46.80 pound flat head catfish

Lets talk about a waiting game.  I tried all year long to catch my first flat head on Clinton Lake here in Illinois and let me tell you it was a fun fight!


Three of us went out one afternoon and as always I had a pole setup for a bobber rig with a 7/0 reaper hook from Hookers Terminal Tackle on it and of course some Ande Monofilament spooled up.

We drifted for quite some time and the other 2 were just smacking channel cats the whole time, I hadn’t got a bite yet.  I just layed back and relaxed enjoying the time on the water.  They decided to take a look at some bank areas and hit a pretty good mark on the fish finder so they decided to beach the boat and hang out in the shade for a while.  I already knew at this point my bobber rig was going out with a live bait on it.  I didn’t get a good hook in the bait and was worried I was going throw it off so I gave it nice easy lob and it only made it about 10 feet from the boat (not my best attempt) but I said screw it I will let it sit for a while before I reel it in and throw my bait off for sure this time.

We sat there for maybe 15min and I’m paying no attention and of a sudden I hear NICK YOUR BOBBER!!  It started slowly moving across the water so I jumped up and timed the hook set out perfect.  Now at this point I feel like I just got taken into a snag and I get a little upset so I reeled down a little more and then I felt a little tug back so I knew at this point I had something hooked so I keep reeling and I instantly say this is definity a turtle as I am really good at catching turtles so I keep pulling in and then it happens,  This giant tail flops out of the water and all three of us just look at each other and give that oh heck we got a good one here grin.   I get the fish to the boat, netted and grab my pics then Gordo jumps in the water to make sure this fish get a nursed back to health and off he went.

Moral of the story here is if you set a goal even on a tough lake to catch the particular species you are fishing for it will happen if you keep trying!

Also this fish was caught again in the next Clinton Lake Catfish Tournament Series in the same spot and this is why I always CPR.