Posted on 28 June 2012.
Catching a catfish in Michigan
Rodney Akey with record catfish.
The new state record flathead catfish caught on May 22 on the St. Joseph River has brought a relatively unheralded species into the daylight. The record flathead, which weighed 49.81 pounds and measured 45.7 inches, was caught by Rodney Akey of Niles, who was fishing with an alewife for bait. That’s one of the main differences with fishing for the flathead than other catfish species. Anglers often use live baitfish when pursuing flatheads, unlike the earthworms, shrimp or various stink-bait concoctions many catfish anglers use.
Flatheads tend to live in slow-flowing rivers where they typically inhabit deep holes. Veteran flathead anglers often pursue them at night, fishing on the bottom in the leading edge of the hole or on the flats upstream. Large minnows, small sunfish or cut suckers are preferred baits. Summer is the most popular season to fish for flatheads; what better time to get out and try your luck!
For more information on fishing for catfish, check out the Michigan Fish and How to Catch Them section of the DNR’s website. Go to Michigan.gov/dnr and then click on fishing, then angler information, and then “Michigan Fish and How to Catch Them.”
Posted in News, Outdoors
Posted on 08 June 2012.
Rodney Akey with his record-setting catch. Photo courtesy of the Michigan DNR.
Breaks Michigan record set in 1943
The Department of Natural Resources confirmed the catch of a new state record flathead catfish. Rodney Akey of Niles, Mich., caught the fish on Tuesday, May 22, on the St. Joseph River in Berrien County at 8 p.m. It weighed 49.8 pounds and measured 45.7 inches. Akey was still-fishing from shore with an alewife when he landed the record fish. The record was verified by Scott Hanshue, a DNR fisheries biologist, at the DNR’s Plainwell office. The previous state record flathead catfish was caught by Elmer Rayner, of Hastings, Mich., on the Maple River in Ionia County on Aug. 6, 1943. That fish weighed in at 47.5 pounds and measured 44 inches.
“I’ve been fishing catfish on the St. Joseph River for the last 20 years, but it never crossed my mind that I would catch a state record,” said Akey. “And beating a nearly 70-year record—that’s a feat in itself!”
State records are recognized by weight only. To qualify for a state record, fish must exceed the current listed state record weight and identification must be verified by a DNR fisheries biologist. For more information about record-breaking fish caught in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/masterangler.
Posted in Outdoors