44-inch Flathead Catfish on Fox River

December 6, 2016 - Comment

That’s one big fish! Think of a sheet of plywood, that flathead catfish was almost as wide as a sheet of plywood! For more on the giant flathead in fox river check out catfishing in fox river. Growing up on Fox River I’ve caught many a catfish. In fact, we would often haul in some

That’s one big fish!

Think of a sheet of plywood, that flathead catfish was almost as wide as a sheet of plywood!

For more on the giant flathead in fox river check out catfishing in fox river.

Growing up on Fox River I’ve caught many a catfish. In fact, we would often haul in some big flatheads but never a 46 incher. Something that big has to be released. One time we were swimming and ran into an old steel barrel, probably 55 gallon drum. We dragged the barrel to shore, full of mud, sticks and small fish.

Inside the drum was a momma and daddy flathead, a good 3 feet or so long. We took some pictures and let the monsters go. Wish I could find the pics, but they’re lost some place.

I grew up on the Fox, when I was a kid ….maybe 8 or 10 the Department of Conservation was doing some kind of testing and tagging. They must have had a 100 foot or longer seining net. I never saw so many fish in all my life. Two things impressed me the most. The number of really large fish, catfish and carp that were ripped up by boat propellers. There were some huge catfish, to me at that time they looked 4 feet of longer. Then, this might sound crazy but they had a black lab with them, this dog would jump into barge filled to the brim with fish, dive under water and come up with a fish in its mouth!

60 years latter, never saw those guys or anything like them again.

Closest I can think of is when our freshwater biology class (college) went out to the Mississippi River and shocked for fish. The water was as turbid as a mud puddle, yet huge fish floated to the surface as the generator cranked on. We tagged the fish, rivived them by pushing back and forth and all swam away. Times were pretty tough for me back then, never had enough money and I asked my professor if I could bring just one of those nice cats home …..he was a good guy, but I never ate any Missisippi catfish 🙂

Check out that link on the herald, nice image there of that monster flathead!

Here’s a quote from the article:

“Fish of a lifetime” doesn’t usually conjure up images of catfish. Well, maybe it should.

The top of this page is certainly hosting a fish worthy of that ”FOAL” designation. Take a good look at the incredible 44-inch flathead catfish that Lake in the Hills’ Rob Cowan caught this past week on the Fox River.

The beast is not nearly an Illinois state record, but it is the largest flathead I’ve seen taken from the Fox that I can remember. The state record is 81.4 pounds and was taken from Sangchris Lake. The previous record flathead weighed 78 pounds and was caught in Carlyle Lake. Both of these catches surprised me, as flatheads are considered to be river dwellers by most people.

Another anomaly offered up by Cowan’s fish is that it was caught on a crankbait. Most flathead aficionados will swear that these creatures will only bite on live bluegills.

 

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