Lane and Tyler baited with a live sunfish to catch this beast of a flathead.
A Weekend Outing, a Trophy Catfish, and a Lesson in Conservation
by Ron Presley
It is not unusual for the Prismantas family of Papillion, Nebraska to make a weekend trip to a private lake for a weekend of outdoor fun. But it was a little unusual for them to be fishing for catfish. Little did they know that there was a trophy flathead in their future.
“We spend our weekends at a private lake near the Platte River in Nebraska,” said Brian Prismantas. “My boy Lane, his buddy Tyler along with my oldest son Kash, loves to fish. They will walk around the lake bass fishing for hours.”
On this particular trip, things were a little different. The boys decided they wanted to stay up late and spend some time catfishing. Luckily for them, dad was willing to accommodate by giving them some good catfishing advice.
“After dinner, I told them that if they wanted to catch big catfish, they had to go catch some bait,” recalled Brian. “So, they put on the floats, pinned on some nightcrawlers, and went out bait fishing. They caught two green sunfish which they placed in a minnow bucket full of water.”
With the bait in hand, they rigged up their fishing poles for catfishing. Lane used his dad’s pole and Tyler had his own.
“At dusk, we tossed out one live sunfish and one cut,” explained Brian. “The kids got a little antsy so we put the rods in good solid pole holders so we could leave them unattended. I told them we would check on them every hour and we returned to camp.”
The family’s campsite was close to the lake so the poles were readily accessible. They checked them a few times without success. Then around 11:30 pm, they trekked down to the lake where they found some action.
“We approached the fishing spot and Tyler’s fishing pole was dancing and bending in half,” Brian said. “When he picked up the pole and started to fight the fish, the line broke. They were super bummed.”
By this time Brian and the boys were tired and ready for some sleep. They had one bait left, the live green sunfish. They left that one rod with the live bait out and returned to the campsite.
“The boys woke me up bright and early to go check the pole,” said Brian. “When we got to the lake the pole wasn’t moving. We sat there for a few minutes and wham! That pole doubled over and it was fish on.”
Tyler grabbed the fishing rod and began the fight. The big flathead was peeling drag and Tyler couldn’t keep the rod in the air. Lane moved in to help. He pushed the rod up and Tyler reeled down. The two boys repeated the tag team defense for about 15 minutes. Once the fish was close enough to the bank Brian jumped down and grabbed it.
“The boys were so pumped,” concluded Brian. “They were jumping up and down, oohing, and aahing. All of their buddies from the lake came down to check it out. We snapped a few pictures and released the beast. I told them it is important to put the big ones back for others to enjoy.”
Epilogue: The Prismantas boys love the outdoors and fishing. They are great examples of kids growing up in families that enjoy the outdoors together and share it with their friends. The boys have an Instagram account where they share their experiences. You can give them a little love at reel_brothers, the name of their Instagram account.