Nathan Dicken and his 10-year-old son, Braxton, spent the better part of last year setting their trot lines on Lake LBJ, not really giving Lake Marble Falls much attention.
They decided to pull a couple of lines from Lake LBJ and move them to Lake Marble Falls after one of Dicken’s friends, Kevin Harris, hauled in a 38.4-pound flathead catfish from the smaller lake on April 12. He even told Dicken to “beat that.”
Nathan and Braxton did just that two days later when they pulled in a 39.03-pound blue catfish from Lake Marble Falls.
“It’s one of the bigger blue cats I’ve caught,” Nathan Dicken said.
Both fish set new Lake Marble Falls all-tackle records for their species based on Texas Parks and Wildlife Department records.
Dicken is putting his son’s name down as the record holder.
The previous blue catfish record was 36.7 pounds and set April 1, 2013. The flathead catfish lake record of 34 pounds had stood since March 15, 2004.
After measuring and weighing the fish, the anglers released them back into Lake Marble Falls.
“We’ll eat a lot of the 10- to 15-pound catfish, but the 20- and 30-pound ones, I let them go,” Dicken said. “They’re just majestic, and you have to respect the fish.”
Dicken began fishing on Lake Marble Falls when he was about 10 or 11 and began taking son Braxton fishing when the boy was 5. Typically, Dicken’s three younger girls also are in the boat with them, but temperatures were cooler April 14, so they didn’t make this trip.
As a parent, Dicken said he can’t think of a better thing to introduce kids to than the outdoors.
“We’re out there enjoying God’s work, the fresh air and all that,” he said.
Dicken added that teaching his children to hunt and fish gives them a higher level of independence and self-sufficiency.
“You have to teach a kid how to survive and take care of themself,” he said. “That’s something they can do by hunting and fishing. Now, they may not keep hunting and fishing, but at least give them the opportunity.”
Anyone interested in learning more about catfishing in the Highland Lakes should check out the Hill Country Catfish Hunters Facebook page.
For more about the Highland Lakes chain, visit 101HighlandLakes.com.