A tale of three fish
Anyone familiar with The Oklahoman knows that the newspaper has a long history of covering the outdoors. On a recent Sunday, Ed Godfrey, Outdoors Editor, devoted the outdoors page to catfishing.
In June 1909, the Fish Editor of The Oklahoman, surely the earlier incarnation of Mr. Godfrey, found himself in a fish contest of sorts. He had invited a competition between the anglers of Oklahoma while pointing out the rivalry that existed (and still does) between the east and west sides of the state.
On June 2, the paper reported a “Monster Fish Recently Caught in Cache Creek Near City of Lawton.” The 63 1/2-pound, 4-foot, 3-inch fish was caught by Mrs. W.H. Edmond of near Lawton and witnessed by her husband and two others. On reporting Mrs. Edmond’s catch, the Fish Editor put out the challenge to the Washita on the east side of the state “that has theretofore been the champion fish market of the southwest.”
On June 5, The Oklahoman reported, “This Big Fish Weighs 78 Pounds and It Was Caught Near Fairfax.” On May 20, 1909, Font Sawyer and Alva Tucker brought the largest catfish ever caught in this part of the state. It weighed 78 pounds and was 4 feet 6 inches in length. It was caught in Salt Creek, a tributary of the Arkansas River. “Isn’t that a sight,” exclaimed the amazed inhabitants of Fairfax.
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