The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) confirmed recently that a Kansas City man has broken the state “alternative methods” record for flathead catfish with a 100-pound catch.
On September 19, Mathew McConkey caught the massive fish with a four-inch goldfish on a trotline in the Missouri River.
“Once I grabbed the line I knew right away that I had big one,” McConkey said. “The giant moved my 17-foot Lowe boat around like it was nothing.”
MDC biologists confirmed the behemoth’s weight, which just barely edged out the previous 99-pound record. McConkey’s fish came in at about 57 inches long. Officials said it marks the eighth state record fish for Missouri this year, making 2015 the best year for record-sized fish since 2002.
“This year has been a great year for fishing for many reasons. We had a great spring where we received plenty of rain that kept our rivers and lakes full, giving fish plenty of food and numerous areas to spread out,” MDC Fisheries Programs Specialist Andrew Branson said. “Our summer was mild, which many anglers took to their advantage and fished more. So when the weather is great and more anglers get out on the water, that’s when we see state records broken.”
Flathead fishing has always been popular in Missouri and for good reason. Flatheads are commonly regarded as the tastiest of all North American catfish species due to their tender flesh and mild, non-muddy flavor. McConkey said he is looking forward to cooking the impressive amount of meat taken from his record fish, and that he may later get a replica commissioned.
“I’ve caught several big fish in the Missouri River, but this one is by far the biggest and most memorable,” McConkey said. “I still can’t believe I caught this giant of a fish and broke the state record. My goal now is to catch an even bigger fish and break the world-record.”
According to the International Game Fish Association, the current world record is a 123-pound catfish caught by Ken Paulie from Elk City Reservoir in Kansas back in 1998.
Image courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation