New personal best.. and a heartfelt "thank you"...

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by GoFish_Tony, Oct 2, 2006.

  1. GoFish_Tony

    GoFish_Tony New Member

    Messages:
    600
    State:
    Big Rock, IL
    Well...
    As I have said before, this year has been my first year of fishing since I was a little boy some 35 years ago or so. I have fond memories of my Grandfather taking me out to fish in the I&M Canal near Joliet Illinois.

    This last spring I was blessed to have been given ownership of a trailer at a campground right on the Rock River in Rock Falls, Illinois. Along with this opportunity of camping and relaxation along a scenic river, also came a very special gift... the gift of fishing and friendships.

    My mom's guy-friend had spent many days fishing off the shore there on the Rock River and always amused me by saying that he always caught at least "something" each day he fished there. He has been a friend to me and has re-kindled a love for fishing that I was not even aware was there.

    My new interest in fishing has lead me to the BOC and in doing so I have crossed paths with some very wonderful people. people that I use words to describe like "friends" & "family".

    I've been excited to learn and have had so many people offer me so many tips and opportunities for hands-on teaching. I've tried to pay attention and make my mentors proud, but this year I have spent more times NOT catching anything, but still learning something. (even of all I learned was what DIDN'T work.)

    Last weekend was a mile-stone event for me and I can't wait to share it with all of you. Saturday afternoon I used some of the night crawlers that I had collected over the summer (I have started my own worm farm. Hey, it makes a rainy day/night something to look forward to.) and used them to catch Bluegills on the Hennepin Canal in Sterling. I then used these Bluegills as bait and set up my bank poles with 8/0 Gamakatsu circle octopus hooks (thanks Catbird) and waited. I didn't have to wait long and soon had a pole bending like I had never seen before.

    I ended up landing a 9# 11oz Flathead. I was so excited that I did the most stupid thing you could imagine. I got her to shore and thought "now what". I didn't have a net so I grabbed her by the hook in her mouth. She flopped and thrashed some but I soon had her on shore. I thought she was going to behave so I left her still hooked with my pole laying along side the shore while I ran up to grab a stringer. I made the trip to the trailer and when I got to be about half way back to the fish I heard a very sickening sound. Flop flop rattle SPLASH! I thought oh CraPPpPPpPP!! I got there just in time to see the fish in the water and almost 2/3's of my pole in the water. This fish was SO STRONG, she could have EASILY swam away with my pole behind her. I lept and dove in time before she swam off with my gear! LOL I will NEVER EVER EVER make that mistake again!!!! LOL

    I chose to keep and eat this fish. My reasoning is that this will be a fish of many firsts. This will also be MY first fish dinner that I plan on sharing with a few people.

    I'm proud of this fish. Not because it's my largest catch, but because I feel that this is MY first fish where I used everything that I have learned from those wonderful mentors of mine. Guys and gals I did it all pretty close to right that night (except for trusting that fish to lay still) and I have you all to thank.

    What a ride!
    Tony
    _
     

    Attached Files:

  2. teaysvalleyguy

    teaysvalleyguy New Member

    Messages:
    9,751
    State:
    GC, OHIO
    Awesome fish Tony, congrats on the catch brother!!! That is what it is all about.
     

  3. AZflats

    AZflats New Member

    Messages:
    2,535
    State:
    Peoria, Arizona
    Nice Channel catfish!
     
  4. MR SANDMAN 800

    MR SANDMAN 800 New Member

    Messages:
    1,026
    State:
    Kansas
    Nice cat man..congrats!
     
  5. ka_c4_boom

    ka_c4_boom New Member

    Messages:
    2,252
    State:
    Bedford,Ky
    yeah i thought it was a channel as well , i actually took a double take on it , went back and read post just to be sure but it looks like the channels we catch here . you sure it was a flat tony?

    either way its a nice fish sounds like you had a blast , good luck on the next trip
     
  6. loop

    loop New Member

    Messages:
    422
    State:
    Newkirk,Oklahom
    Heck of a nice Channel cat.
    Congrats on the catch.
    Loop
     
  7. whiteriverbigcats

    whiteriverbigcats New Member

    Messages:
    3,452
    State:
    Indiana
    Great fish Tony, Congrats.. But im 100% sure that is a channel. But either way it is a great fish
     
  8. just cats

    just cats New Member

    Messages:
    325
    State:
    Leslie Missouri
    Yep it's a channel and it's a dandy. Congratultations of a very nice fish.
     
  9. splitshot

    splitshot New Member

    Messages:
    2,827
    State:
    Coxsakie,N.Y.
    Congrats on the catch Tony, and thanks for sharing that great story, and pics. :big_smile:
     
  10. catfisher43

    catfisher43 New Member

    Messages:
    910
    State:
    missouri
    Congrats on the catch.thx.
     
  11. BIG GEORGE

    BIG GEORGE New Member

    Messages:
    10,362
    State:
    JOISY
    You don't need another one of us to point out its a channel. LOL! Great catch and a great story as well.

    You caught it, you cleaned it, you enjoy it! LOL!
     
  12. smoke

    smoke New Member

    Messages:
    107
    State:
    Indiana
    very nice fish congrats on the good night of fishing....keep your lines in the water
     
  13. dreamcatcher

    dreamcatcher New Member

    Congratulations on your personal best Tony, and thanks for sharing the experience with us.

    Vic
     
  14. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    a 9 lb channel will give a better fight than a 9 lbs flathead

    nice catch!!!!
     
  15. GoFish_Tony

    GoFish_Tony New Member

    Messages:
    600
    State:
    Big Rock, IL
    Thanks everybody.
    You guys are the experts. If you say it's a Channel then it's a channel.

    One thing I found out for sure was this pig sure could clamp down HARD on my thumbs. At one point she had both my thumbs in her mouth and I couldn't tell who had caught who! LOL

    Thanks again!
    Tony
    _
     
  16. Nightprowler

    Nightprowler New Member

    Messages:
    296
    State:
    ohio
    Very nice channel cat Tony,congrats on your P.B.Should be a good eater.
     
  17. shelbygt1979

    shelbygt1979 New Member

    Messages:
    1,989
    State:
    Olathe, KS
    congrats on your P.B. Tony. I bet you just can not wait to get back out there and catch some more biggins. Well good luck when you do.
     
  18. DTro

    DTro Active Member

    Messages:
    243
    State:
    Minnesota
    Nice catch!......for future reference, if the tail is forked, keep those mits out if its mouth:wink:

    Those channels can break bones if your not careful.
     
  19. Katphish

    Katphish New Member

    Messages:
    55
    State:
    tennessee
    that is a heck of a channel cat, congratulations
     
  20. Catgirl

    Catgirl New Member

    Messages:
    13,546
    Thank YOU, Tony, for the great story. You shared your excitement quite well, IMO. I felt like I was there on the bank watching the whole thing take place. Thanks also for the laugh you provided with this last post of yours, I needed one about now, so I appreciate that. Guess Ms.Channelcat thought you were all thumbs, bro :big_smile:. Luckily that was after the fact; you had already shown her YOU meant business. Congratulations on your personal best, my friend. :smile2: