But there is no doubting the flathead is a formidable underwater predator. You must also consult the current fishing regulations for information concerning bag and minimum length limits for a species. Including a 20 pound Channel Catfish, huge sturgeon, and much more. I was pulled forward and then, belly on the railing of the pier, began to fight the fish. The largest member of the catfish family plying Wisconsin's waters is the flathead catfish. I rose from my chair and picked the rod out of its holder. A baitcasting outfit with a rod as stiff as a pool cue bent deeply toward the water. At 10:30 it happened. The flathead catfish (Pylodictis olivaris), also called by several common names including mudcat or shovelhead cat, is a large species of North American freshwater catfish in the family Ictaluridae.It is the only species of the genus Pylodictis.Ranging from the lower Great Lakes region to northern Mexico, it has been widely introduced and is an invasive species in some areas. Jumbo Flathead Catfish On The Wisconsin River 2019!!! O'Day said he has been catching a range of fish, from small to large, and believes the regulations are helping the Wolf's flathead population. The rod reverberated with long, strong tugs from an unseen force in the river. The daily bag limit is one flathead; the minimum length is 30 inches, but fish from 36 to 42 inches must be released. The Wisconsin DNR stocked about 100 flatheads averaging 6 to 10 pounds back in the 1990s. The state record flathead was a 74 pound 5 ounce fish caught in 2001 on the Mississippi River in Vernon County, according to Department of Natural Resources records. The Central Wisconsin Basin extends south from the Merrill dam located on the Wisconsin River in Lincoln County to the Castle Rock Flowage Dam in Juneau and Adams Counties. The background color is whatever you apply it too. Channel and flathead catfish Wisconsin's Fishing Seasons. not available 1962 Wisconsin River: Columbia Catfish, Flathead 74 lbs. The male flathead guards the nest and fry until about a week after they hatch. cut-outs so there is no background or clear backing. In the Lake Winnebago system (including the Wolf River), the season is open from early May to Sept. 30. 2 oz. For that reason O'Day opts not to fish for flatheads during the spawning period, which is typically over by early July. The flathead is Wisconsin's largest predator fish and one that, in a freshwater fishing culture dominated by muskellunge and walleye anglers, gets relatively little respect. Very Depths. Flathead acquired the nickname "candy bar" in some parts due to the superb flavor and texture of its flesh. And all this while the Milky Way illuminated a wide swath overhead. I am more than willing to travel to catch flatheads. "It's about time one of them doubled over," said O'Day, 66, of Weyauwega. The reel gave up line, then the fish dived deeper, then went upstream. Anything under 15 pounds might bite just about anything. The fish are susceptible to overfishing, especially in winter, when they congregate in deep holes. It was also transplanted to some other waters, including the Oconomowoc River system. Its large mouth is designed to swallow prey whole. "Not much you can do but hang on.". Fishes of Wisconsin. Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Musky, Muskie, Walleye, Crappie, Catfish, Channel Catfish, Bluegills, Yellow Perch, Northern Pike, Crayfish, Types of Fish, Wisconsin Game Fish We knew the next natural explosion could shake one of the poles. Other. After a couple of minutes of to-and-fro, I was able to lead a 20-inch flathead to the net. Large numbers of flatheads congregate in deep holes in winter and then disperse in spring to territories where they spawn. Channel catfish: Open All Year: No minimum length limit and the daily bag limit is 25 in total, but only 24 if one flathead catfish is included : Flathead catfish: May 2, 2020 to September 30, 2020: The minimum length is 30, but flathead catfish from 36" to 42" may not be kept.The daily bag limit is 1. And the channel cats are nothing to sneeze at. The DNR is on track with its rules designed to protect flatheads. After spawning the male drives the female off the nest and then guards the eggs until they hatch. Flathead catfish likes to eat night crawlers, stink bait, chicken livers, cheese bait, blood bait and much more. All members of the family are scaleless, having instead a thick, tough skin. Watch as me and friends travel Wisconsin, searching for the biggest and hardest fighting fish in the northwest. The flathead catfish spawns in summer when the water reaches 72 to 75 degrees. 5.1 oz. "Big flathead," O'Day said. The minimum length limit on flathead catfish is 30 inches and no fish 36 to 42 inches may be kept. Flatheads inhabit secluded shelters and dark places in Wisconsin's largest river systems. Call 1-888-936-7463 (TTY Access via relay - 711) from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fishing_Topic Contact_Fisheries Management, harvested by bow, crossbow and by hand [PDF[, current hook and line or trout regulations guides, Lower Wisconsin River (Columbia, Dane and Sauk counties) below the Prairie du Sac Dam downstream to the railroad bridge at Sauk City, First Saturday in May to the first Sunday in March of the following year. At midnight another rod doubled over. Few fish are safe from a large flathead. Chatwith customer service M-F 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. © Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources | Site requirements | Accessibility | Legal | Privacy | Employee resources, All tributary streams, rivers and ditches to Green Bay upstream to the first dam or lake, except Duck Creek downstream from the first dam above the Pamperin Park Footbridge in the Village of Howard excluding its tributaries, Fox River downstream from DePere Dam, Suamico River downstream from CTH HS, East River downstream from Hoffman Road (CTH XX), Brown County, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The fish pulled as strong as any I've landed in Wisconsin, including 35-pound chinook salmon on Lake Michigan and 75-pound lake sturgeon on the Wisconsin River. Exceptions do exist! GILL'S LANDING - It was two weeks after Independence Day, but Mother Nature was proving her fireworks aren't restricted to any single date. JANESVILLE, Wis. — Jason Kline doesn’t know for sure, but he has a suspicion that he and his son might have caught and then released a state-record flathead catfish Friday on the Rock River. The lines were baited with 8-inch-long sucker minnows, which, by virtue of heavy sinkers, finned at the bottom of 16 to 20 foot deep hole. Lake sturgeon are the only native fish to reach larger sizes than flatheads in Wisconsin but are not considered predators. The flathead has no scales, long whiskers and a wide mouth. 25.0 05/01/2016 Wolf River: Waupaca Catfish, Channel 44 lbs. If you live in the lower portion of the state, you will more than likely spot one of these catfish when you go fishing.Wisconsin channel catfish sometimes get mistaken for blue catfish so, when you are fishing for catfish, make sure you check the markings. The fish featured handsome mottling on its brown flanks as well as long barbels. The flathead catfish is a commonly targeted species due to its renowned fighting ability and large size. Catfish and bullheads can also be harvested by bow, crossbow and by hand [PDF[. The next sensation was akin to having a disobedient 100-pound dog on the end of a stiff leash. Sale of Fish and Turtles ; Release of Game Fish The flathead nests in cavities such as hollow logs, rootwads or log jams in quiet water. 15.8 oz. Picture shown is an example of how the decal will look on a car window –ENLARGED to show the decals detail. Diet studies show, for example, a 16-pound flathead on Lake Puckaway had made a meal of an 18-inch northern pike. [ More Wisconsin Fish] Channel Catfish. You must consult the special county regulations in the current hook and line or trout regulations guides, as appropriate, to determine if any special season dates exist for the particular waters you plan to fish. DNR RESPONSE TO COVID-19: For details on adjustments to DNR services, visit this webpage.For information on the state’s response, visit the Department of Health website. Hit the Wisconsin River above Nekoosa Dam heading toward Port Edwards today (2-4:30pm). Baitfish scatter after a lake turns over in the fall so catfish will be feeding at various … Catfish are darkly colored, reflecting the murky depths where they linger. The fish was an impressive 53 inches long. This is the only way to determine whether or not the waters you plan to fish follow the season dates for general inland or boundary and outlying waters listed below. Waters Dates for Hook and Line Harvest; General Inland Waters: Continuous: Lower Wisconsin River (Columbia, Dane and Sauk counties) below the Prairie du Sac Dam downstream to the railroad bridge at … Awareness of the species' vulnerability, as well its high value as a sport and table fish, has led the DNR to put protective regulations in place. O'Day and I took note of all this, and kept an eye on four fishing rods propped up in front of us, too. channel catfish and the total daily bag limit for flathead catfish is 1 with a possession limit of 2 taken by set or bank pole or by setlines. One minute passed, then another. After … I live in SE Wisconsin but am noting that the Wisconsin and Fox Rivers hold great potential. While the reputation of the muskellunge as a fierce predator is well documented, the flathead catfish proceeds with quiet, chilling efficiency, and its abilities as a predator are unsurpassed among Wisconsin fishes. According to "Fishes of Wisconsin," the seminal book by George C. Becker, the flathead occurs in the Mississippi River and Lake Michigan drainage basins. Then in an instant, the line went slack. This fish is the granddaddy of Wisconsin catfish, reaching up to 30 or 40 pounds. I reeled in an empty line, the weights and circle hook seemingly in fine shape. Chalk it up as another mystery related to the flathead catfish. "Catfish" is the second most preferred group of fish among licensed Texas anglers, and flatheads rank second behind channel catfish. We don't use fighting chairs in Wisconsin. Mississippi River catfish get big. The flathead is Wisconsin's largest predator fish and one that, in a freshwater fishing culture dominated by muskellunge and walleye anglers, gets relatively little respect. Language: English Location: United States Restricted Mode: Off History Help Channel catfish are one of the more popular types of catfish. Wisconsin River: Sauk Carp, Common 57 lbs. adhesive decals. LAKE Wissota Catfishing tournament, Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The area of water near the dam is a notable location for targeting catfish. 0 oz. As Tom O'Day of Weyauwega and I sat along the Wolf River at dusk, hundreds of lighting bugs danced in the humid air. The flathead is an ambush hunter, often lying in wait in brush piles and other underwater structure. In order to capture any variety of catfish, fishermen should find deep areas of the waterway using a depth finder. We hoped one of the succulent live baits would attract the subject of our quest — a flathead catfish. In size, flatheads are the second largest sport fish in Texas after their cousin, the blue catfish. Flatheads feed mostly on live fish, waiting motionless with mouth gaping open so they can lunge forward and swallow them whole! It does depend heavily on the size of flathead you are targeting. 439 likes. Common name: Channel and Flathead catfish. O'Day and I fished from dusk to about 1 a.m. We talked as the celestial show continued and a lantern hissed. Bucks 117, Pacers 89: A barrage of three-pointers erases any doubt, Packers at Vikings preview: Predictions, 5 things to watch, Former Brewers third baseman Travis Shaw signs with Blue Jays, FOLLOW JS SPORTS: Like our Facebook Page for the latest news, DOWNLOAD THE APP: Get the latest news, sports and more, Like our Facebook Page for the latest news, Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. Catfish (any species): 36-3.2 (blue), Jordan Chelton, Nanticoke River Creek, 6/20/2017 Charles Patchen caught the Florida state record flathead in 2016. We snapped a few photos and then released it to back to the river. The basin is 4,021 square miles with an estimated population of 301,599 (+/- 1%). Dates are inclusive and may be subject to change. And not to disparage our state fish, but if a 50-inch flathead was tied to a 50-inch muskellunge, the catfish would likely be pulling the musky around in no time. The … Via the many reports on this forum it is clear that there are flathead opportunities in Wisconsin. Not all Wisconsin waters follow the fishing season dates for a species for general inland waters or boundary and outlying waters. - Duration: 6:29. petenrock 4,105 views. Wisconsin Bucks - Whitetail Deer 13 Point Wisconsin Whitetail Buck Trail Camera Video Fall Night Time Young Fall Fawn Doe Deer Flying Squirrel Rabbits & Buck Video Movie This is a video of Zoe, Declan and Anniston catching some big flathead catfish with me on the Wisconsin River. Unlike the channel catfish, the flathead is not a scavenger, and rarely eats dead or decaying matter. Total daily bag limits for Wisconsin fish species; Species Total daily bag limit; Catfish: 25 in total, of which only 1 may be flathead catfish from the Lake Winnebago system: Cisco (lake herring), whitefish, and hybrids Inland waters Outlying waters: 10 in total 10 in total: Lake sturgeon: 1 per season: Largemouth and smallmouth bass: 5 in total: Muskellunge: 1 It can be one fat cat, reaching weights of 30 to 40 or more pounds. About 10 p.m. a pair of shooting stars seared bright trails in the southern sky. And on the Wolf River, a 25-pound flathead ate a 15-pound channel catfish, according to a DNR report. "Go ahead, they usually hook themselves," O'Day said. Inside, you won't find teeth as in most Wisconsin fish. Natural reproduction since that time ensures big catfish will swim there for years to come, with any of the initial stocking still in the Rock River basin now weighing on … Fishing Reports and Discussions for Wisconsin flathead catfish reports - Wisconsin When fishing the Mississippi River, look for deep holes and structure where catfish can get out of … You can find them in the lower St. Croix River and in southwestern and western rivers in Wisconsin. Commercial fishermen reported flatheads as large as 5 feet long and 100 pounds in the Mississippi, according to references cited by Becker, and in 1911 flatheads weighing 118 and 125 pounds were caught on setlines. 6:29. The big, whiskered bottom dwellers deserve the best fisheries management the can get, just like all the smaller predator fish in Wisconsin. Annual overnight catfish tournament on Lake Wissota in Northwest Wisconsin. "I don't think a lot of fishermen know about flatheads or have a chance to fish them," said O'Day, who owns Gill's Landing Bait and Tackle. But connected to such a fish and standing in the dark at the edge of a Wolf River eddy, it would have been nice to have been strapped to something solid. not available 08/28/1966 Lake Wisconsin: Columbia Carpsucker, Quillback 9 lbs. The flathead is the granddaddy of Wisconsin catfish. This is a video of John Oens fishing flathead catfish on the Wisconsin River in the summer of 2018. "But if the flathead isn't our state's finest game fish, it's one of the top few.". Wisconsin Fish - Types of Fish in WI including common, popular and a complete list. The largest muskellunge acknowledged by state officials was 69 pounds 11 ounces and the largest lake trout was 47 pounds. These are vinyl. (Photo courtesy of FWC) The largest flatheads caught in Wisconsin each year come from the Mississippi River. 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