Last year, Matt and David McNeal of rural New London caught a fish in Salt River that was so big, they couldn’t get it into the boat. They didn’t have a big enough net.
So this year they bought a new net. “I bought one a person could fit into,” David said.
And that investment paid off on Thursday. The father and son duo reeled in a flathead that’s not as big as the one that got away last year, but plenty big, by fish standards.
“We caught it off Salt River,” Matt said, “doing bank lines. We threw it on a scale - a 50 pound scale - and it bottomed the scale completely out. So we’re going to say it’s probably 60 or 65 pounds. Been doing a lot of fishing this year. Ain’t caught a whole lot. First big boy and we plan on catching quite a few more.”
David feels lucky they got ahold of this fish, even with the bigger net. “We almost missed him. I went to net him the first time and missed him. Got him the second go-around,” he said.
They were fishing on Thursday with Randy Rawlings.

“You don’t catch fish this big very often,” David said. “We’ve caught 30- to 40-pounders,” but none this big.”

They planned to head home and filet the fish in preparation for a fish fry next Saturday.

“I went on a hunting trip in Minnesota and got a turkey,” David said. “We will deep fry the turkey” to serve along with the fish. “We have it all planned out,” he said.