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Illinois hunting and fishing

Biig Fish Friday: Flatheads

October 16, 2009 at 07:12 AM

The past few weeks offered several graphic reminders that the biggest trophy fish in Illinois is not a muskie, bass or walleye.

The biggest, meanest trophy that swims Illinois hunting and fishingthe waters of the Prairie State is the flathead catfish.

Josh Adkins of Greenville (pictured above and at right) can certainly attest to that. Adkins caught this big flathead on Sept. 30 while fishing from a boat on the Mississippi River near Keokuk, Iowa. He was using cut Asian carp for bait on a circle hook and 20-pound test line.

Adkins, who is 6-2 and 235 pounds, said “I could barely hold this sucker up for more than two or three minutes. I throw around bushels of corn like they are nothing. But it’s quite an experience to hold one of these powerful creatures.”

Adkins released this fish as well as the other chunk pictured at right that he caught in August. “I let anything over 10 pounds go and rarely keep even fish under that unless I need some meat in the freezer,” Adkins said.

Obviously, the Mississippi River is a prime spot for big flatheads.

So too is Powerton Lake near Pekin, where flatheads over 50 pounds are not uncommon. And last week during routine population sampling at the lake, biologists netted a 56-pound beast that looked even bigger than that. Veteran fisheries biologist Ken Russell is pictured below holding the huge fish.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

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Great fish Josh! Gotta love the power in those flatheads! Thanks for putting her back where she belongs!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/20 at 09:20 PM

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