Discussion in 'LUKE CLAYTON' started by Catfish_Commando, Jan 29, 2007.

  1. Catfish_Commando

    Catfish_Commando TF Staff Member



    Luke Clayton​

    Catfish can best be described as the unsung hero of the fishing world; just about everybody that every wet a hook has enjoyed catching whiskerfish. Most of us that grew up in families that enjoyed the outdoors remember camping and fishing trips with evening fish frys of tasty catfish fillets.


    Actually, back when I was a kid, my dad wouldn’t consider filleting a catfish, they were skinned and either fried hole of cut into steaks! We owned a poultry farm and every seven or eight weeks, when the chickens were sold, we packed the old ’50 International Pickup (Old Red) and headed to the lakes of southeast Oklahoma to camp and spend a few days fishing for catfish. Our goal was to get camp set up in time to catch a “mess” of catfish for the first evenings meal. I don’t remember ever not eating fish that first evening but what I remember most is the great time we all had being together.

    Until a few years ago, catfish and the sport of catching them was left mainly to family outings. A huge majority of the fishing crowd loved to fish for catfish but Mr. Whiskers largely took a back seat to the more highly published black bass. Back in the 70’s when bass tournaments pushed bass fishing into the limelight, devout catfish anglers kept on fishing as they always had but bass were king and the public seldom heard about catching catfish from the outdoor press. That was then and now is now!

    Thanks to tournament trails centered around catfishing, and much more exposure in the outdoor press, more and more folks were exposed to just how much fun fishing for catfish really is. They learned that anyone with the desire to fish can catch catfish. Granted, there are boats on the market designed strictly for the pro catfisherman that are every bit as big and expensive as the top-end bass rig, but catfish can be caught from the bank. For a small cash outlay for some basic equipment, catfish are within the reach of most families in the U.S.

    Today, catfish have finally earned the respect they have always deserved, thanks in large part to organized catfish tournaments. Bass Pro Shop’s BIG CAT QUEST, headed up by Freeman and Cabela’s KING CAT TOURNAMENTS sponsor catfish tournaments have huge followings. McDonalds is even knee deep in supporting catfish tournaments though it’s BIG CATFISH SPLASH tournaments, organized and headed up by Ken Bob Sealy. ACATS, (American Catfish Anglers Tournament Series) now has local chapters in several states and is adding new chapters every day.

    The National Catfish Derby at Lake Pickwick in Tennessee is possibly the oldest fishing tournament in the U.S. today. Promoter Ken Freeman says the event draws contestants from all over the country.

    These tournament’s are all well organized and well funded. The ACATS CLASSIC tournament held at Lake Sardis in eastern Oklahoma last fall paid out $100,000 in cash and prizes which included new Sea Ark catfish boats and a new truck.

    The glue that helps bond catfishermen together today has become the BOC, BROTHERHOOD OF CATFISHERMEN ( If you’re interested in learning more about catching catfish or possibly joining a tournament series, go to the site and spend some time browsing through all the interesting topics. You can do everything from listen to CATFISH RADIO to ask questions on the discussion boards about how to repair a trolling motor or rig for drift fishing.

    Yes, the sport of catfishing has advanced light years from the time back in the last fifties when I first camped on the banks of Long Lost Lake in Oklahoma and spent many happy days in quest of catfish with my family. But, when broken down to it’s basics, catching catfish, whether from a fully rigged “cat” boat in a catfish tournament, or a parent and child outing to the nearby city pond, catfishing will remain the same: A simple sport that’s just plain old FUN for anyone with a few hours to enjoy in the outdoors and a taste for some crispy fried fillets!

    LUKE CLAYTON’S OUTDOORS radio program can be listened to on the internet at
  2. rivercatsc

    rivercatsc New Member

    South Caro
    Glad to know there are others out there with the same intrest as I do. The BOC is by far the backbone of this movement and a key player in the conservation of this wonderful sport we all love. Thank you.