and planned to fix it up to give to family.

“I enjoy the challenge and spending time with friends,” she said. “It’s good eating, too.”

Serviss and her husband, Marvin, fished together at the lake for 11 years, until he died last year. She said they used to have fishing competitions for the first fish, most fish, biggest fish, and last fish caught.

“If Marvin was here he would have kidded me and told me it was time to go home,” Serviss said.

Last modified Nov. 3, 2016

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