The size of the nest is usually dependent on the size of the female. In southern Illinois, this would include the Mississippi, Kaskaskia, Sangamon and Ohio rivers. Fortunately, these three species are in abundance in most of the heavily fished parts of the country. The flathead catfish is a solitary species. In fact, the Carlyle tailwaters have produced a few of our state-record flatheads through the years. Ifs about the whopper flathead catfish that bit off more than It could chew. Flathead diets consist of mainly baitfish (e.g., shad, carp, drum, panfish) and tend to feed at night. Taylor, J.B. Taft, and C.E. They are so startlingly huge that you might possibly think it was a whale just cruisin’ by you if you came across one in your local lake! Provide your thoughts and comments below. Illinois fish communities: more than a century of change. Top 3 Rivers (based on average size): Wabash, Illinois, Mississippi; Angling Tips: Rod and reel anglers may have the greatest success with flathead catfish just below reservoir dams. Serving the areas of Alton, Godfrey, East Alton, Wood River, Roxana, Edwardsville, Jerseyville, Brighton, Bethalto, Grafton, Granite City, Annual Dogwood Bloom Marks Start of Crappie Bite, Brandon Battle Signs With EIU For Track, Is iCAN Male Athlete Of The Month For Edwardsville High School, SIUE Alumnus and Business Partner Earn Competitive $50K Arch Grant, Multi-Sports Competitor Claire Rodgers Is Jeff Lauritzen - Country Financial Athlete Of The Month For Marquette Catholic High School, USDA Issues Public Health Alert For Ready-To-Eat Beef Jerky Products, Governor Pritzker and President Preckwinkle Announce Location Of Four State-Supported Vaccination Sites Across Cook County, St. Louis County Police Positively Identify Woman In Homicide On Monday, January 18. The Kaskaskia River may certainly rate among the best producers of huge flathead catfish. However, it is that portion of the Mississippi River from Quincy to the state's southern tip that offers the greatest potential for hooking up with one of these big fish. It does depend heavily on the size of flathead you are targeting. Edition of The Rock Island Argus . In Illinois, the most common members are the channel catfish, flathead catfish, blue catfish and several species of bullheads. While not all of these fish stories can be believed, many of the storytellers do carry proof in the form of photos. While flatheads can be found in a wide variety of aquatic systems (small to large rivers, reservoirs), they are most likely to be found near such submerged wood cover as logs and rootwads. The average length is about 25-46 in (64-117 cm). In rivers, they are typically found in the deeper waters compared to other sections of the river with moderate current and readily accessible food sources. The hotspot, according to biologists, is the deep waters below the Smithland Dam near Golconda. "July and August are particularly productive times to fish this river for big flatheads.". Oftentimes, the action begins to heat up about 7:30 p.m. and continues until about 11 p.m. Flathead catfish; There are several other species of fish that you will find throughout North America however, including Yellow Bullhead, White catfish, Brown Bullhead, Stonecat and more. Another popular method is to anchor in the swift waters and tightline large whole or cut shad downstream from the boat. Except in large adults, there is a white tip on the upper half of the tail fin. FAQs   There is no size limit on carp, drum, bullhead, buffalo, shovelnose sturgeon, paddlefish, sucker, gar (except alliga-tor gar), bowfin, eel, yellow perch, chub, moon-eye, goldeye, carpsucker and smelt. The Rock River is one of the best rivers in the state for catching trophy size flathead catfish. Usually only one fish per drift pile is present. Catfish have long, sharp spines on the front edges of their dorsal fins that are connected to venomous glands. Veteran river anglers use a long rods (up to ten feet in length) equipped with heavy duty reels. All rights reserved. Good numbers of these fish can be found in the entire length of the Mississippi as it flows along Illinois western border. We're talking about huge fish that regularly snap 10- to 20-pound-test monofilament fishing line like it was sewing thread. According to Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) biologists, populations of flatheads can be found in certain smaller lakes and ponds across the state. Excellent. When it comes to big catfish in the state's southern reaches, it is often the flathead that takes top honors. “The Flathead Catfish, Pylodictis olivaris, is a large catfish only recently discovered in Canada. Did you know Riverbender.com is free for you thanks to our awesome advertisers? In addition, they can also be found in the deep water just upstream from major wing dams or other navigational structures. When and how you go cat fishing depends on the species of catfish you’re looking for. This legendary Mississippi River is renowned for producing huge flatheads catfish. The flathead catfish grows to a length of 155 cm (61 in) and may weigh up to 56 kg (123 lb), making it the second-largest North American catfish (after the blue catfish, Ictalurus furcatus). Rod and reel anglers may have the greatest success with flathead catfish just below reservoir dams. I suspect there are few Illinois largemouths capable of this feat. Colleen Callahan, Director   |   This particular species has the potential of attaining massive proportions. Streams biologists have said for years the Kaskaskia is a haven for flathead enthusiasts. Order: Siluriformes. When fishing this type of cover, heavy equipment is needed to haul these big fish to the surface. The summer months are a favorite time to go after the big flatheads. Phylum: Chordata. But, they most commonly occur in major rivers, their tributaries, or reservoirs fed by these streams. Flathead catfish likes to eat night crawlers, stink bait, chicken livers, cheese bait, blood bait and much more. Provided by Jackson Kennedy Ryan Wooten was fishing for smallmouth bass or, “maybe some walleye,” last week with a “little 3-inch black twistertail” with 4-pound line on spinning gear. Its maximum recorded lifespan is 24 years. It has a squared, rather than forked, tail, with a long body and large flattened head. This fish lives in rivers and lakes in areas with submerged logs and other debris. It was caught in 1998. Those areas containing large rocks and boulders seem to yield the best catches. Fishing at night can also be very productive. JB Pritzker, Governor   |. Perhaps the best thing about Illinois catfish is that good fishing can be found virtually anywhere in the state. Found in Illinois: Statewide; State Average: 17" State Record: 81 lbs/6.4 ounces (2015) Best Lures: artificial baits, minnows, sunfish, shad, crayfish, and night crawlers; Angling Tips: Rod and reel anglers may have the greatest success with flathead catfish just below reservoir dams. These poor misguided anglers think catc Mid to large specimens are rather pot-bellied, with wide heads and beady eyes. And, numerous bragging-size catfish in the 30- to 50-pound class are caught from this lake each year. Many anglers experience their best fishing from early July to early September. Flathead catfish can be found throughout the entire length of this river but it is probably that section below the Carlyle Dam that holds the greatest concentrations of these fish. A flathead catfish is one of the largest North American freshwater fish! Original Flathead Catfish image used for Photoshop. "Most of the better action occurs during the warmer summer months," said Ohio River fishing guide Darrell Van Vactor. - Mark Twain The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, 1884 a These bottom dwellers derive their common name, catfish, from the "whiskers" on their snouts, but they share other traits with earthbound felines. There is no doubt that flatheads of amazing proportions exist in certain downstate waters. This fact was proven in August 1995 when a 78-pound then state-record flathead was caught from the waters of Carlyle Lake. In southern Illinois, this would include the Mississippi, Kaskaskia, Sangamon and Ohio rivers. Flatheads like to attack moving baits and fishing live baits on the bottom near submerged logs, preferably in deeper water, is a popular method. “Little Rob” is one of 44 flathead catfish who have been stunned with electricity, collected and surgically tagged before being released back into the 500-mile-long river that flows from northwest Ohio, across northern Indiana and along the southern Illinois border. This legendary Mississippi River is renowned for … Submit a News Tip. 33 . Class: Osteichthyes. Anglers pursuing these huge cats often drift the stretch of river just below the dam, dragging large whole live shad just off the bottom. Text @RB to 618-202-4618 to sign up for Text Alerts from RiverBender! flathead catfish. In southern Illinois, this would include the Mississippi, Kaskaskia, Sangamon and Ohio rivers. Large rocks and boulders seem to prefer live bait tear skin, the begins... 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