Warwick, editors. flathead catfish. Flathead catfish can be found throughout the entire length of this river but it is probably that section below the Carlyle Dam that holds the greatest concentrations of these fish. When fishing this type of cover, heavy equipment is needed to haul these big fish to the surface. Excellent. Serving the areas of Alton, Godfrey, East Alton, Wood River, Roxana, Edwardsville, Jerseyville, Brighton, Bethalto, Grafton, Granite City, Annual Dogwood Bloom Marks Start of Crappie Bite, Brandon Battle Signs With EIU For Track, Is iCAN Male Athlete Of The Month For Edwardsville High School, SIUE Alumnus and Business Partner Earn Competitive $50K Arch Grant, Multi-Sports Competitor Claire Rodgers Is Jeff Lauritzen - Country Financial Athlete Of The Month For Marquette Catholic High School, USDA Issues Public Health Alert For Ready-To-Eat Beef Jerky Products, Governor Pritzker and President Preckwinkle Announce Location Of Four State-Supported Vaccination Sites Across Cook County, St. Louis County Police Positively Identify Woman In Homicide On Monday, January 18. While not all of these fish stories can be believed, many of the storytellers do carry proof in the form of photos. Surprisingly enough, good populations of very large catfish can be found in many Illinois lakes and rivers. Oftentimes, the action begins to heat up about 7:30 p.m. and continues until about 11 p.m. Pylodictis olivaris. - Mark Twain The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, 1884 a These bottom dwellers derive their common name, catfish, from the "whiskers" on their snouts, but they share other traits with earthbound felines. Anything under 15 pounds might bite just about anything. The unsuspecting angler tangled with the huge cat while fishing the open waters of the lake for white bass. These very same critics have obviously never tangled with a huge tackle-busting flathead catfish. These poor misguided anglers think catching these fish merely means loafing along some stretch of shoreline and waiting for a hungry catfish to swallow some sort of very smelly bait. These poor misguided anglers think catc FLATHEAD CATFISH . Maybe the dam stories are true haha. A flathead catfish is one of the largest North American freshwater fish! Good numbers of these fish can be found in the entire length of the Mississippi as it flows along Illinois western border. The size of the nest is usually dependent on the size of the female. The River Bender is a Community Center hosting entertainment & educational facility in Downtown Alton, Illinois. These large chucks of rock offer the big flatheads a retreat from the swift current. As far as the picture that comes with the story is concerned, it is not a Mekong Giant Catfish, but a normal sized Flathead Catfish (Pylodictis olivaris) that can grow to around 155 cm (5 feet) and weigh 120 pounds. Submit a News Tip. Feeding and Habits: FAQs   Flatheads begin spawning in late June and early July when waters reach over 70°F. Top 3 Rivers (based on average size): Wabash, Illinois, Mississippi; Angling Tips: Rod and reel anglers may have the greatest success with flathead catfish just below reservoir dams. Among many of Illinois varied angling fans, fishing for catfish is considered something of a lazy-man's sport. But, Carlyle Lake is not the only downstate location offering potential for landing a trophy-size flathead. Biologist Login   Flathead catfish are bottom-dwelling beasts that swim throughout rivers and … The . Habitat: Many anglers experience their best fishing from early July to early September. Flatheads like to attack moving baits and fishing live baits on the bottom near submerged logs, preferably in deeper water, is a popular method. The rear edge of this fin is rounded or slightly notched. Huge flatheads, some weighing in excess of 50 pounds, are pulled from this river each year. A three-ounce weight (preferred by most anglers) is attached approximately 30 inches above the hook. Rod and reel anglers may have the greatest success with flathead catfish just below reservoir dams. James Klauzer came into Big Red’s Bait and Tackle Friday night and said he “is going to catch some flatheads.’’ Did he ever, as in the Illinois record flathead catfish of 81.4 pounds from Sangchris Lake, a cooling lake southeast of Springfield. In southern Illinois, this would include the Mississippi, Kaskaskia, Sangamon and Ohio rivers. The flathead catfish is distinctive in appearance and not easily confused with any other species. Edition of The Rock Island Argus . Privacy. Recent Research: Read about the recent research being conducted on flathead catfish in the wabash river. There is no doubt that flatheads of amazing proportions exist in certain downstate waters. In southern Illinois, this would include the Mississippi, Kaskaskia, Sangamon and Ohio rivers. This fact was proven in August 1995 when a 78-pound then state-record flathead was caught from the waters of Carlyle Lake. It has a squared, rather than forked, tail, with a long body and large flattened head. When and how you go cat fishing depends on the species of catfish you’re looking for. "July and August are particularly productive times to fish this river for big flatheads.". Contact Us    Pp 147-162 in C.A. Okay… we may be exaggerating a bit, but when you’ve grabbed one of these things by the lip and looked it square in the eye, you’d be a little intimidated, too. Ryan Wooten (left) and Jackson Kennedy share smiles after landing Wooten’s flathead catfish last week from the Fox River. Flathead diets consist of mainly baitfish (e.g., shad, carp, drum, panfish) and tend to feed at night. This particular area is probably one of the best spots in the state to look for big flathead catfish. Today it is a popular catfishing river as well as for other species like smallmouth bass, muskies and carp. One previous world record flathead, taken from a Kansas reservoir, tipped the scales at 123 pounds. Family: Ictaluridae. The Illinois record flathead catfish was caught in June 2016 from Lake Sangchris, and weighed 81.4 pounds. The deep holes many of the navigational dams are typically among the top spots to search for hungry flatheads. Although other species are present the September bite on the Rock River, near Rockford is for channel and flathead catfish. We noticed you're using an ad block software. Although the spines can tear skin, the glands excrete venom. The relatively untapped fishing of the Ohio River may likely be the state's most overlooked flathead water. In fact, the Carlyle tailwaters have produced a few of our state-record flatheads through the years. The regulation for this area allows harvest of 1 fish per day 28" or larger and 2 fish between 13" and less than 28". In Illinois, the most common members are the channel catfish, flathead catfish, blue catfish and several species of bullheads. Due to their regular diet of fresh fish, flatheads seem to prefer live bait. Phylum: Chordata. Kingdom: Animalia. However, it is that portion of the Mississippi River from Quincy to the state's southern tip that offers the greatest potential for hooking up with one of these big fish. Except in large adults, there is a white tip on the upper half of the tail fin. Text @RB to 618-202-4618 to sign up for Text Alerts from RiverBender! Those areas containing large rocks and boulders seem to yield the best catches. We want to hear from you. The average length is about 25-46 in (64-117 cm). Flathead catfish are native to rivers and lakes in the lower Great Lakes and Mississippi River basin. They are found in appropriate habitat in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, much of Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, western Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, and as far south as Mexico. … Ifs about the whopper flathead catfish that bit off more than It could chew. And, numerous bragging-size catfish in the 30- to 50-pound class are caught from this lake each year. Another popular method is to anchor in the swift waters and tightline large whole or cut shad downstream from the boat. Flathead catfish; There are several other species of fish that you will find throughout North America however, including Yellow Bullhead, White catfish, Brown Bullhead, Stonecat and more. Virtually every body of water in Illinois contains at … Flathead catfish likes to eat night crawlers, stink bait, chicken livers, cheese bait, blood bait and much more. Taylor, J.B. Taft, and C.E. All rights reserved. They are so startlingly huge that you might possibly think it was a whale just cruisin’ by you if you came across one in your local lake! This fish lives in rivers and lakes in areas with submerged logs and other debris. Usually only one fish per drift pile is present. The summer months are a favorite time to go after the big flatheads. "Most of the better action occurs during the warmer summer months," said Ohio River fishing guide Darrell Van Vactor. According to Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) biologists, populations of flatheads can be found in certain smaller lakes and ponds across the state. A survey was done in 2018. The males build nests in areas where there are submerged logs or other similar types of debris and ferociously guard and defend the nest after fertilization. Fishing at night can also be very productive. 12.3 lbs. After hatching, the fry feed on insects and worms in the shallow, rocky or sandy substrate and become sexually mature in 4–5 years, depending on sex. Its maximum recorded lifespan is 24 years. Perhaps the best thing about Illinois catfish is that good fishing can be found virtually anywhere in the state. Reproduction: “The Flathead Catfish, Pylodictis olivaris, is a large catfish only recently discovered in Canada. In southern Illinois, this would include the Mississippi, Kaskaskia, Sangamon and Ohio rivers. JB Pritzker, Governor   |. Streams biologists have said for years the Kaskaskia is a haven for flathead enthusiasts. Santee Cooper Lakes: Blue Catfish, Channel Catfish, and Flathead Catfish. In rivers, they are typically found in the deeper waters compared to other sections of the river with moderate current and readily accessible food sources. Few anglers use anything lighter than 25-pound-test line and most prefer to use 30-pound line. INHS Illinois River Biological Station researchers caught these two nearly 50-pound flathead catfish on the same day in 2018 in Pool 17 of the Mississippi River near Muscatine, Iowa. There have been only two reported captures both from Ontario; from Lake Erie in 1978 and the Thames River in 1989. 33 . The venom is irritating and some people have had serious problems with infection afterward. Provided by Jackson Kennedy Ryan Wooten was fishing for smallmouth bass or, “maybe some walleye,” last week with a “little 3-inch black twistertail” with 4-pound line on spinning gear. The flathead catfish is a solitary species. Catfish have long, sharp spines on the front edges of their dorsal fins that are connected to venomous glands. I never in my life thought I would see a flathead catfish this big. It surpassed one of … Illinois Natural History Survey Special Publication 30, … The flathead catfish grows to a length of 155 cm (61 in) and may weigh up to 56 kg (123 lb), making it the second-largest North American catfish (after the blue catfish, Ictalurus furcatus). I FISH ILLINOIS.ORG  |   They say this particular species lacks excitement. Their argument typically includes mentions of the fight of a largemouth bass or the fast action from a marauding school of hungry white bass. Fortunately, these three species are in abundance in most of the heavily fished parts of the country. The catfish family is the largest family of freshwater fish endemic to North America. © Copyright 2005-2021 Intellisoft Development Corporation. IDNR   Flatheads like to attack moving baits and fishing live baits on the bottom near submerged logs, preferably in deeper water, is a popular method. The Kaskaskia River may certainly rate among the best producers of huge flathead catfish. I suspect there are few Illinois largemouths capable of this feat. It was caught in 1998. Canaries in the catbird seat: the past, present, and future of biological resources in a changing environment. 'a' flung us into Illinois. " While flatheads can be found in a wide variety of aquatic systems (small to large rivers, reservoirs), they are most likely to be found near such submerged wood cover as logs and rootwads. Among many of Illinois varied angling fans, fishing for catfish is considered something of a lazy-man's sport. This legendary Mississippi River is renowned for producing huge flatheads catfish. When it comes to big catfish in the state's southern reaches, it is often the flathead that takes top honors. Time was Illinois fishermen could use such a statement might to cover what they knew about fishing the Rock River. Colleen Callahan, Director   |   Order: Siluriformes. Share this story with your friends and family. Many anglers find a five- to six-inch shad the top bait for river fishing. An absolute unit of a flathead catfish was recently pulled from Illinois’ Lake Springfield. The flathead catfish may be found statewide in Illinois except in the northeastern one‐fourth. This particular species has the potential of attaining massive proportions. Provide your thoughts and comments below. And, fish in excess of 50 pounds are actually not all that rare. Illinois fish communities: more than a century of change. There is no size limit on carp, drum, bullhead, buffalo, shovelnose sturgeon, paddlefish, sucker, gar (except alliga-tor gar), bowfin, eel, yellow perch, chub, moon-eye, goldeye, carpsucker and smelt. But, they most commonly occur in major rivers, their tributaries, or reservoirs fed by these streams. This legendary Mississippi River is renowned for … This legendary Mississippi River is renowned for producing huge flatheads catfish. In southern Illinois, this would include the Mississippi, Kaskaskia, Sangamon and Ohio rivers. These lunker-filled lakes, … It does depend heavily on the size of flathead you are targeting. On the business end of the line, they attach a number six or larger hook. The flathead catfish may attain a length of 15 to 45 inches. Help us spread the word and give our sponsors some exposure by disabling your ad blocking service for Riverbender.com. Did you know Riverbender.com is free for you thanks to our awesome advertisers? “Little Rob” is one of 44 flathead catfish who have been stunned with electricity, collected and surgically tagged before being released back into the 500-mile-long river that flows from northwest Ohio, across northern Indiana and along the southern Illinois border. An unnamed but experienced looking angler caught this 98-pound flathead catfish while fishing at night on this small central Illinois lake. All other species may not be taken commercially, but if The hotspot, according to biologists, is the deep waters below the Smithland Dam near Golconda. In addition, they can also be found in the deep water just upstream from major wing dams or other navigational structures. The dedicated few who actually pursue the huge Mississippi River flatheads on a regular basis often concentrate their fishing efforts to those waters below these locks and dams. We're talking about huge fish that regularly snap 10- to 20-pound-test monofilament fishing line like it was sewing thread. The Rock River is one of the best rivers in the state for catching trophy size flathead catfish. During the spring, summer and fall months, reports of flathead catfish catches weighing 30 to 40 pounds are quite common around baitshops and coffee shops throughout the southern reaches of the state. Because flathead catfish are so long-lived, overharvest damage to the population might not be noted for many years, and recovery could take decades, so the Division of Fisheries is taking these steps to be proactive in their management. Class: Osteichthyes. On the Wabash and Ohio Rivers, in cooperation with the states of Indiana and Kentucky, the new flathead catfish regulation is 1 fish per day 35" or larger and … This legendary Mississippi River is renowned for … length for: channel catfish, flathead catfish, blue catfish and white catfish. Like their curious namesakes, catfish seek out and explore secluded spots. Print Version Found in Illinois: Statewide; State Average: 17" State Record: 81 lbs/6.4 ounces (2015) Best Lures: artificial baits, minnows, sunfish, shad, crayfish, and night crawlers; Angling Tips: Rod and reel anglers may have the greatest success with flathead catfish just below reservoir dams. Anglers pursuing these huge cats often drift the stretch of river just below the dam, dragging large whole live shad just off the bottom. FEATURES. However, most are likely captured by anglers using trotlines. Mid to large specimens are rather pot-bellied, with wide heads and beady eyes. Here, they lie waiting for baitfish, disoriented or injured after passing through the dam, to pass within striking distance. Catfish prefer to rest during the day and prowl at night. Original Flathead Catfish image used for Photoshop. Veteran river anglers use a long rods (up to ten feet in length) equipped with heavy duty reels. 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Largest North American freshwater fish endemic to North America flatheads a retreat from the Fox River to shad!

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