Back in 1973 when I was 20, during a long holiday weekend I went camping along the Shenandoah River in West Virginia with 2 friends who I was stationed with at Marine Corp Base Quantico, VA.
We drove there in a Ford Pinto packed to the hilt, found a road dirt road along the river, ditched the car in some underbrush (camouflaged it). We hauled our minimal survival equipment to a small island in the river and set up camp. Do you know how much beer you need to survive a long weekend in the wilderness?
While we were terrorizing the passing canoeists (playing Navy Seal in the river), we noticed there was quite a number of catfish inhabiting the river. I decided I was gonna catch one. The two country boys I was camping with laughed and mocked me unbelievably. A city boy without the right fishing equipment surely was hallucinating.
I found some string, a safety pin and a worm. I sat patiently, line in the water off the edge of our island and after 5 minutes I hooked a decent sized catfish. I was very happy and was slamming it in the faces of my country buddies. They didn't even care, they had huge eyes and had the catfish cleaned, skinned and fileted in minutes.
We cooked the fillets on a stick over a campfire coated in butter salt and pepper. It is one of the most elegant meals I've ever eaten. We enjoyed 3 more fish that weekend, they were excellent with our canned beans.......
PS, sorry but 40 years has distorted my memory about their size but they must have been pretty big.