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Human Bobber

A week or so ago I got a fishing report from an old college buddy.  He catches some big catfish from Omaha area waters and recently landed another one.  This one was a flathead catfish, a 41-inch flathead catfish.  That fish was released after taking some pictures, but it would have weighed somewhere in the neighborhood of 30, maybe 35 pounds.  Although there are bigger flatheads caught from Nebraska waters every year, a 41-incher is a very respectable fish, plenty big enough to qualify for a Master Angler Award, and what makes Jeff’s catch remarkable is that he caught it while fishing from a float tube!

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I have dried off a few big flatheads, and I have spent quite a bit of time fishing from a float tube.  I can imagine the ride that Jeff got!  That had to be a hoot!  I also know that when a person hooks a flathead of that size, it might be too big for the landing net even if he or she had a landing net (“Been there, done that”).  Sometimes you just got to grab ‘em by the lower jaw and hoist ‘em aboard!

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I am not going to tell exactly which Omaha area reservoir where that flathead was caught, nor am I going to tell you exactly what bait Jeff was using.  I will tell you that he knows what he is doing when it comes to big catfish, and he was not using no stink bait (“Don’t need no stinkin’ stink bait”).  I will also tell you that there should not have been any flathead catfish in the reservoir from which Jeff caught that fish.  However, I will also tell you that we end up with a few flathead catfish in a lot of reservoirs in eastern Nebraska whether we stock them or not.  We have lots of amateur fisheries biologists out there, we call them “bucket biologists”, that just cannot seem to resist catching fish from one body of water, like the Missouri River, and ILLEGALLY moving them to another public body of water.  Yes, a surprise big flathead catfish is probably no threat to any fishery, but other fish also get moved and we have fisheries ruined all the time because some unwanted species of fish “magically” appears and then dominates a body of water.  I do NOT think very highly of bucket biologists.

Anyway, I digress.  Jeff told me there was another belly-boater in the area that was able to snap some photos of him and his fish–and great photos they turned out to be!  Thanks for sharing the story with me, and thanks for letting me pass it along!  Congratulations, Jeff!

One last photo of Jeff and as much of the fish as he could get out of the water!  GREAT CATCH!

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About Daryl Bauer

Daryl is a lifelong resident of Nebraska (except for a couple of years spent going to graduate school in South Dakota). He has been employed as a fisheries biologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for 25 years, and his current tour of duty is as the fisheries outreach program manager. Daryl loves to share his educational knowledge and is an avid multi-species angler. He holds more than 120 Nebraska Master Angler Awards for 14 different species and holds more than 30 In-Fisherman Master Angler Awards for eight different species. He loves to talk fishing and answer questions about fishing in Nebraska, be sure to check out his blog at outdoornebraska.org.

4 comments

  1. I’m looking for fishing reports for sutherland res, mac and maloney any ideas.

    • The best place I know for fishing reports and other “chatter” on Nebraska fish and fishing would be the Nebraska Fish & Game Association Outdoor Forum, . Check that out and you will find instant fishing reports for waters all over the state and if you do not find what you are looking for, log on and ask a question and you will get a bunch of replies.

      Right now, August, you will find a good catfish bite at Maloney, McConaughy and especially Sutherland. This is a good time of year for white bass and maybe some wipers too, and there are still some walleyes and pike being caught at McConaughy.

      GO FISH!

      Daryl B.

  2. Where are some good places to Catfish around Omaha? I love fishing, but i’ve never had much luck finding a decent place to fish. :(

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