Good Friend=53 LB Flathead (looong post)

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by Da Chummer, Oct 15, 2007.

  1. Da Chummer

    Da Chummer New Member

    Messages:
    425
    State:
    Arizona
    I had gotten the green light thursday night to go fishing solo for my birthday weekend. I got up at 6 am Friday worked until 5 pm came home got the family, shot to walmart to get a few things, took the family grocery shopping to stock them up while i was gone and then went home to have dinner. By the time i got the boat loaded up and on my way to the lake it was past 1 am. The lake is 120 miles away and by the time i get there it was past 3 am. By the time i get to my bait hole its about sun up. I don't need sleep now, i'll catch some bait and then get some sleep later. Soon after sun up the wind came on with a fury. The whole day the wind had the water so choppy there was white caps and it was almost impossible to fish. I have about 10 sure shot bait holes at this lake and when one is off, a couple of the others will be on for sure. Every single one was off. I did manage to get two decent carp to the back off the boat just to have them spit the hook at me. By the time the sun was setting i was back to my original spot i was at in the morning and had no flathead bait and my pride was about done in for the day. My friend Ben (CUTBAIT) was in the same cove i was and pulled up in front of me to BS for awhile. while we were talking a carp hit my pole and the fight was on. I got the carp all the way to the back of the boat and got a good look at it when it spit the hook ay me. I was done. I had now been up for 36 hours fishing hard, fighting the wind and had no flathead bait. I was not staying the whole night fighting the chop and wind only having worms and corn. I was ready to trailor the boat, put my tail between my legs and head out. Ben saw the look of frustration on my face landed his boat and broke out some of his bait he caught and gave me some. He didn't have much. He was facing the same horrible wind conditions i was all day. Still he gave me some bait and a glimmer of hope again. It was getting dark and he went his way and i went mine. I still ended up hiding in a cove until the wind died down. I like to fish way out in the open lake and it was still way to chopy out there. By 8 pm the wind had died down and by 9 pm the water was calm enough to shoot out there and anchor off. It is now after 10 pm and i have been up for over 40 hours. I take a look at the bait and choose what i thought was best because i know once i cast and lay down, I'm off. I make my casts on my two poles, put my bells on and proceed to lay down. All i remember is crawling in the sleep bag and i was off. About 3 am one of my poles starts to get light hits and the bell is slightly dinging every few minutes. I peek out of my bag and see it is just a light tapping like a a medium sized channel cat or something. It was freaking cold out and it wasn't worth getting out of my bag. I just wanted sleep. For the next 15 minutes or so the bell keeps dinging off and on. I'm getting mad. I want to sleep and don't want to get out of my bag for a small fish. I got out of my bag to shut this thing up. I was just gonna take the bell off and go back to bed. I see my pole bending now it i could tell it had some weight to it too do that. I'm thinking a 10 lb channel cat or something. I'm just gonna set the hook on this thing and teach it to wake me up and be in the cold. If i thought it was a big flathead i probably would tried to go easy on getting the pole out of the pole holder. Instead i madly just pulled the pole out of the holder. Gripping with both hands i set the holy living heck out the hook. I am glad i was holding on with two hands! I ended up off balance with my left arm full extended over the back of the boat and bracing my foot against the transom. It was on! This was no little fish. I about lost my pole and fell in the water not being prepared. I'm now balanced and go to pumping and reeling. Just then Mr. Murphy decides to visit and the reel handle breaks off in my hand. The reel is only a month old and now here i am with a big fish and a reel with no handle. Since i use spin cast reels i was able to pump and take up slack by twisting the spool with my hand. It was slow and inch by inch. I have caught a few Flatheads bigger than this one but this one was fighting better than any Flathead i have ever landed. It took so long that by the time it got to the boat it rolled up on its side and i grabbed it and pulled it into the boat. It was huge. I stuck it in the livewell and went back to sleep. In the morning Ben had pulled up by me and he had caught 3 Flatheads in the 20 30 pound class and cprd them in hope of a big one to bring home and feed his family. He had got a big one up next to the boat and it spit the hook on him like everything did on me the day before. I knew there was a reason i kept this fish. Since i started fishing again a few months ago i have cprd every cat i have caught. I had Ben shoot some photos of me with the fish, took it home to show the wife and kids and then took it over to Ben's house to eat. Gotta love the way that worked out. I don't even eat fish but i just ate some of it and it is awesome. Sorry for the long post but i thought it was a fishing trip i'd like to share. I would not of caught that fish if it wasn't for a friend.

    http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL164/2041487/17331199/283379182.jpg

    http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL164/2041487/17331199/283379184.jpg
     
  2. CUT_BAIT

    CUT_BAIT New Member

    Messages:
    17
    State:
    Arizona
     

  3. prostreetS10

    prostreetS10 New Member

    Messages:
    898
    State:
    ohio
    That is one awesome fish. just wish he could have went back. i hear the biggun are no good to eat anyways. oh well glad to see another monster on the boards
     
  4. tofish

    tofish New Member

    Messages:
    3,923
    State:
    arizona
    ProstreetS10, not to start anything, cause on the real big ones, i like to take the pictures and release usually, but you are wrong on taste. flatheads taste just as great whether 1 lb or 50 lb.
    that was a great picture. good write up too.
    gary
     
  5. Da Chummer

    Da Chummer New Member

    Messages:
    425
    State:
    Arizona
    I hear where you are coming from Josh. I did mis-state myself earlier. When i started fishing again back in june the first flathead i caught was around 10 lbs and i kept that and ate it. I forgot how much of a pain it was to slice n dice your own food and swore not to keep another fish for food. Back in the old days i kept alot of big fish to eat. I was much poorer than i am now and if you spent your money fishing you better bring something home to eat or you got skinny real quick. When you got skunked you brought home your left over live bait and ate it. It was better than not fishing at all. Now days i am still poor but can afford to fish and still buy food. Beef is so much better than fish and i do not really eat fish any more bought or caught. I have ate enough fish to last a life time. I'll stay with beef, pork and chicken. The only reason i ate some of this one is because i killed it. I might as well give it some respect and eat some. Flathead fishing is really hard in Arizona. Its not that we don't have plenty of them. It is just we have very tight regulations compared to most states. Fishing pole only. No grabblin,no trot lines, no yo yoin, no snaggin or any of that stuff. Limited baitfish also. Basically Bluegill,Carp and shad. Thats about it. If you are fishing for Flatheads in Arizona and fishing legally you are getting skunked more than you are catching. I don't care who they are, that is how it goes. It would be almost impossible to devistate the population. Its big and rarely gets picked off. I have kept two fish in ten years. That is not going to devistate the large or small population. I fish exclusively for flatheads and bait, so do my kids and wife. I would never want to have that stop. I believe highly in CPR. My veiws on CPR are much different than most views on this board but we won't get into that. I would rather it not be a CPR thread and hopefully most will enjoy the story. Thanks for the compliment on my fish.
     
  6. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,
    What a wonderful story of perserverance.

    Happy Birthday! :wink:
     
  7. caneycat

    caneycat New Member

    Messages:
    196
    State:
    Texas
    WTG, that is a big yella!
     
  8. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    State:
    Ohio
    You Arizona guys are impressing me! I had no idea that the fish were that big out there. :eek:oooh::wink:
     
  9. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    That's a big beautiful fish. Congratulations!

    As for your regulations in AZ - FANTASTIC!!!
    I'd like to have the same regs here in SC! They wouldn't change the way I fish one tiny bit.
     
  10. billNpam

    billNpam Active Member

    Messages:
    622
    State:
    Alabama
    Awesome fish and even better story Great job and thanks for posting!!
     
  11. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    Awesome fish Travis! You Arizona guys might not catch them in numbers, but when you do hook into one, you can guarantee it's a biggun.

    Can you guys catch them in the wintertime too because it's never cold in AZ?

    Thanks for sharing your great experience. Good eats too!
     
  12. willcat

    willcat New Member

    Messages:
    2,463
    State:
    texas
    awesome looking fish, way to go & good looking out for ur buddy & his family!!
     
  13. CUT_BAIT

    CUT_BAIT New Member

    Messages:
    17
    State:
    Arizona
    :eek:oooh:you heard wrong the bigger the better.i've got pieces of boneless skinless white meat with no gutliner or red meat bigger than the fish most people catch.:smile2:
    in arizona you can keep 25 a day any size and in some places there is no limit.he has killed 2 and i've killed 3 all year. so i dont think it will hurt your chances of catching fish in ohio.:big_smile: j/k let's not make this another cpr thread.
     
  14. CUT_BAIT

    CUT_BAIT New Member

    Messages:
    17
    State:
    Arizona
    they make it very hard to catch fish.you have to catch your live bait fish from the same body of water and can not transport them.so to catch flatheads you leave with worms,corn,frozen cut bait and a 4 foot max throw net.:angry: not very good bait for flatheads
     
  15. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    What am I missing?

    Maybe I misunderstand, and I know every body of water is different, but that sounds like how I fish anyway: I leave home with some worms and spinners. The first several hours I'm on the water are spent catching bait. I could be wrong, but I think most of us do things that way most of the time. Sure, there are times when it would be convenient to bring livebaits and just go directly to fishing for flatheads, but I enjoy catching the baits, and that way I believe that I get the best and freshest baits. Hauling livebaits over the road is a bigger pain in the rear than catching them on site - in my opinion.
     
  16. CUT_BAIT

    CUT_BAIT New Member

    Messages:
    17
    State:
    Arizona
    ive caught some of my best fish in the winter.and it does get cold into the 20's sometimes.
     
  17. ateamfisherman

    ateamfisherman New Member

    Messages:
    297
    State:
    Texas
    nice fish lot of hard work. good reward to catchafish like that really good to catch what you eat. some real goodeasting that is the best kind the ones you catch yourself.thanks ateamfisherman
     
  18. Da Chummer

    Da Chummer New Member

    Messages:
    425
    State:
    Arizona
    Ben sent me some pics of the meat he got off of the fish he gave me a 5 lb peice yesterday to cook up and it was awesome. While i did like it alot i do still see me CPRing every still healthy fish. This time it worked out keeping the fish and i was worried about releasing it anyways. Due to my broken reel it took way to long to reel that fish in and it was bleeding and laying on its side. Truthfully i'm not so sure how it would of done releasing it. I'm just glad to have caught it. Not fishing for 6 years, i wasn't sure if i could still find and catch bigfish. I'm still not sure........

    Ben and his food.
    http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL164/2041487/18082132/283657905.jpg

    http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL164/2041487/18082132/283657879.jpg

    http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL164/2041487/18082132/283657894.jpg
     
  19. MRR

    MRR New Member

    Messages:
    4,947
    State:
    Louisiana,Mo.
    Great looking fish,really good story but I do believe that if I had been in your shoes,I would of done things a whole lot different. Like going home WAY before you did.Congrads of the great catch and for hanging in there that long.
     
  20. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,

    Most of us feel real sorry for you.... and your "cold" weather. :smile2:

    Our fishing regs are as neanderthal as yours. Two rods, no transporting fish from place to place (bait) certain size cast net..... :wink: