Arizona man catches 50-pound catfish as part of ‘Fat Cat Challenge'

An Arizona man caught a monstrous 50-pound catfish over the weekend that measured 49 inches in length as part of a local catch and release program.

Mesa resident Erick Barrantes caught the flathead catfish Sunday at Barlett Lake, about 60 miles northeast of Phoenix.

Erick Barrantes holding up a massive catfish that he has caught. 

Erick Barrantes holding up a massive catfish that he has caught.  (AZGFD)

“My fishing reel, my clicker, just started screaming at me,” Barrantes told Fox 10 Phoenix. “We kinda got in trouble a couple times by these guys for being too loud when we reeled it, it was a big fight, pretty big fight to bring something that big in.”

Barrantes, a member of the Arizona Catfish Conservation Association, was taking part in the Arizona Game and Fish Department's “Fat Cat Challenge,” a conservation effort for anglers who catch flatheads longer than 45 inches. Once caught, the fish are documented before they are released back into the water.

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A picture with Barrantes holding the fish shows the creature extending to nearly 3/4ths the man's height.

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“The fish of a lifetime as they say," Barrantes said. "I hope to catch another one."

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