Just a week ago I told you about a big flathead catfish caught from Branched Oak Reservoir, Stop the Presses, Big Fish! This week I have another monster fish to tell you about.
I have been saying that there are some blue catfish in our Missouri River that are large enough to break our existing, 44-year old, rod & reel blue catfish record. Last week that record came really close to being toppled.
Bob Campbell down in southeast Nebraska caught a blue catfish last Wednesday that officially weighed-in at 91 pounds and some odd ounces!!!!!
Bob has been fishing the Mighty Mo for quite awhile and has dried off a few big catfish, he knows what he is doing. But this big blue was WAY BIGGER than any cats he had caught before. The fish was 52 1/2 inches long and ate a live baitfish. Bob said he caught the monster in only 4 or 5 feet of water–apparently that big blue was on the prowl looking for something to eat! When the fish was hooked, it took off down river and Bob and his partner had to pull anchor and go along with it! He was tackled up with the gear he needed to handle it though, a good ABU Garcia casting reel spooled with a quality 30-pound test monofilament. But . . . their landing net was nowhere near big enough! When they got the fish to the boat, they grabbed it by the lower jaw and pulled it in.
Let me add a little more to the story. The fish was first weighed Wednesday evening and weighed exactly the same as our current rod & reel blue catfish record–100 pounds 8 ounces! I was jazzed-up when I first heard about that! We had a couple of fisheries biologist head down Bob’s way last Thursday morning and they officially weighed the fish at 91-some pounds. Bob kept the fish alive over night, you can see the rope in its jaw, so the only way it could have lost weight would have been to puke up its stomach contents. Regardless of falling short of the record, that was a BIG FISH and an outstanding catch.
Here is another view of the fish on the deck of a boat:
I have more good news to add to this story: The fish was kept alive and hauled to our Ak-Sar-Ben Aquarium near Gretna. It is being held in one of the tanks in the back room right now; we want to be sure it is completely healthy and unstressed, but by the end of this week it should be on display!!!! I cannot wait to see it!
By the way, Bob is planning to get a replica mount, so all of us can see the fish, alive, and he can have it hanging on the wall as well!
Thank you, Bob, and CONGRATULATIONS! What an outstanding catch!