On the main street in rural Karnes City, down the block from city hall, Hons Appliance store holds an unexpected surprise: catfish that living in the basement.

Local farmers and ranchers come to pick out a refrigerator, a stove or a freezer. Out-of-towners browse the estate sale finds.

"They have everything here. You cannot image what they have in this store," said lifelong Karnes City resident Cheryl Moy.

But what most people can't imagine is two monster catfish swimming in the basement in a spring-fed pool.

"[The pool has] been here over 100 years already," owner Kirby Hons said.

Built in 1912 as a hardware store, the basement flooded from natural springs.

"Years ago, they'd try to pump it out and it'd keep coming back," Hons explained.

So the owners decided to put catfish in and use the basement as a giant fish tank. People stop in to feed the fish all the time.

"We just use dogfood," Hons said.

But no fishing allowed.

When the Hons bought the building in 2002, they changed the merchandise but not the catfish tradition.

A wire gate covers the opening to the fish tank below.

"The wire's here, that way the kids come here and lay down to look, they don't fall in," Hons said.

"This is clear, beautiful water and you can see all the way to the bottom. The deepest it's got is six feet,” said Judy Hons, co-owner of Hons Appliance.

And there’s plenty of water for the three-foot-long catfish.

It's such a curiosity that when out-of-towners arrive, they’re sometimes afraid to even ask about the fish. They think they're having a joke pulled on them.

"You can just tell they don't know if they should ask you or not and they're kind of leery about asking. You can just see it in their face. They walk around for a while and they say 'Is it true?' Then you show them," Judy said.

"We came to eat across the street and we came over here and this is really neat," said Lee Roy Molina of George West.

"I think it's so cool," said Rachel Guerrero of Yorktown.

The Hons both grew up in the area and this store is more than their livelihood.

"It's very important that we keep this up and that the kids know our history and the history of Karnes City," Judy Hons said.