flathead/blue catfish harvest

Discussion in 'LOCAL ILLINOIS TALK' started by hock_paul, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. hock_paul

    hock_paul New Member

    Messages:
    246
    State:
    illinois
    I know that I may be sticking my neck out on this one and just so you all know, the purpose of this thread is not to offend anybody or critique anybody on their means of catching fish, nor whether or not they decide to harvest the fish.:wink: I was just wondering what the opinions of other members would be, if Illinois passed a restriction on the harvest of large flathead and blue catfish? This thought came to mind this morning, when I opened the outdoors section of the Belleville News Democrat and saw a (b)ass fisherman:eek:oooh: on the front page gasping as he struggled to hold up a 56lb. flathead that he had snagged on the dorsal fin. After reading the article, which pretty much took up the whole page, it seemed to me that the fisherman did not have much respect for the fish, even though he did harvest it for the table. Then, I started thinking, why don't large catfish like this one, which by all means is considered a "trophy sportfish", have restrictions that mandate selective harvest, just as they do with bass, stripers, walleyes, and crappie? I know there are a lot of setliners on here that are about to start turning red, but hold your breath and count to ten while I ellaborate.- I run setlines myself, but I do not harvest fish that I think exceed the normal size of that species of fish on that specific body of water. It is my choice, but would'nt most or all of the catfisheries that we all love to go to, benefit from having a slot limit on fish at the critical stage in growth in which they can become "trophy size". For those of you who do not know what a slot limit is, it is a restriction on fish that limits the harvest of fish in-between a certain length. For example, flatheads 12-22'' in length and over 40'' in length may be harvested(it is just an example). I believe there is a reason that the state record of 78lbs. caught in 1995, has'nt been broken yet, beyond the fact that they are a strong fish that primarily live in environments that are very hard on rod and reel tackle. I believe that large fish like the one that I read about in the paper this morning are'nt given the protection they need to grow larger. Now, I'm not saying there are'nt fish swimming around that would'nt beat that record. I've seen a few that were close and they were either in the bottom of a commercial fishermans' boat, or hanging from some guys tree in his front yard strung up next to ten other nice fish. What I am saying is that there could be more fish like these swimming in our home waters if large fish were left to grow to true trophy potential. It's a fact that's been proven on lakes and rivers in other states. For example: the Minnesota river in Minnesota, the Missouri river in Mo., and Trumann Reservoir also in Mo. My question is- in your opinion, if a restriction on the harvest of large catfish were passed, would you agree with a smile, or write your congressman or IDNR director in anger? Once again, this post is not intended to ruffle any feathers. I have no quarrels with anyone taking any fish by legal means.:big_smile: That said, THANK YOU AND GOOD FISHING!:0a23:
     
  2. slikk03

    slikk03 New Member

    Messages:
    2,507
    State:
    illinois
    i agree 100 percent, its bs, their should be limits, and catfish will soon b bigger than bass, its aining more recognition, bass guys are ceancut rich guys, us cat guys 60 percent are ruff hillbily hippie type, mainly flathead guys, the bluecat guys are more cleancut, but regardless, yes their has got to be a restriction, im all for geting food but, wen you got guys killing 15 a day for food thats bad, but,most guys eat channels, not blues or flatheads, and as of now there not going after them, so we are safe fr now but in 5 years it might be bad, then asian carp
     

  3. alands94

    alands94 Active Member

    Messages:
    1,706
    State:
    Lebanon, I
    Excellent post! I certainly believe in harvesting some fish, but the larger fish in particular do need to be protected. As far as a statewide slot limit, that will be tough. That is because a fish that might be typical in one body of water might be a trophy fish in another. Personally, I do not harvest channels or blues over about 10#. I feel that the smaller ones taste better, have accumulated fewer contaminants/toxins/carcinogens, and I want to maintain the gene pool of larger fish. Does that mean I will rip those people who harvest several large fish? Of course not! If people are sensible about what they keep I have no problems whatsoever.

    To flip it around, if the paper were to publish a photo of a fisherman holding several very large bass and was quoted as saying they filleted them, a riot would ensue! :crazy: Why the double standard?
     
  4. shanelures

    shanelures New Member

    Messages:
    517
    State:
    ohio
    great post man! i agree with you 100%. we have restrictions in ohio but i still don't think there good enough though! i had kind of a simuler post on ohio theads. talk about a touchy subject!! was just trying to explain cpr views witch started a pretty log argument on a few ohio posts! thanks for the post man, shane
     
  5. hock_paul

    hock_paul New Member

    Messages:
    246
    State:
    illinois
    Thanks for the reply Aaron! I do agree about the slot limit size maybe benefiting one body of water and hurting another. Ten lbs. is my max size on keepers too, and I can guarantee that the fisherman in the photo releases every bass he catches! I just get tired of seeing Commercial fisherman with mammoth fish in their boats stacked up as high as their gunnels, when I'll try all summer to break through the 25 range on rod and reel. I believe that with the number of fisherman and the skyrocketing popularity of the sport, large catfish should get recognition as the true sportfish that they are and the protection that they deserve. I'm no fisheries biologist, but I do think that with a little research and the right people behind the DNR(whitch I think our new director Mark Miller is a great headway), maybe we could get a program set in place to protect these fish we love. :big_smile:
     
  6. Jnagel

    Jnagel New Member

    Messages:
    397
    State:
    Illinois.
    I'm with ya 100% bro. CPR the monsters and save anything under 5LB for table fare.
     
  7. Iowa_Josh

    Iowa_Josh New Member

    Messages:
    1,463
    State:
    Central Iowa

    I don't live where you guys live. I don't know if you have people like you have here and I bet you have more water and that kind of softens the impact of meat hunters. Here, people set limb lines. They don't set trotlines, just limb lines. They are only targeting flats and they mostly eat what they catch. It's like some guy only eating 10 point bucks and the limit is 15 and the rivers aren't that big. He's eating your trophy. Even if you eat them all at 10 pounds, they don't get any bigger. The people have a big effect on the population because it's small water and it is a casual thing. Guys, beer, boat, etc. Well, that's the guys that I know.

    Big predators are the best way to combat large invasive fish! At least some of them would get eaten.
     
  8. recordbreakin1

    recordbreakin1 New Member

    Messages:
    746
    State:
    texas
    IN TEXAS THEY JUST PAST A LIMIT LAW ON A FEW OF THE LAKES AROUND HERE FOR THE BLUES.ANYTHING OVER 36 INCHES HAS TO BE TURNED LOOSE AND I THINK ITS A GOOD IDEA.I HAVE SEEN ALOT OF FOLKS TAKE SOME BIG FISH FROM THESE LAKE AND IT SEEMS THAT THE LAKES HAVE REALY WENT DOWN HILL AS FAR AS CATFISHING GOES.SO MAYBE THIS WILL HELP I GEUSS ONLY TIME WILL TELL.
     
  9. poopdeck [patrick]

    poopdeck [patrick] New Member

    Messages:
    1,215
    State:
    ofallon il
    It took many, many years for that fish to get that big and this as* hole killed it. If he wanted to eat catfish he could of caught some channels. I think his problem is he is a "bass man" who thinks catfish deserve no respect.
     
  10. Graywolf

    Graywolf New Member

    Messages:
    136
    State:
    Peru, IL.
    I agree 100%. I CPR almost everything I catch, especially fish over 10 lbs.. I fish the Ottawa pool on the Illinois, up t this year. Because we moved to Peru. The guy I use to fish with all the time and I fished the Ottawa pool and he swore there were no Flatheads over 25 lbs. their. I always argued with him because of the grain elevators and the Fox river dumping into the Illinois and other factors. Well last year he caught a 35 lber. and was shocked. A week later I caught a 18 lber. my personal best. Who knows what swims in our rivers. I think slot limits are needed. Our big problem is big head Carp, something needs t be done with them.
     
  11. RBBH

    RBBH New Member

    Messages:
    29
    State:
    illinois
    It really doesn't bother me either way. Me and my buddies will sometimes run a few bank poles in certain rivers at certain times of the year. We specifically target flatheads. We are good at catching them. We try to throw back as many females as we can. We do this until we each have the amount of meat we want. We don't use it for big parties. Just general consumption. Flathead is my favorite to eat, thats why we do it. Nothing like a big slab of flathead belly.

    Good Luck

    RBBH
     
  12. USNTWEEK

    USNTWEEK New Member

    Messages:
    36
    State:
    Illinois
    touchy subject Im gonna stay out of this one.
     
  13. beagle777

    beagle777 New Member

    Messages:
    60
    State:
    Il
    The 56lb flathead was caught by snagging should have been released and if it wasn't the bass fisherman should have got a ticket.
    It is illegal to snag catfish.
     
  14. Chicago

    Chicago New Member

    Messages:
    178
    State:
    Virginia
    I agree that we should put some laws in the books to protect big catfish. I was looking at one of those conversion charts the other day and it shocked me how old the big one really are. It's a damn shame to kill something that big (unless it's for actual survival).

    This idea is only bolstered by the fact that we have limits for other fish. Somebody in an earlier post asked how to explain the double-standard. Put simply, there is no explanation. More importantly, there is no justification. Catfish deserve all the protections afforded to other fish. And catfishermen, at least the majority who fish for the sport and adventure of pulling in the next state record, deserve the all the benefits that those laws would bring. Namely, an overall increase in trophy sized catfish.

    I too love some catfish. Give it to my breaded n fried, or broiled with lemon or butter. I'm sure everyone will agree. We can all fullfil our craving for good fish and still preserve the trophies. We need to strike a balance. Just my opinion. Thanks for the great thread
     
  15. Branj796

    Branj796 Member

    Messages:
    911
    State:
    Illinois
    I agree 100%. Larger fish should be protected. Catfish in general need to be protected. I have seen people with thousands of fish in their freezer that they just had to keep. These were even small catfish but now 10 years later, there are no catfish in their area to catch and put in their freezers anymore. If something is not done then our kids and their kids may not ever get to experience, what many of us have experienced, and the loss of that feeling when you know you got a big old catfish will be a shame. As a man who loves to eat his fish please don't be gready keep what you are going to eat and throw back the rest.
     
  16. hock_paul

    hock_paul New Member

    Messages:
    246
    State:
    illinois
    Well. it happened again!:angry: My bud brandon and I spent the day from 6a.m.-4p.m. fishing for flats on the river and caught 5 fish. Not a spectacular day, but nonetheless not to bad considering the spawn in full swing. Anyway, we didn't boat a fish over 8lbs. and worked our butts off, not counting catching bait(we lost two that got wrapped up, but they weren't hogs by any means). As we were getting ready to pack up, a commercial fisherman pulled up to see how we were doing, he looked amazed to see that we were rod and reel fishing and then boasted about how he'd been hauling in a lot of flats lately in his nets. We then watched as he checked his nets and kept what had to be a 60 plus lb. fish.
    I kept two fish today for the table, one 5lbs. and one 3lbs.. I like to eat them just as much as the next guy, but I think that harvesting fish within reason is what being a fisherman is all about. Because whether you're a hunter, fisherman, or trapper. Before any game is harvested, I believe you owe it to yourself, other sportsman, and most of all, to the land and waters which we all share and love so much_ TO BE A CONSERVATIONIST...having an icebox full of freezer burnt fish at the end of the year doesn't give anyone any braggin' rights as for as I'm concerned. Any dumb idiot can go throw 300 hooks in the water, or worse yet, a bunch of nets, and catch fish- really good fish at that. It takes a true sportsman, to fish all summer for a 30 lber, only to release it after enjoying and respecting it for the brief moment that he has it in his hands, yet taking pride in knowing that the fish will go on to grow, and spawn, and possibly be caught again in some assholes' net when it's a state record.
    Like it or not guys'- it's my take on the subject and I believe it to be the truth.
     
  17. drpepper

    drpepper New Member

    Messages:
    6,133
    State:
    Indiana
    Ya see... RIGHT THERE- is where I would have went to jail for battery.... Hope I never see it, I sure don't have the self control.

    You all are dreamin' if you think the IDNR will stop this. fisheries biologists advise lawmaker that this is a good thing for the fishery. Flatheads lay 1500 eggs per every pound they weigh laying up to 100,000 eggs- so ridding the bigger is the better in a biologists veiw- and commercial cat fisherman are their little fool puppets. Typically toothless losers with no higher mental capacity than to drag a net through the water scabbing fish instead of getting a job that requires a higher mental process.... like fish farming or flipping hamburgers. These types wouldnt obey a limit law if one was imposed.... and IDNR wouldnt enforce it anyway.:roll_eyes:
    Outlawing CCF completely is the only thing that will start to help.
    If you're going to fight for something- fight for THAT. It would be hard if not nearly impossible to go back and change it again.
    Another tactic by dnr is to spend your money to promote the hell out of Catfishing... notice this. Allowing t-lines is another method of clearing the waters of catfish. You all need to educate yourselfs on the obvious and not so obvious ways your state tries to exterminate the catfishery... Most times you have to read between the lines... But some wouldnt see the obvious if it bit them dead on the ass.... I swear!
     
  18. rks1949

    rks1949 New Member

    Messages:
    148
    State:
    Illinois
    It would be diffrent on every body of water you fished,if they used "facts" to determine the limmit. I fish the Wabash river,and it has been fished hard by commercial fisherman for years,and years. They pull large flatheads out, allot with nets,but it hasen't hurt the "rod and reel" fisherman's fishing a bit. Just last week,a young man landed a 42 lb. flathead using a gold fish for bait,with a rod and reel in the same area as is being "netted" by the commercial fishermen. They (the commercial fishermen) have pulled "big" fish out of this area for years (at least 30) that I know of,and the fishing is still some of the best around. It could also be that the Wabash is connected to the Ohio river,and has a large number of fish migrating up stream into the area. I'm not sure. Now on a lake with no river flow into it,it would be diffrent. Our state park has a 6 channel cat limmit,and this is a good thing,as the fish are "stocked" in it. There would be so many diffrent(and constantly changing limmits/brackets,by biologist) that limmits,size brackets,ect,at diffrent lakes, and river sections,it would become hard to keep up with them.We have enough gray areas/red tape, in the rules now,as is. Have you ever seen the politicians get involved in anything,and not screw it up? Ron
     
  19. hock_paul

    hock_paul New Member

    Messages:
    246
    State:
    illinois
    Where are you from Ron, and what part of the Wabash do you fish?
     
  20. muddyriverdogz

    muddyriverdogz New Member

    Messages:
    22
    State:
    Illinios
    I fish the Rock River in Illinios and they have a drawing for a limited number of commercial liscences every year,but all catfish are off limits it is ruff fish only.In the Mississippi there is a slot limit on catfish for commercial fisherman,but i have heard of commercial fisherman selling Walleye under the table.If they get caught doing anything illegal here in IL they will never fish commercialy again.