Mesa man catches 49-inch catfish

A Mesa man reeled in one monstrous catfish. 

"My fishing reel, my clicker, just started screaming at me," said Erik Barrantes. 

Everyone's got a "big fish" story, but Erik Barrantes doesn't have to lie about how big the fish he caught was. 

"We kinda got in trouble a couple times by these guys for being too loud when we reeled it, it was a big fight, pretty big fight to bring something that big in," says Barrantes. 

The final tally, 49 inches long and more than 50 pounds!

"To give an example he's about 50 pounds, this is what you walk out with when you look at a flat head," explained Barrantes. 

(Erik Barrantes)

Fishing is a family affair for Barrantes and his loved ones.

"He hooks the worm for me, I don't do that, but I like to throw it out and see if I get a bite," said Stephanie Valenzuela. 

(Erik Barrantes)

Barrantes is part of the Arizona Catfish Conservation Association and also sent the picture of his catch of the day to Game and Fish. They're running a fat cat challenge where the big fish have to be released back into the water.

"The fish of a lifetime as they say, I hope to catch another one," said Barrantes. 

As long as he gets to borrow the boat again. 

"'It's actually my neighbor's boat, he didn't get to go with us, unfortunately, or else it could've been his lucky pole that was ringing," explained Barrantes.

To put this into perspective, a 49-inch catfish is equivalent to one Stephanie Olmo.