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Fish of the Week: Backyard catfish

Tom O’Malley hauled in a backyard surprise this summer in the south suburbs.

He emailed this tale, which, as a father of fishing kids, I appreciate:

Caught this in my backyard last night on punchbait. 13 lb channel cat, extra fat! The plan was to hand it off to my 4 or 7 year old daughter after I set the hook out of the rod holder. Once I set the hook the fish charged hard towards me on the bank so wasnt sure how large it was. I reeled in very quickly to catch up to the fish, which I did about 5 feet from the bank when he splashed and headed back out peeling drag. I had to tell the girls this one was for dad! Had a heck of a time getting him up the bank, the fireline cut into my fingers real good as I couldnt horse him up with just the rod. Weighed him at 13lbs and released for another future battle

Need more catfish FOTW, especially during the summer. And need more people that offer two photographic views. Love the daughter in the background.

Send nominations for FOTW, the weekly celebration of big fish around Chicago fishing on the Sun-Times outdoors page, to