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Big blue catfish call our river home By Larry Myhre

Reprinted from the Sioux City Journal

Could it be that monster blue catfish are returning to the Siouxland section of the Missouri River?

A lot of anglers think so, and recent catches seem to indicate that is the case.

Consider that on a July afternoon in 2012, Steven “Cork” Lemmon and his nephew Terry Matheny fishing in a hole on the Big Sioux River in the area of the Stone State Park entrance put a South Dakota State record in the boat.

Lemmon’s fish weighed 99.4 pounds, erasing a record that had stood since 1967 when Bill Elliot of Vermillion, S.D., caught his 97-pound fish near the Clay County Boat Ramp on the Missouri. Lemmon’s big blue was released at the Sioux City Boat Ramp.

That same hole on the Big Sioux yielded a 71-pound blue for Matheny, and Lemmon added a 35-pounder. The anglers surmised that low water in the Sioux may have stranded the big fish on their way back to the Missouri.

While it is probable that our section of the river has held big blues for years, it does appear they are now being caught more often.

Darrel Carter of Elk Point, S.D., boated the Iowa state record in 1995 while fishing the Big Sioux River. That blue weighed 62 pounds and shattered the Iowa record of 44 pounds which had stood for many years. [Read more…]