Mississippi River catfish

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by santeecat12, Aug 5, 2007.

  1. santeecat12

    santeecat12 New Member

    Messages:
    171
    State:
    gastonia,nc
    guys i was wondering ive heard stories about divers diving into the mississippi river and cpming up scared because they said there was catfish in there big enough to swallow a man whole and i was wandering wat yall thank about that yall believe it?

    btw they said there was some bigger than a suv THANKS:embarassed:
     
  2. Zombie76

    Zombie76 New Member

    Messages:
    73
    State:
    Nebraska
    I guess I can't really not believe them. I know that cat get quite large and that is a big deep river. The SUV size is a little harder to believe than most tales, however, I cannot say that it's not possible. I guess it all depends on whether or not you want to believe them. Sure would be nice to catch one though!!:big_smile:
     

  3. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Old story about every large, muddy river in the country. Everywhere I've heard the story, the water was so muddy that on a very good day, you had about 18" of visibility underwater. On a bad day, you'd be lucky to have 6". So, my first question has to be, "How the heck did the diver know what size that fish was?" Now, I'm sure that several divers have bumped up against 6' long catfish, and I'm equally sure that such an encounter would tend to scare the wetsuit off them, but the SUV sized catfish ranks right up there with a Mississippi River version of the Loch Ness Monster.
     
  4. poisonpits

    poisonpits Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,789
    State:
    arkansas
    Name:
    johnnie
    i dont know about a whole body but in my younger days ive come across cats big enough to swallow my arm.lol.
     
  5. justwannano

    justwannano Active Member

    Messages:
    1,003
    State:
    SE Iowa
    Read a story in a book titled Mississippi River Folklore of a fish fry they had near Burlington Iowa. It was on the banks of the Mississippi. The reason it wasn't at one of the restaurants was the catfish was too big to get into the boat.
    the best to ya
    just
     
  6. craddock1

    craddock1 Active Member

    Messages:
    962
    State:
    TENNESSEE
    We hear the same stories all the way up the tennessee even above the beginning of the tennessee. there are those stories about every dam. if they were there someone would catch one and break all the records. now just think about it. look at the head of a 50# flathead. think about bumping into that 60 or 70 feet down where it is so murky you can't see all the way across its head. some folks would be scared to death but then there are others who go back to try to catch one that size. I have a friend who was a navy diver. he dives in watts bar often and sees many 6 foot catfish especially shovel bills but he says he never saw an agressive one and has slid his hands down the backs of many to get an idea of thier length. even in our clearest tennessee river water visibility is only a couple of feet. as i understand it is less in the missippi. they are not slow or lazy either when they decide to move away they go in a hurry. if they were slow as many think they would starve.
     
  7. catfish chaser

    catfish chaser New Member

    Messages:
    674
    State:
    miamisburg, oh
    I have heard the same kind of stories out here where i live on the Ohio River too. I know I don't want to do any diving.
     
  8. SKUNKPRO

    SKUNKPRO New Member

    Messages:
    15
    State:
    ILLINOIS
    MOST LIKELY JUST URBAN LEGENDS. WHEN SOMEONE CATCHES ONE THE SIZE OF A VW I WILL BELIVE.
     
  9. FLOAT TRIP WILLIE

    FLOAT TRIP WILLIE Active Member

    Messages:
    2,405
    State:
    St. Louis
    this may sound funny but i do believe there are huge cats out there.
    maybe not the size of a suv, but maybe a little bigger then a power wheel car or something, maybe:roll_eyes:
     
  10. DemolitionMan

    DemolitionMan New Member

    Messages:
    442
    State:
    Tupelo, Mississippi
    I read an article/story by Doug Stange that claim these stories are false....Cat's big enough to swallow a man is impossible he claims....Cat's would die of old age before they would get that big, I believe....Can you imagine how big a flattie would have to be too "swallow" a man????Dwight
     
  11. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    I seem to remember reading somewhere that a flathead will eat 'baitfish' up to 2/3 of its body weight. What size person are we talking about here? According to that, it would only take a 150# flathead to swallow a 100# person; a 225# flathead could swallow a 150# man; and a 300# flathead to swallow a 200# man. I know of a 140# flathead being caught here in Arkansas, so a 225# flathead isn't all that unreasonable to think about, although the chances of ever seeing one are pretty slim. We all know of spots where we could never get a really big fish out of the cover, and we have to wonder just how big a cat is laying back in that hole. I know of 3 such spots below Chattanooga; 2 are caves that are underwater (at least partially), and the other is where they dynamited the old Hales Bar Dam in place, leaving big chunks of concrete rubble on the bottom. When I was growing up, it was possible to run a boat right up the spillway openings till the boat was out of sight of us on the shore; and that's where the biggest cats were caught. Now, those openings are cemented over to withing a foot or so of the water, so that you can go up to the mouth, but not inside. There could be cats back in there that haven't seen a hook in 30 years or more. However, I still believe that 99.9% of the stories are just that....stories. The very few where a diver really said something like that probably ran up against a cat over 100#, but not really big enough to swallow a full grown man.
     
  12. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Here's something else I saw that I thought was interesting. It's from the Forest Preserve, District of Cook County, Illinois.

    "The growth of fish is quite different from that of man and other warm-
    blooded animals. They do not get their growth or reach an adult size at
    a certain age and then stop, Instead, most fish continue to grow in
    length and weight until they die. Further, the growth rate may be very
    fast or very slow, depending on the amount of food and other
    conditions. For example, in lakes where food is scarce and competition
    with other fish is keen, the fry of largemouth black bass may not exceed
    two inches in length at the end of their first year. In other lakes, such
    new impoundments where fish are few and food is plentiful, these bass
    may reach a length of 12 inches in their first year -- 6 times the length
    and 300 times the weight of the year-old fry in overcrowded water
    deficient in food."
     
  13. JKeeney20

    JKeeney20 New Member

    Messages:
    41
    State:
    Lucasville, Ohio
    One of the scuba divers that was at my boat club the other day was asked if he had seen cats big as cars around the dams...he said "I've seen some monsters, put it that way", laughing as he said it...than he said he didn't think they were big as cars but he said they look a good 150-200lbs which I think is easily possible in the Ohio River!
     
  14. King Flats W'loo

    King Flats W'loo New Member

    Messages:
    51
    State:
    iowa
    i've heard that one b4, and i have to agree i have seen someone hook a 5 footer b4 dam near pulled him in. but the suv size well we all know aint no flat that big in the ssippi, maybe and amazon cat lol:cry:
     
  15. FATFLATTIE

    FATFLATTIE New Member

    Messages:
    2,170
    State:
    ILM, NC
    There's a 200lb+ flathead out there somewhere, there's just no way there isn't. I also believe that there are some 150+blues out there as well. A 200lb catfish is a monster of a fish and would more than likely scare anyone who happened to bump into it, but with the prevalence of that particular story from coast to coast I just don't believe it to be true. They're out there, I just doubt that anyone bumps into them in pretty much every single body of water in the US:roll_eyes:
     
  16. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    Harley, the saying "as big as an SUV" is just the first thing out of that scared out of his wits diver could think to say. He was just trying to get everyone to understand the size of the fish that he encountered. I know if I was 50 or 60 ft under water and could only see a foot in front of my face with a gazillion candle power spotlight, and happened to rub up aginst a 5 or 6 ft long catfish with a head wider than my chest, I'd come up as fast as possible and scream to pull me in the boat. lol No, they aren't as big as SUV's or Volkswagons, but they can sure seem that big when you are on bottom all by yourself with nothing but a flashlight.

    They do get big. In one report I read, this guy from the Smithsonian went out west to the Missippi river near caro Illinois and reported that he was sending back 2 specimens of Blue catfish. One was 250 pounds the other was over 300. That was in the 1840's though. So yes they can get that big historically, but do any yet exsist? I believe they do and I am doing everything in my power to catch a 200 pound flathead.