Gavin Campbell, 24, of Council Bluffs, Iowa, was soaking reside minnows by the hard-water at Lake Manawa on January 31 when he felt a tug—a powerful one. Campbell, who works as a leisure aide at Lake Manawa State Park, had hooked into the most important fish he’d ever caught whereas ice fishing: a 34-pound flathead catfish. “The struggle was not like something I’ve ever caught by the ice,” he tells F&S. “It was fixed energy. It was an entire new battle to get that large of a fish to show its head on a rod and reel that wasn’t meant for one thing of its dimension.”
Campbell says that he couldn’t have landed the brute with out the assistance of his buddy Ryan Higginbotham. Campbell is a lifelong fisherman and says he’s caught a “respectable variety of catfish by the ice.” However this one was not solely the biggest flathead catfish he’d landed whereas ice fishing, it was the biggest fish he’d ever caught on the hard-water. Campbell measured the fish at 40 inches earlier than releasing it. That size simply certified Campbell for the Iowa Division of Pure Assets (DNR) Master Angler Program, which acknowledges anglers for distinctive catches. The Iowa DNR’s minimal size to qualify a flathead catfish for the Grasp Angler Program is about at 35 inches.
“Shock! That’s no panfish,” wrote the Iowa DNR in an Instagram post highlighting the catch. “That’s a 40-inch, 34-pound #IowaMasterAngler flathead catfish!” And sure, the company verified with its fisheries workers that Campbell’s catch was, actually, a flathead catfish and never a blue catfish.
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“Catching it was an actual rush,” says Campbell. “That was adopted by reduction for touchdown him on the good time for an image. It makes me really feel like on a regular basis I spend on the ice paid off.”