EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) _ This is a fish story that's no joke. It's about a fisherman who got stabbed in the chest last weekend - by a 5-pound catfish. He remained in a hospital Wednesday.

Mitchell Lee Franklin, 31, was fishing with three friends and his 11-year- old son, Lee, when he hauled in the fish, which he tossed to a friend.

''My buddy threw the fish back at me,'' Franklin said from his bed in St. Mary's Medical Center.

A 5-inch bony fin went through Franklin's lung and into his shoulder blade.

''I looked down and saw the fish, and I thought it was sticking in my heart. I was afraid to pull it out, but I did and felt a stinging sensation,'' he said.

Franklin underwent surgery Saturday to stabilize his collapsed right lung.

He was taking antibiotics and was on a respirator Wednesday because of a toxic slime on the catfish that caused swelling.

As for the fish, Franklin's son took it to the hospital so doctors would believe them.

It has since been fileted.