Legends of the Monster Catfish

October 14 — Last weekend, a fisherman came from as far away as Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Mississippi, trying to snag the biggest catfish in the 12th Monsters on the Ohio tournament.

But the monsters were in hiding this year.

Alethea Goodman of DePauw, Indiana hooked the only monster – a catfish weighing 62.05 pounds.

This fish came in second in weight among those who caught five fish.

The fish just weren’t biting that day, they said.

But the legend of the monsters has been around for 125 years or more.

In 1975, when they blew up old Lock & Dam 46 – where English Park is today – the fishermen had their boats ready.

They hoped that a monster catfish would be knocked out by the explosion and float to the surface.

There were cats as big as a Volkswagen there, they told me.

This month’s fishermen laughed and said they had heard this legend all over the country.

There is no such big catfish, they said.

And I have to admit that the fish stunned that day in 1975 looked pretty ordinary.

By the way, the modern Kentucky record is a 106.9 pound blue cat captured in Ohio near Olmstead, Illinois, by Glynn Grogan Arlington on October 20, 2018.

There is an old story here about a 19th century monster catfish rising from the river, standing on its tail and asking for a glass of water from a maid on a passing steamboat. .

But this is only a story.

In 1895, a man named George Allen reportedly hung and landed a 160-pound cat here – apparently the all-time record.

Two years later, JD Long and A. Deaton grabbed a 127.5-pound, 6-foot-long.

It took them both to pull it.

The catfish gets all the credit.

But apparently the biggest fish ever caught here was an alligator in August 1901.

Tom Johnson landed a 95-pound cat in 1894.

But he could tell he had hung something much bigger this time.

A crowd gathered on the downtown riverbank to watch him fight the big fish for hours and finally gave up and slaughtered him.

They say he tipped the scales at 200 pounds and measured almost a foot between his eyes.

Now he’s a monster.

Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301, [email protected]

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