Tangling with any blue catfish over 20 pounds on a rod and ree is akin to grabbing a tiger by the tail.
Story by Matt Williams
My old friend Jason Barber is one of those guys you can take one look at and get the notion: “I bet that dude likes to fish.”
Ask and he’ll tell you what is only natural to suspect. He loves to go after the big ones.
Barber is a big, burly-looking guy who has had ice in his beard and mud on his boots more than once. Those sorts of things come with territory in his line of work.
Barber is a multi-species fishing/duck hunting guide who grew up in Gun Barrel City near Mabank. He does the majority of business on Cedar Creek Reservoir near Dallas but occasionally tests the water on neighboring East Texas lakes whenever the opportunity comes knocking.
The “multi-species” part of Barber’s job title means he specializes in fishing for whatever happens to be biting best at the time. Black bass, hybrids and crappie all play important roles in his business model, but he probably spends as much time going after big blue cat as anything else.
“Cedar Creek is full of them,” Barber said. “It doesn’t have the reputation for producing a lot of the great big 70 and 80 pounders like Tawakoni does but it’s got some good ones. It’s sort of a sleeper.” Barber’s biggest blue to date stands at around 50 pounds and the lake record 65.01 pounder caught in March 2016.