Monday, September 28, 2009

Giant Catfish - Not Always Legend


I think most places that have catfish invariably have tales of GIANT catfish. The largest species are known to inhabit southeast Asia. In fact, a specimen the size of a "grizzly bear" was caught in Thailand back in 2005.

For the longest time, tales of catfish 6-feet in length have circulated in Oklahoma. Often these denizens of the deep are said to dwell near the Lake Eufaula dam, but other lakes have their own stories. Is there much truth? Who knows, but large catfish are on occasion fished from the waters of the Sooner State.

Not long ago, an estimated 100 lb catfish was dragged from the waters of Lake Carl Blackwell by a "noodler", a fisherman who prefers a more "hands on" approach to catching his prey.

So, big fish are out there. The largest catfish caught by rod and reel (of any variety) on record in Oklahoma was a blue catfish that measured over 4.5 feet and weight 98 lbs, according to the State Wildlife Department. This monster catfish was caught in Lake Texoma in November 2004 by Billy Nabors.

However, in those records the Department classifies as the "Unrestricted Division", another Blue was caught in the same lake back in May of 1988 that weighed in at a whopping 118 lbs 8 oz and was 4.75 feet in length. Dan Grider hooked the monster with a jugline.

Given the incredible size of these domestic catfish, it doesn't stretch one's imagination to think that specimens only a foot and half longer could exist.

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