That is a YellowCat. That one would be considered an Op (short for Opelousas, meaning it is a spotted or splotchy lookong pigment). As to my experience & catches, the Ops seem to be shorter & stockier than the PJs (Plain Jane's), which have no spots or splotches, plus seem to be longer & more pliable (not as muscular). Nevertheless, they are all YellowCats. Just variants or sub-species.
Anyway, YellowCats must be at least 18 inches nowadays as to minimum size in Texas. There is no maximum size as I am aware.
My Uncle said he spoke to one actual diver at Lake Whitney & the diver said there ARE Cats bigger than us (humans) near the dam, as he had seen them.
As to current Texas record, as to a person getting it certified, I think it was about 114 pounder out of Lake Livingston. Lake Limestone has a record of 107 (or 109) pounder on a throwline.
I currently had estimated "The Giant", one that me & two prize YC & Catfish Calendar students have been after since about 2009 or 2010, at about 115 pounds. But after last weekends encounter, it seemed to just keep awakening & caught me offguard. It at first felt like I had one. Then I realized from the tug (the way YC tugs in a certain rhythm by nodding to the left & right), it might be about 18 to 20 pounds. However, about 2 to 3 hooks away, the tug also became a pull, or a very powerful nod. I then took note that I had a 60+ Op for sure. In other words, at least a 60 pounder. I already had my big dipnet out of its "chute" & available. As I got to the hook before the one it was on (#10 from one side of the trotline), it brushed the bottom of my new 12 foot Alumacraft. I think it at that moment, it clicked, and I realized I may not be in a good situation. It was starting to look like I might just possibly have "The Giant" fully hooked. Even though I have raised the front end by a few treated 2x4s & firmly mounted, I could still be in danger of this monster dipping the front end or pulling off to the side & rolling me over. This Cat is like a tractor. It never gives, once it goes, until either it spits the hook out or rips away from it. This was the first time, that it seems I definitely had a hook in it solid. That means we were about to tango one on one. Before I grabbed the Net, it burst downward in one fleeting split second. It was like a big POP, as my hand came up with the main line from the "give" now acquired. And sadly, there was rest of the leader now visble above water. The Giant took my hook as one of it probably "many" trophies. It snapped the hook off of the end of the leader. I had used size 36# braided green cord on the leader, size #36 green 3 strand twist for the main line & Crane 4/0 SS swivel. I had a plastic red bead on both side of the swivel, set tight with a brass brad on each side. It had only slid one brad out about 6 to 8 inches. Now whether it did it then or before, it is not known. It seems the braided cord has a white core inside the braids. If so, then for sure I will not be using braided anymore, if there is a chance of an internal core. I guess when Newt used green braided cord back in 1980, it did not have a core, but was solid braided. As to hook, I may have had one of these 3 types- Tru-Turn 7/0 Perma Steel "J", Mustad 7/0 stump hook SS 3X (short J), or Mustad 9/0 stump hook SS 3X (short J).
Also, I am sure this past summer, that is probably what you had on the line when Tom came up to assist, to keep you from getting yanked out of the boat. I am sure Tom knows, as do I, the power of these brutes & how if you let your guard down, they take control.
I was told this past weekend of one big Yellow caught on Limestone in 2002. A small old man brought it by in his short bed pickup. Nancy said it was curled around some, even though the bed was 6 feet long. She said that was the biggest Yellow she has ever seen. She said she wondered how the small guy even got it in the boat.
I am sure you guys threw it back, back into the ice chest, unless of course it was under 18" long.