14-year-old Cary resident catches 43-pound flathead catfish on Fox River

Kaden Norman, a Cary-Grove freshman, poses with his 43-pound flathead catfish, which he caught in the Fox River on Sunday.

Kaden Norman knew he wasn’t dealing with a regular-sized fish when his rod bent 90 degrees Sunday.

The 14-year-old Cary resident and his friend Cody Teson were on Norman’s pier off the Fox River around 5:45 p.m. when his rod, which had been placed into a chair, bent and started to move. Norman grabbed the rod and battled for 10 minutes, but once he and Teson got the fish to shore, they confirmed what they suspected.

He had caught a 43-pound flathead catfish.

“I had a feeling,” Norman said. “Usually the fish aren’t big enough to pull the chair. My rod bent 90 degrees, and I knew it was big. We started freaking out before we saw the fish. We saw it, and it was a surprise to see how big it was.”

Norman, and his friend, pose with the catfish.

Norman, a freshman at Cary-Grove, has been fishing for 10 years and caught his previous biggest fish a month before when he reeled in a 25-pounder. He usually fishes off his family’s pier or his neighbor’s pier but never expected to catch such a big fish.

The Illinois record for largest flathead catfish caught is 78 pounds, set in 1995 at Carlyle Lake.

Norman is excited to see what else he’ll find as he looks to find a bigger fish.

“It really motivates me,” Norman said. “Now I know that there is a 43, I really don’t know what the limit could be.”