Mikel Pugh Joins the 100-Pound Club With a 111-Pound Blue Cat
by Ron Presley
What started as just another Wednesday on the Mississippi River turned into memories that will last a lifetime.
It was just another day of fishing on the Mississippi River for Mikel Pugh and his friend, Dustin Hill. For Dustin it was only his 2nd experience chasing big blues. The two friends from Jackson, TN made their way to Mud Island at Memphis to launch on what was a very windy day.
Pugh had probably launched his 2021 Sea Ark ProCat 200 10 or 12 times previously at Mud Island since starting to fish the area with Chris Stout a couple of years ago.
“We had a good start to the day,” noted Pugh. “It wasn’t long into the morning that we hooked but lost a really good fish. It had to be a good one because it broke 80-pound braid.”
Their disappointment faded quickly as they turned right around and boated a 42-pound blue. With that success in their pocket, they decided to make a move. They moved about 1/8th of a mile to a spot where they had marked some fish on sonar and they found another bite quickly.
“We set up to anchor in about 35 feet of water where we saw some marks,” explained Pugh. “Like at the first spot, we were there only a couple of minutes before a Big Cat Fever Heavy went down. The rod that got bit was spooled with 30-pound line and the fish was wrapping the rod underneath the boat, just back and forth, in a fight that lasted about 15 minutes. All I can say is, it was pulling hard!”
Wanting to get an official weight on the fish, they called the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRC) who advised them to take it to Walmart or Bass Pro Shops to get a weight.
“I took it to Bass Pro and they weighed it at 111 pounds,” revealed Pugh. “I donated it to the Bass Pro Shops LiveFish Exhibit program. They placed it in quarantine for 30 days to monitor its health after which it will be put in their exhibit.”
According to the Bass Pro Shops website, “…fish that meet certain criteria, such as state fish and game laws, vital health stats, and more,…” are eligible for their exhibit program. In return, the donating angler receives a fiberglass replica from Wildlife Creations taxidermy studio to commemorate the catch.
“I don’t care what you say, my replica is going right inside the front door in the living room,” Pugh said to his wife, referring to the soon-to-come replica.
Pugh, being a man of few words, described the memory of his catch in one word —“Power.”
“I just remember the power of that fish,” concluded Pugh. “Just the sheer power that fish had!”
Welcome to the 100-Pound Club, Mikel!