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Flathead Catfish

Scientific Name: Pylodictis olivaris

Record Pictures

World Record Flathead Catfish
The current world record Flathead catfish caught by Ken Paulie. The fish weighed 123 pounds, 9 ounces. Was caught from Elk City Reservoir, Kansas 1998. He says he caught it on 16 pound test while fishing a crappie jig for Largemouth Bass. Ken claims the fish swam right in when hooked and it put up very little fight. Maybe this flathead was so old and so big, Ken hooked up on it when it was already dieing?

103 pound catfish state record Flathead Catfish
103 pound Georgia State record Flathead Catfish. Caught by Tom Head from the Ocmulgee River in 2010.

99 pound flathead catfish.
Caught by James L. Davidson. 99 pound Flathead caught from the Missouri River in 2010. This is great picture showing off just how big of a fish this really is. Wow.

Popular Fishing Videos

77 pound Flathead catfish Mississippi state record caught by Joey pounders in 2009.

Angler catches a huge 57 pound Flathead catfish while night fishing.

Information & Fishing Tips

Also known mud Cat, yellow cat, and shovel head cat. Flathead Catfish are toughest fighters of all Catfish. What makes them even harder to catch, they like it in areas with heavy cover. Anglers often get hung up, when they hook on these fish. They often mouth the bait before swallowing it, so the fisherman sets the hook too early and misses the fish. They prefer deep sluggish pools of rivers, with heavy log or brush pile cover. They can also be found in lakes and reservoirs. Flatheads bite best at night in Spring and summer months, also the time of there spawn. They can be caught during the day, but you must find the deeper or more shaded areas of the river or lake you are fishing. The best baits include small to large (1 pound) live fish or fresh gobs of large nightcrawlers (Worms). Naturally they eat crawfish, live fish and clams off the bottom. Unlike Blues, bullheads and channels, Flatheads do not eat rotting, dead or stink baits. They eat strictly live baits. Basic setup includes Heavy Spincast reel/rod with 20 to 40 pound test line. Use a 1 once to 6 ounce sinker depending on the current level of the river or lake. 2/O to 8/O Heavy Circle Hooks are a good choice. There distribution is from Mid-south to North-east United States and are also found in the Colorado River in Arizona and California. A very popular fish to go "Noodling" for (Wading in the edges of rivers, letting the catfish bite your hand, and catching them by hand) in eastern states. They can live up to about 24 years old. They can grow to weights over 120 pounds and lengths over 70 inches. The meat is very good eating when taken from clean water. Most anglers agree when these fish are taken from clean water they are better eating than Channels or Blue Catfish.
Flathead Catfish Distribution Map

World Record

Angler: Ken Paulie. Caught: in 1998. Weight: 123 pounds, 9 ounces. Location: Elk City Reservoir, Kansas, USA.

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