Iowa Man Catches Huge Flathead Catfish While Ice Fishing [PHOTOS]
Apparently, some Iowans must cut holes in the ice with an auger the size of something you'd put up to a grain bin. I know a grain auger is very different from an ice auger, but this guy had to be using a big one. Otherwise, there's no way he'd have been able to pull this huge fish through the ice, to the fishing promised land.
The fisherman's name is Gavin Campbell. He pulled that giant lunker to the top of the ice while fishing at Lake Manawa in western Iowa. The lake in Council Bluffs was formed when the Missouri River flooded in 1881. 81. Remember that number.
According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Campbell's flathead catfish in the photo below measured 40-inches long and weighed 34 pounds.
While that's a very impressive flathead catfish, it is small in comparison to the biggest one on record in the state of Iowa. We have to go back a long way to find the record holder. That's this fish caught in Ellis Lake in Lucas County in south-central Iowa. Joe Baze (on the left below) caught this 52-inch flathead in 1958. It weighed a whopping 81 pounds!
They don't get any bigger than 81 pounds, right? Wrong. Three guys fishing the Missouri River in Missouri last fall pulled in several huge fish. One of them was a flathead which tipped the scales at 106 pounds. The guys also caught fish that weighed in at 75 and 54-pounds that day. You can see photos of their haul HERE.
That 106-pound flathead catfish still isn't the biggest one ever caught, though. According to Field and Stream and Dieter Melhorn Fishing, the world record for a flathead catfish is 123 pounds. The monster fish was caught at the Elk City Reservoir in Kansas on May 19, 1998. Ken Paulie pulled the fish in while fishing with a live minnow. The amazing story of that fish can be seen in the video below.