Famous Mounted Catfish at Camp Billy Gibbons

This 42 pound yellow catfish is presumably the one that has eluded fishermen in the Blue Hole at Camp Billy Gibbons for years, but it wasn't smart enough to get away from Richard Goolsby and Richmond Wilkins of Brownwood.  The two scouts caught the cat Friday afternoon, and completed the day with a fish fry.  Admiring the fish left to right are Lewis Knots, Troop 64 Stephenville; Forrest McGregor, Troop 34 Richland Springs; Goolsby, Troop 8; Wilkins, Troop 1; Charles Tillinghast, visitor from Houston; Johnny Blanford, Troop 64 Stephenville and Elmo Letbetter, Troop 8, visitor.  Letbetter is on the scout committee, and Goolsby and Wilkins are on the camp staff.
Thanks to John Arthur Thomason, who has been cleaning out his office, we received several photos of the catfish that is mounted above the fireplace in the Camp Billy Gibbons dining hall.  This gave us actual proof that the fish was caught at camp across from Blue Hole Campsite!  In the summer of 1958, after regular Scout summer camp, they had a special summer camp for black Scouts.  Only two came but they had the camp anyway.  They enjoyed fishing and set out a trout line every night.  The fish was caught on this trout line during that special week as shown in the photo on your left.
Here Richard Goolsby, on the left, and Richmond Wilkins, on the right, both of Brownwood are shown holding the fish after it was taken out of the canoe.  They still have the trout line in the fish's mouth.
Here is another photo of Goolsby and Wilkins holding up the 42 pound catfish.
The catfish was later brought to the Comanche Trail Council office where additional photos were taken.  On the left are Lewis Knots, and Johnny Blanford, both of Troop 64 of Stephenville.

Dabney Kennedy remembers that they paid someone 50 cents an inch to mount the fish.  He remembers that when they caught it someone had to get into the water and put it in a burlap sack and it was hauled over into the canoe before it was removed from the trotline hook.  Everyone was excited. 


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