How large can a flathead catfish get?

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by s_man, Feb 25, 2006.

  1. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    I'm sure that somewhere I read of reports from the first explorers to the new world of flats over 200lbs. I believe there are some out there that either haven't been hooked or who have been hooked and just couldn't be caught. I've read of blues over 400lbs way back when. Now thats not with modern scales but they must have been huge fish to garner that much weight. I don't think any of the current records will stand any length of time. Heck the blue cat record fell twice the last couple years. I think with more people fishing cats and more of them targeting big fish the record weights will continue to rise.
     
  2. catman872

    catman872 Member

    Messages:
    311
    State:
    missouri
    more people releasing the big cats might be the bestest factor. cpr the big one
     

  3. torment_hack

    torment_hack New Member

    Messages:
    43
    State:
    california
    hmm... and i always thought maybe my 85 pound test line was overkill:cool:
     
  4. loki1982

    loki1982 New Member

    Messages:
    420
    State:
    Texas
    The biggest flats are around 120-130ish pounds right now, not sure exactly cuz people report up to aorund 140 but either dont have proof, or unrelaiable scales. I saw a documentary ocne that said during the 1930's people were catching 200ish pound blues form mississippi river. They werent offically weighed though.

    Im guessing with todays pressure, pollution etc around 150-175 is gonna be our top out range. Just my opinions.
     
  5. droptines

    droptines New Member

    Messages:
    44
    i fish the ms river near vicksburg ms and last summer i caught a 58 lb flathead using a hand size bluegill.only missed the state record by 7 lbs.
     
  6. slimcat

    slimcat New Member

    Messages:
    952
    State:
    marion kentucky
    I have seen flatheads up to 157lbs. Arkansas's unrestricted tackle record is 139lbs caught back in 1982 on a snagline. They are out there but just not very many.
     
  7. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    Somebody out there is gonna catch a flathead near or over 200lbs on a rod and reel in the next ten years. I know they can get that big we just gotta catch one. Put your snoopy poles in the garage though cause they ain't gonna help you.
     
  8. WhyteF0rd

    WhyteF0rd New Member

    Messages:
    1
    State:
    Florida
    there are parts of the Ohio river that man hasen't reached the bottom yet. So....I wouldn't be surprised if they could get up to 275 or 300 pounds, We would just never see em.
     
  9. slimcat

    slimcat New Member

    Messages:
    952
    State:
    marion kentucky
    The realistic top end size for flatheads might be around 150lbs. Heck, a 100lb fish is really, really rare, I have only heard of very few. Flatheads are just not as common as big blues, then to have a 100lber is getting down right rare, then a 150lber will be like hitting the lottery.
     
  10. brad kilpatrick

    brad kilpatrick New Member

    Messages:
    2,666
    State:
    Kansas City
    Slim, I agree that a realistic Max size for a Flat would be up to 150 lbs. Is 200 lbs possible.....Sure I suppose but not very realistic. I think that we'll see a 150 lb Blue before a Yellow. Blues are easier targets then Flats. Blues move around to feed a lot more, are less pickey about what they eat, sometimes run in packs(loose or small schools) and are somewhat predictable.

    Flatheads on the other hand are reclusive, territorial, tend to frequent tough places to fish (log jams and snags) and just don't travel the distance a blue will to feed. Also the Yellow mostly prefers live prey, and can be very picky about diet. Often times I have fished a hole for several nights to get one bite. its a sit and wait kind of game
     
  11. slimcat

    slimcat New Member

    Messages:
    952
    State:
    marion kentucky
    Very true Brad, I would love to just see an 80lber one of these days.
     
  12. brad kilpatrick

    brad kilpatrick New Member

    Messages:
    2,666
    State:
    Kansas City
    You'll get that 80 this Year!!! I'm sure of it, you've been around the block enough time to know its Prime Baits @ prime times in prime locations and a sprinkling of luck......LOL Keep doing the time slim It will come!!!
     
  13. slimcat

    slimcat New Member

    Messages:
    952
    State:
    marion kentucky
    I will take a ton of those sprinkles Brad.LOL. Those 80lbers are rare birds around these parts. To many catchers and not enough releasers in my area if you know what I mean. The fish have to have a chance to get that big before the predators in the big jonboats get them. I have some good areas LINED out for them. I am hoping the primebaits will work this year.
     
  14. jason454ci

    jason454ci Active Member

    Messages:
    1,307
    State:
    Zanesville, Ohi
    I do believe they can get as big as volkswagons near any dam in the country. Thats what I've always been told. Not real sure what a VW weighs though. lol.
     
  15. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    Brad, the entire nature of the flathead you just laid out helps his case more than hurts.Blues roam,flats are sedintary,blues form schools,flats are solitary.Blues are easier to catch cause they are more mobile,especially big blues..The tourney guys target blues cause they are easier to catch.There are flats over 200lbs swimming around right now,I aint saying they can be caught easily,but they are out there. We will see a 200 lb flat before we see a 300lb blue.
     
  16. Bigfish18

    Bigfish18 Member

    Messages:
    534
    State:
    Wichita, Kansas
    I have talked with a Kansas Fisheries biologists a few times about this exact subject. He told me that there are extremely large flatheads in Pomona, Fall River, John Redmond, and Toronto. (Reservoirs) During population checks they tend to shock up lots of big fish. The majority of these fish are in the 40 to 70 pound range, but some are much larger. So here is your answer, he said he has weighed Flatheads that aproach 150 lbs from each of those reservoirs. I truly believe that they top out at 150 lbs.

    I have the picture of the 139 lb. fish that was snagged in Arkansas. That picture serves as FUEL. I dont want to even talk about Ken Paulie's catch, oops I ment find.
     
  17. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,227
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    Never have heard of a flathead 200lbs or over but sure they are out there, probably more so in the south where it is warmer and they feed more often.
     
  18. RIP

    RIP New Member

    Messages:
    1,298
    State:
    Somerville, Tennessee
    I think it all depends on who is telling the story about the fish. You know how fishermen can streeeetch those stories.
     
  19. Bigfish18

    Bigfish18 Member

    Messages:
    534
    State:
    Wichita, Kansas
    Slimcat,

    My Computer is telling me that I have to have 10 post before I can pm.

    I dont have the ability to send you the picture. However I can tell you where I got it. I cut the article and picture out of the February 1996 issue of the In-Fisherman. The funny part is that the cover says 140lb blue cat, but the article is about the Sayre brothers 139.5 lb. flathead.

    I will not name drop the biologist but I will tell you that I talked with Tim Larson about the fish that they have caught while netting carp for the state.

    Sorry
     
  20. slimcat

    slimcat New Member

    Messages:
    952
    State:
    marion kentucky
    man, do you think these guys are shooting you straight on these fish? The biggest fish I have heard of being caught are around 80 maybe 90. Thats a huge flathead!!! But it would be totally awesome to see a fish of that size.