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Discussion Starter #1
Ok so after I caught one (not a trophy size) a few weeks back it about floored me and I have been keeping it under my hat cause I was waiting to hear back from MB Fisheries on the catch ( Donovan it was really hard to keep it from you buddy it took alot of will power). So today I got a letter back from them. That well lets just say surprised the hell out of me. And according to the letter this species has been reported several times and they keep getting bigger and more reports keep coming in. In fact the one I caught is not even the biggest one reported in Manitoba.

Now I could just tell you but. What kind of fun will that be. So can you guys guess what it is?

Give you a few clues.
1.) I was on the red. Doing what I do best So that should tell you how I was fishing and with what.
2.) I have talked about this species before and how I took a special trip down south to fish this particular species. ( it is how I knew what it was.)
3.) The world record for this Species was caught in 1998 in Kansas and rang in at well over 100 lbs. (the one I caught was just in over 10 lbs and 28" in length)
4.) Only 2 places have reported this species in Manitoba - Red River and Hudson Bay Drainage Systems.

Have fun gents if you guys don't get it by the end of the weekend I will reveal it and show some pictures. I have a feeling Andre is going to get this pretty fast though.
 

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Lol was it a shark? I say that cause I know you took Brian to North Carolina for shark fishing a few years back.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Lol no it was not a shark. But hey it could happen a Bull Shark was caught in Lake Michigan in 2009 thru the ice. Guess it is not so far fetched if one was caught here. But no it was not a shark the beaches are still safe for now. :lol:
 

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flat head catfish world record was caught in Kansas in 1998, I just googled it, my question is how did these fish get here, they are not native, my other concern is will they damage the Channel cat population, are they going to become an invasive species or was this a fluke that strayed away somehere down the line
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Man I gave away to many clues. Yes FlatHead Catfish. Yes they are considered an invasive species in almost all river systems mainly because of how big they get and people are most scared of the unknown. As far as them hurting our current channel cat population it will more then likely never be an issue. Many river systems our habitats to many speicies of catfish at the same time. Channel, Blue, Flathead etc. Their feeding habbits are alot like our Channel's they are bottom dwellers who like to feast on smaller native fish and creatures from time to time. In the south Shad, and Herring are used as bait for these beasts I imagine in our system they are here for Goldeye, Tullibee, Frogs etc. As far as them depleting the resource. I don't see that happening anytime soon. I had to do some major digging last night into the depths of google. But apparently they where first reported in Manitoba almost 5 years ago. A study was done by University of Manitoba on the species in our water systems. Unfortunately they did not come back with a whole lot of information. Over the 2 year study they where only able to catch inspect and tag only a hand full of fish. According to the letter I received there is about half a dozen reported every year. I am not sure we will ever see a huge number of these fish anytime in the near future. Unlike our channels these fish are not use to our extremely cold winters and they are trying to adapt to the habitat which might be a factor in the lack of numbers and lack of size in them here in Manitoba. They have been here long enough that a breeding pattern would have put them in mass numbers although we are not seeing them. In the late 1980's Flatheads where released into river systems in PA. With in 3 years the population of them had reached massive heights. A quick search on the internet and the average size of a PA Flathead is about 65lbs. Something in our water is keeping them from achieving this.

Pro's - Flathead's when fully developed are huge and are fun as hell to catch. Their aggressive nature makes the fight behind their size something to be desired.

Con's - Well they can get huge and could put a hurting on native fish species do to their feeding habbit's. Also as with any habitat when something that big moves into to town something has to change to allow room for it.

Reality - From the research I have done and people I have talked to Manitoba will probably never see a huge spike in Flathead Population. Nor will we ever see them in fully developed size.

How do you know if you have caught a flathead. Well they look alot like a Stonecat. Except the are bigger and the mouth is wider and the lower jaw projects past the upper jaw line. And well it looks like some one stepped on their head. You may just start looking a bit closer at those stonecats before you put them back in the water.

The one I caught a few weeks ago in the spillway.
 

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That's a new one for me. Had no idea that we had flat head cats in the system. Interesting to see that U of M researchers actually caught and marked some. If they caught half a dozen in that short a time, there are obviously many more in the system.
 

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That is pretty awesome man. I have always thought that there has to be the odd blue and flat swimming the waters of the red, but just like the sturgeon in there, so few you would never expect to target them and actualy catch one. I have always been under the impression that flatheads don't really like fast water like that of our red. I have understood that they like slower backwater with lots and lots of shallow flooded areas and lots of snags and wood combined with deep holes. Combined with the winter probably why they don't rhive here. Kind of scary as I remember reading about the santee cooper and how way back it was an awesome trophy channel cats fosjery until one or both of the other big speicies were introduced and displaced them?


Ever seen those those Huge groups of fallen trees and snags on the shores of the red when you take a boat ride through the city? hmmmmm live bait at night ? maybe. If you could find one that has a deep hole or large depression associated with it?

awesome read Ty.
 
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