Vintage Kansas monster cats ..250lb blue

Discussion in 'KANSAS RIVERS TALK' started by kingkat82, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. kingkat82

    kingkat82 New Member

    Messages:
    45
    State:
    Central KS
    While researching old native KS. fish species I ran across a website, an old Ag. Report, dated 1875 from a Prof. White of what's now Kansas Univ. Needless to say the catfish reports perked me up. I'd never heard of a 250lb(!) catfish in KS before :eek:oooh: The current world record is half that weight. I've seen ol black&white pictures from the early 1900's of some giants ~140ish or more taken from the Kaw or Missi. .......but nothing like these monsters. One thing about it though has me confused. What's the difference between the "Great Yellow Cat" max. weight 188# compared to the "Yellow Cat" max. 100#? Same species falsely identified as seperate or? Why does it seem like the biggest cats today are half the size from 130+yrs ago? Channeling, dams, etc? I wonder how many 200lb+ still roam the waters:tounge_out:. Anywho here are some highlights taken from http://skyways.lib.ks.us/genweb/archives/1878/fish_native.shtml:


    "Amiurus cupreus Gill. - Great Yellow Cat-fish. In form like the Bull-head, but of a coppery-yellow color. The largest specimen weighed 188 lbs.

    "Ictalurus furcatus Gill. - Blue Cat fish; Fork-tailed Cat-fish. This is to the fisherman the most valuable species in the river, since it is quite abundant, is frequently of very large dimensions, and is always marketable. [Prof. Snow mentions having seen a specimen that weighed 175 lbs. Last May, while at Lawrence, the writer saw one that weighed 173 lbs. - COMMISSIONER.] Tradition is positive, that in the days of 1856 a fish of this species was captured weighing 250 lbs., which required the aid of a steamboat tow-line and a yoke of oxen for its safe deposit on the river bank. :cool2:

    "Ictalurus coerulescens Gill. - Channel Cat; Silvery Cat-fish. This very palatable fish is taken of all sizes, from 1/2 1b. to 15 lbs. It is used by the fishermen as bait for the larger species already mentioned.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2009
  2. brother hilljack

    brother hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    7,305
    State:
    Shelbyville, TN
    Very interesting stuff, we can only dream of such a cat
     

  3. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    State:
    Ohio
    I love to read old stuff like that. Do I believe it to be accurate? no.
    It is still very entertaining. In the professors work I find it odd that only the cat fish are giants (except for the poor Channel cat it only reaches a paltry 15 lbs.) and not the other species.
    If it were water quality and fishing pressure that attributed to the great size of these monsters, where I ask, are the giant bass, carp, crappie and other fish mentioned in his report? Just something to think about......... :big_smile::wink:
     
  4. GaryF

    GaryF New Member

    Messages:
    3,649
    State:
    O.P., KS
    The regular yellow cats were probably bullheads :smile2:
     
  5. KansasKatCatcher

    KansasKatCatcher Active Member

    Messages:
    461
    State:
    Kansas City, Ka
    Maybe the Catfish ate the other fish before they could get that big.

    At least we know what we need to use for bait to catch a 250 lb cat.
     
  6. mavmannate

    mavmannate New Member

    Messages:
    678
    State:
    De soto, Kansas
    I think that report is pretty dang accurate according to the data they could gather in that time period. because now-a-days they go out and stun the fish and count/weight/do whatever to collect data before durring and after stocking fish.

    but... at the same time, its sorta crazy to think about a 250 pounder...:crazy:
     
  7. GaryF

    GaryF New Member

    Messages:
    3,649
    State:
    O.P., KS
    I don't know how accurate the old reports are, but I sometimes think that 200 years from now they will be talking about all the volkswagon sized fish we had lurking around the dams before all of the lakes filled in with silt. :smile2:
     
  8. radish

    radish Member

    Messages:
    640
    State:
    ms
    The way things are going Gary i think that you are right.
     
  9. Kansas Tree Rat

    Kansas Tree Rat New Member

    Messages:
    486
    State:
    Waverly, Kansas
    The rest of the report says that black bass and crappie have just started to appear in the last 3-4 years? I find it hard to believe that these species have not been in Kansas for a lot longer than that. I have never personally caught a sturgeon, I wonder if any of them will ever make their way into Kansas.....:confused2:
    Interesting and I do think the old timers caught some really big fish but not sure how accerate some of these things were. Any guess on what the heck a Black Catfish is....I want to catch one....:big_smile:
     
  10. dafin

    dafin New Member

    Messages:
    1,461
    State:
    Manhattan,Kan
    My family has lived on the bank of the upper Kansas river sense the early 1800s. The old family fishing tales talk of catfish much like we are catching today.Some of the early methods they used would not be liked by many today.I have fished the upper kansas for some 55 years , the size and numbers of flathead is much the same as when I started.For some reason we are catching bigger channel cats now, in the 1950s a 10# channel was a bragging fish and 20# unheard of .
     
  11. arkrivercatman

    arkrivercatman New Member

    Messages:
    4,472
    State:
    KS
    Things havent changed. People are still over exagerating their fish.:smile2:
    IMO, there were probably catfish up to 150 lbs, in fairly decent numbers, before commercial fishing on the big rivers.
    Id like to believe 250 lbers exist(ed),:roll_eyes: but I am pretty confident that fish grew up to 150 lbs. Only 25 lbs away from the current records is very believable.
     
  12. warcraft1975

    warcraft1975 New Member

    Messages:
    1,190
    theres pics of blues over 150 pounds hanging in the muesums around here so why not 100 plus years ago you were dealing with a river system that was twice as deep and with nothing to block it up for hundereds of miles
     
  13. Backlashed

    Backlashed New Member

    Messages:
    3,270
    State:
    Derby, Kansas
    The old saying "all fishermen are lairs" was as true a hundred years ago as it is now.:roll_eyes:
    Besides that, a hundred years ago, who had scales? I imagine most weights were exaggerated guesses.
     
  14. kingkat82

    kingkat82 New Member

    Messages:
    45
    State:
    Central KS

    No way Jose :roll_eyes: I'll go with it. So it's a professor of biology documenting the fish species around the University. I would expect, especially back then, the utmost professionalism and factual integrity. Granted it doesn't state exactly how the specimens were weighed let alone if they were even witnessed, lol. But why would this guy want to overly exaggerate the size of the fish knowing people are going to read it, including other biologists? Why is the biggest channel only 15lbs...crappies 1lb...wouldn't those be exaggerated as well if they were trying to make the fish on the river seem otherworldly? 188# seems to be a pretty accurate "estimate." :big_smile: There were definitely scales back then, lol...it wasn't uncommon to find retail ones in a household. Ok maybe they were slightly larger and not as portable as today. There was definitely a way to measure fish, though. Unfortunately for us no cameras! Sure wish there was :roll_eyes: No proof for the "gotta see it to believe it" people. There's many other "stories" from back then, some from Mark Twain (saw landed 6 foot Blues (longer than him) in his river journies...). The absolute biggest fish I've read about was 315 lbs Blue and that I wonder about! But that only makes me believe more that there was or are at least 200lbers. How many of us can look at a cat and guess it's weight or get the measurements and practically nail the weight? Hey with all the dams and channeling that has occured, now there's deeper holes in many of the rivers and this leads me to believe goliaths of the past or bigger are somewhere in the present!! :big_smile: Maybe they're just not as predictable or condensed. Orrrr it's all classic fisherman shullbitting like some of ya believe(not likely!!) Hehehe. So how you actually land them on r&r is beyond me...I guess you'd have to throw a tow line on a boat and a have a yoke of Oxen on hand to pull it on the bank :wink::eek:oooh::smile2: LOL. Good fishing and luck this weekend ya'll
     
  15. playin4funami

    playin4funami New Member

    Messages:
    4,104
    State:
    Saronville Ne.
    When I think of all the farm and industrial chemicals that are in our waters now that were not present then or at least not in the quantities they are now it's easy to believe the big fish existed. The cats may not be killed outright from the pollutants but it builds up in their system and leads to a shorter life span,and being as how fish never stop growing as they age,that leads me to believe that the fish now may not have the lifespan they did back then.

    The waters in this country are getting cleaner as people realize the damage done,and in rivers and lakes that have been "cleaned up" and have started to recuperate from the pollution,people are already reporting larger average fish sizes than 20 years ago. Coincidents????
     
  16. Catpaw

    Catpaw Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,926
    State:
    Central Cail
    Name:
    James
    One thing about it though has me confused. What's the difference between the "Great Yellow Cat" max. weight 188# compared to the "Yellow Cat" max. 100#? Same species falsely identified as seperate or? Why does it seem like the biggest cats today are half the size from 130+yrs ago. Most likely the man writing the story never heard the old sane {The grass is alway's greener on the other siide}:smile2:Both cat's are yellow one grow up in the suburb's one grew up in the hood lol
     
  17. Catfish Fever

    Catfish Fever New Member

    Messages:
    4,548
    State:
    Wside, Mil