The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

North Dakota player snares 40-pound catfish with bare hands

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

Even though North Dakota's Mike Mathison only scored a total of four points last season, the seldom-used 6-foot-10 center can still lay claim to having the surest hands in all of college basketball.

How many other guys can hoist an oversized catfish out of a river without the help of a rod or some bait?

Mathison and North Dakota teammate Nick Haugen attempted the feat as part of Monday night's episode of Animal Planet's extreme fishing show, "Hillbilly Handfishin'," no doubt a DVR staple for most of America. They joined four other contestants in a competition to catch the biggest catfish using only their hands and feet, spending six hours a day for a week knee-deep in the muddy waters of Oklahoma's Red River.

Give Haugen an assist on the 40-pound catfish Mathison snared to win the competition. It was Haugen who trapped the fish between his legs initially before Mathison ultimately captured it after it wriggled away from his teammate.

Mathison and Haugen told the Grand Forks Herald that they earned an invitation to appear on the show via a former North Dakota assistant coach who also knew one of the producers. They auditioned via skype before spending a week in the 100-degree heat in Oklahoma filming the episode.

"We were in the water six hours a day," Mathison told the Herald. "By the time we were done, it was time for supper and then we went to bed. When your adrenaline stopped pumping, you died."

(Thanks, College Basketball Nation)

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