Yellow bullhead catfish is potential new state, world record

Discussion in 'LOCAL MISSOURI TALK' started by fishinpals, Jun 14, 2006.

  1. fishinpals

    fishinpals New Member

    Virginia, Illinois
  2. catsrking

    catsrking New Member

    Had not heard about that. If it is in fact true, that is a big fella!

  3. Taliesin

    Taliesin New Member

    There was another post on here titled "World Record Bait" that talked about the same thing.

    I can't get the link here to work (I am at work right now), but the other article talked about the other three or four bullheads he has pulled out of the 2-3 acre pond over 6#.
  4. Redd

    Redd New Member

    Southeast Kansas
    Dont think I've ever caught a bullhead over a pound...maybe pound and a half. That's a monster size one there!

  5. cook

    cook New Member

    Plattsburg,Mo.(near K.C.)
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    Yellow bullhead could blow existing world record out of the water

    John Irvin of Drexel caught this 6-pound, 6-ounce yellow bullhead catfish at Old Drexel Lake in Bates County May 27. The fish is a new Missouri state record and is larger than the current records recognized by the International Game Fish Association and the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame.
    (Missouri Dept. of Conservation photo)
    Bullhead catfish, which seldom grow larger than 3 pounds, are doubling that figure 20 miles south of Kansas City.

    DREXEL, Mo.-Pity the lowly bullhead. Beloved by young anglers and bucket-sitting, cane pole-toting worm-dunkers, these unpretty little catfish get no respect*unless they are twice the size that fishing encyclopedias say they should be. Then they are world records.

    That is the case with a tremendous yellow bullhead caught south of Kansas City over the Memorial Day weekend. John Irvin, his 8- and 11-year-old daughters and a nephew, who is 12, were crappie fishing at Old Drexel Lake late in the afternoon on May 27. They were taking turns with their only rod and reel. Irvin, 42, happened to be holding the rod when something big bit. That was no surprise. The 2- or 3-acre lake, which once was Drexel's municipal water supply, has channel and flathead catfish in it.

    "My cork went down and I set the hook and pulled that thing up through the moss and I said, 'That has to be a bullhead.' I got to looking at him and I said 'That's a bullhead alright.'"

    In spite of being certain that the fish was a yellow bullhead, Ameiurus natalis, Irvin was a little confused. He had never seen one that large. In fact, as far as record books show, no one has.

    Missouri's previous pole-line-and-lure record for yellow bullhead was a 5-pound, 13-ounce specimen taken from a farm pond near Blue Springs in 1986. The International Game Fish Association in Diana Beach, Fla., counts a 4-pound, 4-ounce fish caught in Arizona as its all-tackle record, and the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame in Hayward, Wisc., recognizes a 4-pound, 15-ounce fish from Georgia as the high-water mark for yellow bullheads.

    The Fishes of Missouri puts the maximum weight of yellow bullheads in Missouri streams at about 2 pounds. McClane's New Standard Fishing Encyclopedia is more optimistic, saying they may attain a weight of 3 pounds. Those books may need revision. When Conservation Agent Phil Needham put Irvin's fish on his own certified scales, he watched the weight level off at 6 pounds, 6 ounces.

    Here is where the story gets really interesting for other bullhead anglers. Irvin fished the same lake again for the next two days and landed two more yellow bullheads that dragged his pocket fish scales down to the 6-pound mark. He didn't bother having them officially weighed, since they fell short of his first catch. He also had his line broken by three fish. "There's no telling what they were," he said.

    Irvin knew some people wouldn't believe his fish story, so he kept all three big bullheads in a wire fish basket suspended in a cistern at his home. One of the smaller fish has died, but the other two remain swimming proof of the bullhead-producing prowess of Old Drexel Lake.

    Needham notes that three years ago he weighed another yellow bullhead from Old Drexel Lake that fell 3 ounces short of the state record.

    "I don't know what it is about that lake," said Needham. "It is an older lake with lots of sediment. Maybe conditions there just favor bullheads, or maybe it is genetics."

    Irvin thinks the lack of attention the lake gets from anglers might have something to do with the quality of fishing there.

    "This old lake has been there for ages, and it's pretty well growed up with cattails and stuff. You can't hardly get in to it to fish it. It's pretty rough fishing. A lot of people don't fish it anymore."

    Irvin's catch marks the second time in a little over a month that a Missouri fish has eclipsed national records. Callaway County resident John Horstman was fishing at a private lake near his home April 21 when he boated a 5-pound black crappie.

    For more information about Missouri fishing records and how to apply for a record, visit and click on "Fishing." Next, click on "Fish and Fishing," and then click on "Fishing records - pole and line."

    Irvin was fishing with minnows and a cork when he caught the big bullheads. His spincasting reel was spooled with 6-pound-test line. "Everybody told me I had too light a tackle, but I was still catching fish," he observed.

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    Yellow bullhead could blow existing world record out of the water

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  6. redneckdrum

    redneckdrum New Member

    That fish would scare me to death comin' out of a pond.A big yeller fish,I'd be lookin' 'round the area to see if they're was any neuclear power plant's nearby.