Biggest Catfish Ever Caught

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by GaryF, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. GaryF

    GaryF New Member

    I just though it would be interesting to put together a list of the largest catfish ever caught, blues and flatheads, to get an idea of the distribution and a general idea of what is possible. I’m more interested in the fish than the methods. A 100lb fish is still a 100lb fish, no matter how it was caught.

    Blue Catfish (Over 105lbs)
    124lbs 2005 Tim Pruitt, Mississippi River near St Louis
    121lbs 2004 Cody Mullenix, Lake Texoma (Texas Side)
    118lbs 1988 Dan Grider, Lake Texoma, Jug (Oklahoma Side)
    117lbs 1964 Azel Goans, Osage River, Missouri, Trotline
    116lbs 1995 John Harmon, Mississippi River near West Memphis Arkansas
    113lbs 2008 Steve Oudomsouk, San Vincente California
    112lbs 1998 Robert Lewis Cumberland River, Tennessee
    111lbs 1996 William McKinley, Wheeler Lake Alabama
    108lbs 2007 Cary Winchester, Mississippi River near Memphis

    Note: Used 105lbs to keep the list a manageable size.


    Flathead Catfish (Over 100lbs)
    139lbs 1982 Bruce and Mackey Sayre, Arkansas River Arkansas Snagline
    123lbs 1998 Ken Paulie Elk City Lake Kansas
    106lbs 1977 C Clubb Wister Lake, Oklahoma, Trotline


    I know I’ve missed some, maybe a bunch. This is off the top of my head, backed by just a little bit of Googling. Part of the reason for putting up the list is to get more input. I’ve heard of bigger blues caught commercially, but I couldn’t find any verification. If you have information on a fish that should be on the list, please post it up and I will add it. There only thing I ask is that it be verifiable, with a solid weight and either a state certification or multiple witnesses, or other reliable criteria.

    There are a lot of fish stories out there. I know of several who have caught fish that I personally believe would be on the list…. Radish, Virgil Agee, Matt Bingham. These guys did a great thing and released the fish without endangering them to get an accurate weight. If it was a list of fishermen, I would put these guys right at the top, but I just don’t know where on the list to put their fish.
     
  2. arkrivercatman

    arkrivercatman New Member

    Very intersting.
    It looks to me like the big blue cat fisheries are improving and the flatheads fisheries are declining. Its been ten years since the Flathead record was broken and it seems like the bluecat record is broken every other year or so.
    I wonder if it is because there are not as many people who target flatheads? Or that the ones who do are more descrete?
    Or possibly because blues can be caught 12 months of the year while flatheads are primarily a warm water species?
    Probably just a population difference.
    Sorry I dont have any to add. I think you pretty well have it covered.
    I think I need to move.:smile2:
     

  3. GaryF

    GaryF New Member

    I'd agree that the blue cat fishery is improving. I think less pressure from commercial fishing and increased distribution to places like California plays a role. The big flatheads, I think they have always been pretty rare. It's also possible they they are caught more often and just not reported, as they seem to be more susceptible to being caught on set lines than blues are.
     
  4. FATFLATTIE

    FATFLATTIE New Member

    Personally I think the reason that big blues are caught more often is b/c they are an open water fish for the most part. They relate more to structure than cover.

    Flatheads on the other hand hang around the thick stuff. A 100lb+ flathead will also be in the nastiest snag in the entire body of water. Usually you're fishing in pretty close proximity to the snag. I guess what I'm saying is that 100lb flatheads are hooked probably just as often as 100+lb blues are you just ain't getting a 100lb flathead out of a snag, just not happening. I don't care if you're using a tuna stick if he's only gotta go a couple of feet he's gonna go. I seriously doubt that big flatheads aren't abundant (pretty much anywhere there's 80-100lb blues there's flatheads of equal size in that body of water if they exist there). They're out there, just much harder to get than a big blue if you ask me.

    That and I believe that more people fish for blues, guide for blues, and tournament fish for blues than they do flatheads. It's easier to catch numbers of blues, and any serious flathead fisherman will tell ya that if you get 5 or more fish in a night you're doing pretty good. I just don't think it's as appealing sitting around ALL night waiting for just a couple of fish as it is going out and fishing during the day and being able to get on a school of blues.
     
  5. Joey6500

    Joey6500 New Member

    Makes sense
     
  6. The blue numbers are up so high in comparison because I have'nt been flathead fishing much lately.
    :smile2:
     
  7. Fishmaster1203

    Fishmaster1203 New Member

    One day, I hope to catch one that big. LOL
     
  8. I agree with this completely!!! The Big Flats are hiding all the time...until they come out breifly to eat something. Then right back into hiding they go. You just got to be at the right spot at the right time and have the right bait in just the right position, to entice a big flathead to bite. Blues on the other hand ....are a totally different breed. I think they are more active and always looking for that next meal. JMO!:cool2:
     
  9. Fishmaster1203

    Fishmaster1203 New Member

    So John, I take it you're saying that big flatheads are harder to catch than big blues? Am I correct? :big_smile:
     
  10. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    You both John and Wes are exactly right in my opinion. Overall, big flatheads are more of an ellusive fish than big blues. They are definetley a fish of there own.. rollo
     
  11. GaryF

    GaryF New Member

    So you guys think there are as many 100lb flatheads out there swimming around as there are blue cats? I agree that flatheads are more elusive and harder to catch, but the tackle, skill, luck whatever it takes to land a 60-70lb flathead doesn’t seem to be a problem, we see a lot of those caught around here every year. Is it that much more of a feat to land a 100lb’er if you are lucky enough to hook into him? Or do you think that they are out there and we just aren’t hooking into them?
     
  12. FATFLATTIE

    FATFLATTIE New Member

    I think it's a little of both. Probably aren't hooking into them and well a 100lb flathead is almost twice the size of a 60lber and that's a BIG difference. How many 100lb blues are caught in that area that you fish?

    Also, that 100lber is going to be in the absolute biggest snag in the best location in the river/lake. It's gonna be hard to get him. I firmly believe in that. He isn't going to move far from that prime spot to feed and then right back to his hideout. I just think they are a much more elusive fish than a blue and they are loners too which makes them even more difficult to find numbers of really big fish.
     
  13. Not so much a matter of being harder to catch....but maybe harder to find laying under all the Big Bad Log Jams and up under big rock ledges. They are not on the move as much. I'm not swayed by this fact about them though. I fished all spring and summer for Flatheads and caught 2 really nice fish all year long. I fish for Blues in the colder months and have caught a few nice ones, by just casting out some fresh cut baits at the lake. I hold my own with either species......Just love to fish period!:big_smile:
     
  14. The true term is that flatheads are harder to land than blues. No so much harder to catch. I hooked 5 big flats last warm season, only getting 2. When I say big flats I am talking about over the 30 pound mark. Those two I landed, I lucked up and got them out of the snags. The ones I lost, I could not get them out. They are so tight to structure it is amazing. The one in my avatar took 20 minutes to get out of the structure. I almost gave up on him and cut the line. There are definitely quality size flatheads out there. The colorado River where i get my flats from sometimes do shockings of the river and canals. 100 pound flatheads have surfaced including some in the 80's and 90's. This lets us know they are there. It may be hard to land them due to anglers getting busted off, but they are there. I am assuming that the older and bigger they get, the less active they will become. In order to have a good chance at them you will have to place the bait right by them. As opposed to blues who are actively moving and following the baitfish feeding.
     
  15. arkrivercatman

    arkrivercatman New Member

    I think it has mostly to do with population. There are more blues than there are flatheads, especially in waters where blues are established.
    I dont think tackle has anything to do with it. After all wasnt the world record flathead caught on a crappie rod?:wink::smile2:
     
  16. Joey6500

    Joey6500 New Member

    I've heard some suspicious stories about that catch
     
  17. Yeah, I'd have to agree with you guys. I would chalk up the seemingly lesser number of trophy flatheads to their relatively selective palate, peculiar feeding locations and times, and low tolerance for cold water. Blue cats on the other hand have proven to me to be easier to catch in that they're not quite as picky about what they eat and stay active year round. Also, I've noticed that quite a few serious flathead anglers are very tight-lipped about their fishing locales and even their catches. (Like their quarry, serious flatheaders can be quite a curious lot.) Lol. While not breaking 100lbs, I know of several caught in the high 80's near 90, most of which came from the lower Midwest and central South. Anyway, a little fodder from my experiences, both first-hand and other anglers' accounts.
     
  18. Joey6500

    Joey6500 New Member

    Does anyone know the story behind the Record Flathead?
     
  19. Looks like 95% of the big catfish live west ofthe Mississippi. Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas looks like states that produce the bigguns..
     
  20. Joey6500

    Joey6500 New Member

    Thy're some big flatties in the east.Ohio,Tennesee,Georgia,Kentucky,Indiana,Illinois, has some notably big fish