I love really old catfish photos--I'm talking pictures atleast 70 or 80 years old. I attached one photo of a blue cat of unknown weight caught in the Missouri or Mississippi in the 1800s--scanned from the Freshwater Anglers Fishing for Catfish book.
Anyone else have any really old catfish photos to share?
That looks like a 120lb blue right off hand. I got that by looking at the size of the fish compared to the person standing next to it. The fish isn't real fat but real long. Thats typical of a big river fish.
Here's the text that accompanied the photo from before. This is from The Freshwater Angler Fishing for Catfish (great book by the way):
"Historical records recount many instances of enormous blues caught from big rivers in the 1800s.
The Missouri River seemed to be a standout among hot spots. A 315 pound blue was supposedly caught near Morrison, Missouri, "just after the Civil War."
According to the Wahoo, Nebraska, New Era in 1892, there was a "monster catfish caught near Bellevue that measured nine feet long," most likely a gigantic blue. Reports of Missouri River catfish heavier than 100 pounds were frequent, and in 1862, news reports recorded many blue cats caught near Yankton, South Dakota, that weighed between 200 and 300 pounds.
Further evidence of the blue catfish's size potential is offered by naturalist Constantine Rafinesque who in 1820 wrote of catfish, undoubtedly blues, "weighing 185 pounds and another 250 pounds." P.R. Hoy, a naturalist who traveled across Missouri in 1854, reported that on May 14 of that year, "A lad caught on hook and line today a catfish weighing 136 pounds" from the Grand River near Chillicothe.
The Mississippi River was another mother lode of giant blues. In November 1879, a 150 pound blue catfish taken from the river near St. Louis was sent to the U.S. National Museum by Dr. J.G.W. Steedman, chairman of the Missouri Fish Commission, who found it in a St. Louis fish market. Part of a letter sent by Dr. Steedman to Professor Spencer Baird, U.S. Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries, suggests that catfish of this size were not uncommon: "Your letter requesting the shipment to you of a large Mississippi Catfish was received this morning. Upon visiting our market this P.M. I luckily found two-one of 144 lbs., the other 150 lbs. The latter I ship to you by express."
Even Mark Twain was intrigued with these giants, having seen a "Mississippi catfish that was more than six feet long." It's likely blue near, perhaps over, the 150 pound mark are swimming in some lakes and rivers today. One probably will turn up sometime in the next few years."