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King of Cats

Sergio Posadas is the self-declared Catfish King. And after a glance at his YouTube channel, seeing the monster blue cats and flatheads he’s reeled in, I’m thinking, “It’s possible….”

Posadas lives in Allen, Texas, and for more than a decade, the reeler has chased the big cats on the Trinity River and its impoundments, Lake Ray Hubbard and Lavon Lake. But he’s been fishing all his life.

A passion for fishing

As tasty as catfish can be, Posadas never keeps the big ones he chases.

“I am 100 percent catch and release,” he says.

Then why is out there so often, stalking those fat cats?

“It’s a passion,” Posadas says. “It’s in my blood.”

Posadas has been fishing since he was a young boy, growing up in the coastal, Gulf of Mexico city of Tampico, Mexico. There, he fished the saltwater, going after inshore and coastal species.

“We would catch snapper and redfish,” he said.

Fishing may be in his blood, but it’s also cost him some blood — even as a kid. Like that time he was handlining the Gulf of Mexico waters and hooked a tarpon.

“It fought and fought, jumping out of the water, pulling line out of my hand.”

Posadas wrapped the line around his hand, standing his ground against the angry, leaping fish. When the battle was over, the line had scored his hand, leaving tracks of blood where it had cut his skin.

He smiles when he tells the story.

Becoming the king of cats

These days, Posadas chases catfish (and big gar) using more conventional methods than handlining. Yet, his fishing techniques are still pretty unconventional for Trinity River cats.

Perhaps it’s his Gulf Coast upbringing, but Posadas uses gear and a style more reminiscent of surf casting than inland freshwater fishing.

“I use Avet conventional reels and 12-foot Tsunami heavy duty rods.”

Because he generally fishes from shore, the long rods help him get his bait out to deeper water, where the blue cats and channels haunt old, flooded creek beds. Blues, especially, like deeper, cooler water.

For blue cats, Posadas likes to use cut bait, like shad and suspend it off the bottom. Flatheads need a little more enticement.

He uses live bluegill, or other panfish, and lets it swim off a long leader. Posadas cuts the tail on the baitfish to get some blood into the water and excite the flatheads’ chemical receptors.

When he does hook into a big one, the heavy-duty action of his preferred rod helps Posadas land it — like his personal-best 40-pound flathead.

When Posadas hooked the biggest blue cat he ever caught, a 44-pounder, it took 20 minutes to land the beast. He was using a balloon rig and let the cat run for a bit — to burn some energy — before he started in on the long business of reeling the fish to shore.

The way Posadas fishes for cats is not always easy, but it seems to work for him. And when he talks about reeling, the passion evident in his voice, you can tell that it’s good to be (catfish) king.

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