Woman catches 'monster' 88-pound catfish on Kentucky Lake, says it's a 'personal best'

A Tennessee woman had a lot to celebrate before the New Year after she reeled in an 88-pound catfish on Kentucky Lake.

Paula Cathey Smith of Waverly, Tenn., was pictured hugging the giant blue catfish she caught on Sunday in a photo shared by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

“River Monster! Paula Cathey Smith shows us you can catch fish in the winter with this ‘personal best’ 88 pounder caught and released safely back into KY Lake,” the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency wrote on Facebook.

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Smith told The Tennessean she caught her largest fish ever after not having much luck for a month.

"Everything's been messed up for about a month now; I've been managing to catch fish, I'm just not catching my big guys," Smith told The Tennessean. "We had been out about 30 minutes Sunday and I threw out a fresh gizzard shad and bam! He hit it right off the bat."

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She said her best fish before the catfish was 82 pounds.

"I've caught from 38 pounds on up each week over this past year," Smith said.