Iowa Fisherman Knows Secret to Catching Huge Flathead Catfish [PHOTOS]
If you fish, you're about to be jealous of an Iowa fisherman. He clearly knows what he's doing and the flathead catfish in the photos in this story all have something in common... the bait they were caught with.
To say that Thomas Terpstra lives to fish probably isn't an understatement. His favorite fish to go after is the flathead catfish.
While he's not in the Iowa record books for the largest flathead catfish ever caught, Terpstra has caught some big ones over the years.
Before we talk more about Terpstra, here's the largest flathead catfish ever caught in Iowa. Joe Baze (on left) caught this 52-inch, 81-pound flathead catfish in Ellis Lake in Lucas County on June 1, 1958. In 65 years, no one has been able to catch a larger flathead, making it the oldest angler record in the state of Iowa.
*See all of Iowa's State Record Fish in the photo gallery at the bottom of this story.
While Terpstra hasn't caught anything in the neighborhood of that size this year (he once caught a 60-pounder), he tells me he's caught four fish over 40 pounds, eight that were over 30 pounds, and six more that weighed over 20 pounds. That's a lifetime for many, but just this year for Terpstra. The best part of it all is that they were all caught and released... after picture time, of course.
What's the one thing all of Terpstra's flathead catfish have in common? He catches them all using bullhead as bait. He gets them from a well-stocked pond and you better believe he won't tell you where that pond is.
On Sunday, September 30, Terpstra landed a big flathead catfish on the Des Moines River in Des Moines. He caught it on a bank line. Even though it looks much bigger, Terpstra says it weighed 35 pounds. That right there makes me believe any fishing story Terpstra has to tell.
Happy fishing, and may you land a lunker like one of these:
Iowa's State Record Fish
Gallery Credit: Iowa Department of Natural Resources
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Gallery Credit: Kyle Matthews
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Gallery Credit: Meagan Drillinger