Big fish, kids and gateways: Big flathead catfish caught and released from the Rock River
Here’s the saga of Walker Gosa, 6, Kash Gustafson, 7, and Mason Mitton, 7, wrangling in a really big flathead catfish from the Rock River with joy.
I have a new favorite for kids and big fish story and photo.
It’s Walker Gosa, 6, Kash Gustafson, 7, and Mason Mitton, 7, catching and releasing a 48-pound flathead catfish on the Rock River earlier this spring. The three boys are from Port Byron.
“No new record sturgeons, yet, but we did get some kids on a monster flathead,” Troy Gustafson emailed last week. “We had them take turns fighting it. Took them forever to get it in.”
Gustafson briefly held the Illinois record for shovelnose sturgeon before his uncle Marty Gustafson bested him in December (Jan. 8, 2022 Sun-Times).
When Troy Gustafson emailed that the flathead ate a piece of gizzard shad, I mentioned that one of my life dreams is to catch a 50-pound flathead.
“Yeah, they have me beat!” he replied. “I would like a 50 as well. We were surprised. You could tell it was a big fish, but 48 was not expected! They worked together and eventually drug it in. Pretty funny. We were happy the hook held for them. Took a good 10 minutes anyway. That rod is just an old Ugly Stik and it definitely got a workout. Mason had the net ready but eventually i just grabbed it because with the current they were having troubles getting it to fit in there.”
I understand that fitting-in-the-net with a 46-inch fish.
A video of the catch is on the Team Catfishing Adventures Facebook page.
My all-time kids and big-fish photo before this came in the spring of 2018 (June 13, 2018 Sun-Times) when the Marx clan—Kelly, Parker, Connor—of Winnetka showed utter joy at a big smallmouth bass caught near Buckingham Fountain.
On a personal level, my favorite is our daughter Sara, at 4, catching her first fish, a yellow perch, on opening day of perch season at Navy Pier on July 1, 2005. I like to think that had something to do with her being in “Earth, Society and Environmental Sustainability” at the University of Illinois.
Yes, big fish, well, any fish, are gateways to the outdoors.
Minooka High School went 1-2 at the Illinois Coaches and Student State Tournament Trail’s 80-boat field at Braidwood Lake Saturday with Hunter Petrovic and Andrew Kay winning with 16 pounds, 3 ounces. Click here for a full breakdown.
With turkey season now open statewide, here is a reminder that morel hunting is not allowed before 1 p.m. at public sites open to turkey hunting.
Speaking of morel mushrooms, finds on the Illinois Morel Mushrooms Facebook page were as far north as Mason and Vermilion counties by Sunday. I suspect rain and warmth will change that map greatly this week.
Michael Kopech and baseball is like muskies and fishing.