Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Mr. Gaines, who did not fish the tournament due to oncoming bad weather, asked Jamie Courtney, owner of Hill's Landing, to keep the catfish in Courtney's extra-large livewell to give the fish a chance to recover from the trauma of being caught, and to allow the other anglers to see the fish, which was estimated to be over 60-years old.
A big proponent of catch-and-release, Courtney was happy to do so, and with the help of Brian Thornhill, released the fish the next day. The fish swam off, ready to be caught another day.
PhotosByBrianCope:(top) Brian Thornhill releases the 80-pound, 11 oz. catfish caught by Camden's Johnny Gaines.
(bottom) Hill's Landing sports two extra-large livewells--one for baitfish, and this one for allowing fish to recover with a rich supply of oxygenated water before being released.