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Local angler lands big catfish in Malheur River

Jacob Mayo shows off his catch, a fish destined for the supper table.

VALE – For Jacob Mayo, last week’s journey to his favorite fishing hole near the Butte Bridge began just like a thousand other fishing expeditions.

Using a 20-pound test line on a pole his grandfather used for Bass competitions, Mayo jammed a night crawler on the hook and cast out into the water as the early evening sun sank on the horizon.

Mayo, 22, was relaxed, enjoying the late-day sounds of the Malheur River when his pole quivered. 

It jumped a second time. 

Then, it bent in half.

“It took off with my line,” said Mayo.

He didn’t know, but “it” was a 25-pound flathead catfish. Not a channel cat, but an . . .