Man dies while catfish grabbing

By The Associated Press

CANTON — Madison County Coroner Alex Breeland says an 85-year-old man died when he swam down in the Ross Barnett Reservoir to try to catch a catfish with his hands.

He tells The Clarion-Ledger that an autopsy will be performed to determine whether Cecil Payne of Rankin County drowned or had a heart attack.

Breeland says friends searched for Payne after realizing he hadn’t come up from a “catfish grab,” then called authorities.

Payne’s sister, Chesteen McCaskill of Brandon, said her brother was a World War II veteran and an adventurer who flew planes as a hobby. She says there are no regrets because her brother died doing something he loved.

Payne lived in the Gulde community between Brandon and Pelahatchie.