VANDERBURGH COUNTY, Ind. (WEHT)– What began as a normal day of fishing turned into the catch of a lifetime. Donivan Westfall, the son of Donald Westfall, went fishing last month in a field. What he reeled in, he says, would make his dad proud after years of loss and pain.

“Words cannot describe how I was feeling and my brother who helped me get it in, because he was living his whole life for a fish like this and he never got one. It was just amazing,” Donivan Westfall says.

Donald Westfall went missing in 2018. As summers went by, Donivan went fishing as a way to remember his dad.

“Some days I don’t think about him but I know when I go fishing that is all I think about. He loved it. He grew up fishing his whole life,” he says.

His father’s remains were found along a road near Chrisney, Indiana in March. His death remains under investigation. In April, Donivan and his brother decided to go fishing in a flooded field near Old Henderson Road and Golden Rule Road.

“In the wintertime, it floods. It’s good fishing when it floods, and we hooked onto that monster. My pole almost went into the water. I caught it and got it back in and I didn’t really think it was as big as it was until I got it in there,” Donivan says.

The brothers caught a Blue Catfish, one of the catfish species in the Ohio River.

“I actually used a Walmart pole that had been sitting outside for two years. The line had been dry rotting. I never thought that string would have held up. I got it all the way to the bank, drug my line back out into the water and reeled it back in again,” Donivan says.

Donivan says he thinks the fish weighed 60 to 70 pounds. Once it was near the shore, his brother reached in to lift it out of the water.

“I reached down there and just grabbed this beast up and pulled it all the way to the top, and I let him know the first thing that came to my mind…his father sent him that fish,” William Smith says.

The brothers threw the fish back after catching it.

“It was the first time I fished this year was here and when I caught it, all I could think about was my father,” Donivan says.

“His father was watching that day, watching us reel that fish in. He deserves it… he’s proud of him. That is for sure,” William says.