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Levi Ricker says he caught this catfish March 8 in the pond in McLaughlin Park. He says it weighs between 45 and 50 pounds.

Big fish in a little pond
By Chris Strunk
Last Updated: March 16, 2017

There are big fish in McLaughlin Pond. Ask Levi Ricker.

The Valley Center man cast a line March 8 and pulled out a 46-inch flathead catfish. He didn't weigh it, but he estimated it was between 45 and 50 pounds.

"It was a giant fish," Ricker said.

After a couple of photographs to document the find, Ricker threw it back in the pond.

"So I can catch him again," he laughed.

It was about noon on March 8. It was windy, and Ricker wasn't sure if he'd have any luck, but he decided to fish the McLaughlin Pond anyway.

He set up on the dock and prepped his hook with lipless crank bait, looking for bass.

Ricker made his first cast and something caught.

"I thought I hooked a log," he said.

Ricker pulled the "log" toward the surface. It wasn't a log, although it looked as big as a tree.

Ricker pulled the fish to the bank and called his mom, who rushed to the pond to take pictures.

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