For the record, I pulled this out of the Winston-Salem newspaper.
I do not think a Barbie Rod works for trout, but who knows???? I may have to hit the big box store this weekend and pick up one of those pink rods.
Ain't that photo grand?
ELKIN - David Hayes doesn't usually fish with a pink Barbie rod and reel, but when his 3-year-old granddaughter Alyssa handed him her fishing pole, he used it to haul in a state record channel catfish.
"She said, 'Papa, I gotta go potty. Hold my fishing rod,"' Hayes said. "She wasn't in the house a few seconds when the catfish took off with the bait."
The catfish weighed 21 pounds, 1 ounce, which has been certified as a state record by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.
The Barbie fishing expedition started Aug. 5 in eastern Wilkes County. Hayes, 56, and Alyssa have been fishing together in the farm pond behind his house since she was big enough to hold a pole. Her father bought her the Barbie fishing rod for Christmas.
She had caught a few bluegill before her potty break. As he held the pink fishing rod, Hayes said, the water started to look like it was boiling. The catfish ran out twice with the line by the time Alyssa came back out.
"Papa, you're going to break my fishing rod," she told him. "Wait until you see what I've got on the other end of this rod," he said. At 32 inches long and 22 1/2 inches around, the fish was 2 inches longer than the fishing rod. Hayes was trying to land the 21-pound fish on a 6-pound test line.
"I was pretty sure I was going to lose it," he said. "I was hoping I would hang onto it long enough for Alyssa to see it. When she did, she squealed so much it took off on its last run." Finally, after 25 minutes, the catfish gave up.
Hayes stood on the dock and used a net to scoop the fish out.
A deer hunter, he had bookmarked the N.C. Wildlife Resource Commission's Web site on his computer. He knew that the site had fishing records, and he went in to check. He saw that the record was 18 pounds, 5 ounces, caught by Wesley Trucks of New Bern in August 2007. Hayes packed his fish in ice and visited a wildlife biologist who lives nearby.
The man advised him to get it officially weighed. It was about 8:30 p.m. when Hayes and Alyssa, still holding the Barbie rod, walked into the Thurmond Grocery, which has a state-certified scale. Ernie Trexler, the assistant store manager, was a witness.
They got an empty box, weighed it on the digital scale, then put Hayes' catfish in the box and calculated the difference. People gathered to see. They whooped and hollered when they figured up just how heavy that old catfish was.
"Biggest catfish I've ever seen," Trexler said. "He was really happy. He said, 'I can't believe this. I knew it was big, but I didn't know it was this big.'"
Alyssa celebrated with a juice drink. Hayes got a soft drink and a pack of crackers. They hadn't had a chance to eat supper.
The monster fish is in Hayes' freezer. He's retiring the Barbie fishing rod, and will buy Alyssa a new one. A friend plans to mount the fish and rod for him.
Yesterday, Hayes was getting calls from news organizations across the state and a call from CBS, which asked if he would be interested in coming to New York.
"I'm not going to New York for a fish," Hayes said. "That sort of surprised me there. I didn't think it was that big a deal."