It doesn't seem like 14 years since an otherwise quiet evening in my Johnson County home was forever changed by the phone call that reported a new state-record blue cat - a whopping 83-pounder - having been taken from the Kansas River not far from DeSoto. And given the number of waters gracing the Show Me State that are known to have bona-fide trophy potential, it's little wonder that no state record is ever really safe. They have been caught at city lakes, state fishing lakes and large impoundments. So perhaps the next state record currently lurks in one of the Show Me State's impoundments. Every other Corps of Engineers impoundment is rated as at least good, and many are rated as excellent as far as channel cats go. Steedman, then chairman of the Missouri Fish Commission; the recipient was the U.S. National Museum of Natural History, now part of the Smithsonian Institute. For me, there are no more dynamic and changeable fisheries in Kansas than its rivers - especially the Kaw, which is one of the largest and, as such, is subject to vast differences in water levels and current intensities. These demands prevent it from prospering in most small rivers and impoundments, but it does marvelously well in the Missouri, Mississippi and Osage rivers and in several of Missouri's large reservoirs. Milford is the only large reservoir in the state whose channel-cat fishing is not rated as either good or excellent; it's assessed as only fair. Fish caught on handheld snagging equipment will be considered if taken from waters where snagging is legal. Suffering through the advent of channelization, commercial fishing, dam construction and pollution, Missouri's big cats nonetheless survived. Also consider that it was nine years ago this month, in June 1993, when Lansing resident Kennith Bradford used a perch as bait to claim the state channel-cat record with another Kansas River catch - a 40-inch channel that weighed 34 pounds, 11 ounces.
Every major impoundment has decent numbers of flatheads, and the forage bases of these largest of Sunflower State lakes means that the cats in them will grow to very large size. Channel catfish, the most abundant and widely distributed of the three species, are present in practically all our state waters, from small ponds and creeks to mighty rivers and, seemingly, in every type of water in between. If you're looking downstream at a dogleg left in the river, the right bank in that dogleg will be the deeper side, the one with all the structure. Beyond doubt is the fact that channel cats and crappie are at the top of state anglers' lists of fish they prefer to go after for their combination of action and table fare. When it comes to producing truly large, whiskered game fish, this eastern Kansas drainage offers the best of the best. There aren't many better ways to spend a summer night than skewering fish in the shallows.
We've got you covered. 6 Steps to the Perfect Trigger Pull on Your Compound Bow, Baitfish for Bass: Search, Suspend or Sink Crankbaits, Beware of Internet Hunting and Fishing License Sales Scams, The South's Best Waters for Trophy Catfish, 10 Secret Catfish Baits You Didn't Know About, Great Catfish Baits That Won't Stink Up the Place, How to Catch Suspended Catfish in Late Summer with Proven Tactics, Make Your Own Tackle Box with Plano Edge Flex. Constructed from five types of premium carbon and fiberglass fibers bonded by a proprietary aerospace resin, these rods are stronger and yet capable of making, short, delicate casts. More than any other fishery in the state, this meandering, generally off-color stream with what some will tell you is a truly living nature is home to a legitimate triple threat - monstrous examples of blue, channel and flathead catfish.
If it's a dogleg right, then the left bank will be the primary fish-holding area. Among the tendencies alluded to earlier is the fact that any major turn in the main channel is going to have a deep bank - the bank the water flows into and against as it makes its turn - that will likely sport plenty of cover in the form of old trees and other debris. The new Tatula reel is perfect when an angler is on the water fishing big baits for big bass! Honestly, big flatheads are my personal favorites because they can be so aggressive. Next to the prehistoric paddlefish, the blue catfish is the state's largest aquatic denizen. Source: IGFA World Records Database The record for the largest flathead catfish belongs to Ken Paulie, who landed his big flathead over 20 years ago. Subscriber Services. All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. Most Recent World Record Catfish.
You have to scout the river, locating the spots that offer big cats the best combination of deep cover and access to shallow, slow riffles and bars where they can feed after dark. His new state record is an awesome example of the big-cat potential the Kansas River had, and still has today. And as more anglers pursue the big beasts each year as well, it shouldn't surprise anyone to see any record fall in the near future - perhaps even a number of times. Some anglers might argue with that assessment, claiming there are other places in the state with extremely large cats - especially flatheads. You don't have to go stinky with catfish baits. If that truly was the case, then Johnson County angler James Edmiston proved that history can in fact repeat itself. Discover even more in our monthly magazine. Give a Gift Of course, you should always be safe when you're on the water. Quick-Strike Tips for Early Archery Deer Success, The South's Best Waters for Trophy Catfish, 10 Recipes for Your Backyard Get Together, Great Catfish Baits That Won't Stink Up the Place, How to Catch Suspended Catfish in Late Summer with Proven Tactics, Yo-Zuri Hardcore NOI-Z Wakebait and Crank Series. But on the Kaw, the ever-changing positions of sandbars, submerged trees and other debris make navigating an unfamiliar stretch a lot like walking a field of land mines while blindfolded. The record for a channel cat taken on pole and line is the longest-standing of any for the three species. Plenty of places hold flatheads exceeding 50 pounds. My best trophy channel cat only weighed about 5 pounds. Restricted Records (Excluding spearing, setline and snagging) If your wish is a truly large flathead, you can just about pick a spot in Kansas. I've had flatheads of more than 20 pounds come after green sunfish I was trying to land on a fly rod; come after a soft plastic jerkbait I was trying to use for bass; and even come after that little crawdad imitation lure I mentioned earlier. In fact, some folks are quite sure that the record's been broken numerous times since 1976 by outsized channels mistaken because of similar size, shape and color for average blues. Nothing could be further from the truth. What about flatheads? There's no doubt about it: If you want to catch really big catfish in Kansas, these are the places you should be fishing! Cats generally will stay in the deep holes throughout the day, venturing from them up into the shallows to feed after dark. A state-record fish must be legally caught in Arkansas where a sport-fishing license is required (no hatcheries or pay-to-fish lakes). (I'll have more about that in a little bit.). You also can find them in many farm ponds, where a shallow lip drops into the deeper main "bowl" of the pothole. The average size is between 2 and 4 pounds. Reports of channels in the upper 20s being caught crop up every year in Missouri, and a 35-pounder likely swims some Show Me pond or lake or stream or river. Seven of them produced channel cats heavier than 10 pounds in the annual samplings that help produce these forecasts. Subscriber Services. They likely represent the two best flathead rivers in the state, but that is open to discussion.
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