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72 lb Flathead Catfish!

  • Ben Garver
    Participant
    Hickman, Nebraska
    Posts: 3149
    #1319942

    Well here was the big fish from the weekend for my boat and maybe even the entire state of Nebraska. I caught this 72 lb beast on Saturday afternoon while trolling crankbaits for susspended walleye.

    The walleye bite was really hot all day long as was the flathead bite. I watched Todd, a Sherman local, tussle with a dandy cat mid-morning. Todd’s big cat hit the scale at 50+ lbs. Congrats on a PB Todd! Aparently a little later in the morning another 25-30 lb’r was boated on fellow IDO faithful, Scott Tincher’s boat. Nice flattie Scott. These two cats are also pictured below.

    My beast throttled my crankbait mid-afternoon and took me for a ride. I imediately knew I had a big fish on the line and not a snag, as I was trolling for susspended fish in 22 FOW. After a quick drag ajustment I was able to get my kicker into nuetral and reel up my second line to get it out of the way. I generally steer my boat while trolling using my bow mount iPilot. It was a good thing I had the foot pedal out that afternoon as well. This helped me chase down the fish and get directly over top of her to help shorten the fight. I know these big fish are very old and rare and during this time of the year when the water temps are at their warmest it’s best to land them as quickly as possible. Since I was by myself I grabbed my cell phone and made a quick phone call to a friend. Within just a few minutes he had a fellow Nebraska walleye tournament fisherman, that was fishing nearby, on my boat with a giant net to help me get it landed. After netting the beast we removed the crankbait from it’s mouth while it was still in the net over the side of the boat. After getting camera’s and such ready to go we hoisted her into the boat for a couple of quick pics. After holding the fish I knew I wanted to get a weight on her and decided to get to a scale. We placed her back into the landing net and kept her submurged over the side of the boat while we headed to the marina with the kicker motor. I called the marina to let them know I wanted to weigh a fish and asked if they could have someone bring their scale down to my boat. We weighed the fish at 72 lbs, snapped a few more pics and made a successful release. WOW!!! That truely was a fish of a lifetime and I sure hope that someone gets to tussle with her again when she might take down the Nebraska state record of 80 lbs.




    Brian Klawitter
    Keymaster
    Minnesota/Wisconsin Mississippi River
    Posts: 58727
    #894150

    Awesome fish Ben!

    It’s great to see that size of fish being supported to help ensure it’s successful release!

    I just need to know how many people did it take to stuff that anvil down it’s throat?!

    cat-stevens
    Participant
    Rochester,MN
    Posts: 449
    #894151

    Great story, and congrats for sure!

    illiniwalli
    Participant
    WC Illinois
    Posts: 870
    #894152

    WOW!!
    What a beast and the other 2 aint bad.
    I can see it now … Ben and BrianK’s Flathead Trolling Adventures.

    chomps
    Participant
    Sioux City IA
    Posts: 3974
    #894155

    that’s one heck of a fish, and a great story to boot! BK will be busy giving tours of the new Twins stadium.

    jon_jordan
    Participant
    St. Paul, Mn
    Posts: 10908
    #894156

    Ufda!

    -J.

    Brad Juaire
    Participant
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts: 6101
    #894160

    72 lbs? Wow – Congrats Ben!

    bret_clark
    Participant
    Sparta, WI
    Posts: 9362
    #894161

    Awesome job getting that piggy in the boat for a picture Ben….Congrats on a true beast

    Oh the stories that fish could probably tell

    jeremy-liebig
    Participant
    mpls
    Posts: 1455
    #894165

    Amazing fish…congrats Ben!

    Dean Marshall
    Participant
    Chippewa Falls WI /Ramsey MN
    Posts: 5822
    #894166

    Joel Ballweg
    Participant
    Sauk City, Wisconsin
    Posts: 3295
    #894171

    Wow, that is an awesome fish Ben!
    Congrats!

    dtro
    Inactive
    Jordan
    Posts: 1501
    #894175

    Yeah baby!!

    Very curious if you took any length or girth measurments Ben?

    That’s 70lb mark is an elsuive one here in MN, and if or when it ever does come the boat I like to have some numeric figures in my back pocket.

    I I had to guess, I would say it was like 50 or 51″ and 33-34 around the belly.

    Pete Bauer
    Participant
    Stillwater, MN
    Posts: 2573
    #894178

    Holy crap. Don’t dangle your feet off the side of the boat!

    Great fish Ben

    farmboy1
    Participant
    Mantorville, MN
    Posts: 3668
    #894179

    HOLY HANNAH, WHAT A PIG

    Congrats on the hog

    chris-tuckner
    Participant
    Hastings/Isle MN
    Posts: 12318
    #894180

    Wow!! A Flattie built like me!!!

    Short in the body and a big beer belly!!

    Congrats Ben!!!

    fishbizbob
    Participant
    Posts: 198
    #894183

    What a pig!!! Congrats on that!!!

    Jami Ritter
    Participant
    Hastings, MN
    Posts: 3057
    #894187

    Holy man!! What a beast!

    Jami

    bosman
    Participant
    DeSoto, WI
    Posts: 914
    #894190

    xcvxczvc x

    Sorry ~ my jaw hit the lower left portion of the keyboard. Nice fish!

    Ben Garver
    Participant
    Hickman, Nebraska
    Posts: 3149
    #894191

    Quote:


    Yeah baby!!

    Very curious if you took any length or girth measurments Ben?

    That’s 70lb mark is an elsuive one here in MN, and if or when it ever does come the boat I like to have some numeric figures in my back pocket.

    I I had to guess, I would say it was like 50 or 51″ and 33-34 around the belly.


    After having a similar beast in my boat last spring with my cousin I decided to get a soft tape measure in the boat. Now do you think I could find it Sat?? We did get a fairly acurate measurement of it’s length and it was 55 inches. I would hate to even try to guess the girth. Maybe someone would like to guess. Keep in mind the little guy holding this beast weighs 240.

    Question for the hardcore cat guys….. This fish should have spawned a few weeks ago correct?? The belly on this thing was almost out of the ordinary.

    Ben Garver
    Participant
    Hickman, Nebraska
    Posts: 3149
    #894194

    I forgot to mention a important fact in my story….

    This fish was caught on one of Evert’s Resorts “Shortie” 5 ft trolling rods. I’ve had people tell me those short rods can’t handle big fish. Thanks Deano.

    Whiskerkev
    Participant
    Madison
    Posts: 3835
    #894195

    That is an awesome feat of angling to handle a fish like that alone. You’ll be bloody lucky to ever see it’s like again in your lifetime. Nice work Ben. That fish likely spawned in June. Would have been gigantic then.

    Mike W
    Participant
    MN/Anoka/Ham lake
    Posts: 12473
    #894201

    Amazing fish Ben. I keep telling people that crankbaits are the preferred bait for large catfish. Thanks for proving that.

    Supposed this means you should of trolled bullheads for walleyes.

    Bob Bowman
    Participant
    MN
    Posts: 3512
    #894203

    Congrats

    Amazing fish, congrats on the release too

    mplspug
    Participant
    Palmetto, Florida
    Posts: 25025
    #894204

    Ben it is not nice to force flatheads to swallow bowling balls for pictures.

    That is an awesome fish. Ben, I am in awe. Seriously, nice catch and thanks for sharing a great story. Also thanks for sharing how you treated her with tender care.

    So, what kind of crankbait and what color?

    Also note, a WALLEYE guy was kind enough to help out.

    t-ellis
    Participant
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts: 1316
    #894205

    Great fish Ben!! If you were using them I bet it sunk the planer board like a bobber.

    dtro
    Inactive
    Jordan
    Posts: 1501
    #894209

    At 55″ that girth was most likely 32-35 somewhere in there.

    Beauty!

    Jesse Krook
    Participant
    Y.M.H.
    Posts: 6403
    #894278

    That thing is ridiculous !!!!!!!!!!!!! Congrats Ben what a fish of a lifetime

    So are you still shaking ?

    Dean Marshall
    Participant
    Chippewa Falls WI /Ramsey MN
    Posts: 5822
    #894302

    Quote:


    I forgot to mention a important fact in my story….

    This fish was caught on one of Evert’s Resorts “Shortie” 5 ft trolling rods. I’ve had people tell me those short rods can’t handle big fish. Thanks Deano.


    LOL…..you were just defending your “precious” flickershad.
    Upon further review…that fish looks like it actually swallowed 2 big rubber balls!

    armchairdeity
    Participant
    Phoenix, AZ, formerly from the NW 'Burbs, Minneapolis, MN, USA
    Posts: 1620
    #894307

    Holy crap, dude!

    Where in Nebraska? I’m gonna be in Omaha the 30th thru the 1st or 2nd. I could come down a few days earlier for a bit of crazy monster fishing.

    I’ve been wanting to fish there since I got the job last October, but I can’t find anyone who knows the area well enough to give me a starting place.

    Congrats on a freakin fantastic catch!

    rippin-lips
    Participant
    Kearney
    Posts: 52
    #894335

    Awesome fish Ben. We trolled by shortly after you hooked into yours. We made a whole pass around the island while you were still fighting the beast. Got back around in time to see you net it from a distance. Did’nt even cross my mind to come give you a hand. Maybe next time

    I have very little experiance with catfishing. The only ones I have ever caught have been while fishing for Walleye. Shortly after we caught and released ours we were paid a visit by the CO out on his jet ski. We told him about our fish we caught and he asked channel or flat head. Heck if I know I told him. Had to show him the picture on my cell phone. He tells us of course flat head and it only needs to be 15# for a MA. Guess we should of took it to the scale.

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