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I couldn't take it anymore, I had to fish the river. I was watching the forecast all week and watching the guages. I was hoping for <1500 cfs but had to settle for about 1750; that's higher than I'd waded. I decided it didn't matter. I brought a couple setups but carrying them both proved tedious so I dropped one off at the car and opted to run and gun. It turned out the river was plenty wadeable if you know the area and tread carefully. I avoided spawning areas and picked up plenty of dinks in dinky-looking spots. I also managed a couple of post spawn males at around 14" that were relating to fast current and sporting battle scars.

After about two hours and 8 smallies I decided to brave the current to a spot that has produced some big bass for me in the past in much lower water conditions. I wasn't sure how it would be in the higher water. As it turned out it was a bit on the fast, high side but I gave it a shot anyway. About the fifth cast I get hit by a freight train. At first I thought foul hooked carp but after a few seconds knew I had a clean hooking by the way the fish was running and the *thump thump* of the shakes. My rod was doubled over and my drag was screaming for mercy. The fight lasted a good five minutes and my forearms were burning. It made several runs directly upstream and I had yet to get a glimpse of the fish but at this point was confident I had a good hookset. Finally the fish tired and started drifting downstream and towards the surface. There she was, a large flattie. I had trouble landing it in the middle of the river so I managed to grab the lower jaw and beach it on the nearest rock bar. Apologies for the bad pics but I was having trouble holding her up after the fight, I was shaking from fatigue and adrenaline. She measured over 30" on the rod, the longest marking I had on my bass/walleye setup.

Amazing what 10 lb Powerpro and a well set drag can dredge up. I notinced blood on my phone and was worried it was the fish but it turns out it was mine; the fish destroyed my thumb. That was the last fish I got largely because I was shaking for most of the last half hour I fished and couldn't cast accurately. Then I spent the day at Arlington race track for a birthday party. There was a long shot going off in the 9th named "Reigning Catfish." I threw 10 bucks on him to win in honor of my catch and it hit and paid $350! Pretty good day.

This DuPage Angler Catch Of The Day is Sposored by:

Suc Seafood

Marty Rogers's Avatar
Marty Rogers replied the topic: #9023 07 Jun 2013 06:32
I can't stop thinking about that Flathead! I might need a shrink.
SoonerBass's Avatar
SoonerBass replied the topic: #8933 03 Jun 2013 22:58
I would guess 15-20lbs as well. There is a group of fox river flathead fisherman that track flathead catches that would probably be interested in your catch as well. I think this is their site but I'm not positive: Fox Valley Flatheaders
Darkstar72's Avatar
Darkstar72 replied the topic: #8932 03 Jun 2013 22:13

jmdog wrote: Woohoo! Thanks guys :cheer:

"What's a cat that size weigh?"
I was curious myself. I catch em occasionally while bass fishing but never that big. Anyone else a catfish connoisseur?

Flathead is a species I haven't hooked into yet. I'm not opposed to trying however!!

I'm also by no means a catfish expert but eyeballing it as I must I'd put it over 14, but possibly closer to 20. It looks like it's nice and wide as well as girthy.

I'm basing this off of the size of your hand versus the size of it's mouth.

Way to go and congratulations on the COTD!!!!
jmdog's Avatar
jmdog replied the topic: #8931 03 Jun 2013 19:00
Woohoo! Thanks guys :cheer:

"What's a cat that size weigh?"
I was curious myself. I catch em occasionally while bass fishing but never that big. Anyone else a catfish connoisseur?
redhook62's Avatar
redhook62 replied the topic: #8929 03 Jun 2013 17:58
That's a great fish! What's a cat that size weigh?
Brutus's Avatar
Brutus replied the topic: #8928 03 Jun 2013 16:39
Way to go jmdog! I really need to fish with you you are an animal!
DuPage Angler's Avatar
DuPage Angler replied the topic: #8925 03 Jun 2013 15:33
Congrats on the COTD JMdog and you were actually supposed to be in the Catfish Section but the entire story needs to have a category by itself!