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Happy Birthday to Me... Went Flatheading!!

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Don't think I could have asked for a better birthday present this year... Wow!!

My entire focus on fishing this summer has been to enjoy fishing for what it is. So often we get caught up in the entire bigger, better, more attitude. I've really wanted to focus on what catfishing really is, an enjoyable fun time on the water with friends. Ever since I've refocused, I have never had a better time on the water.

This weekend, a good friend of mine Joel "Catfishunter" was able to make the trip down from Duluth to join me on the river Saturday night. Joel hasn't fished flatheads in 2 years now, in fact the last time he fished with me he set his personal best of 21 lbs. We were sure hoping to change that, and we just might.

Joel arrived at my place early and we weren't sure what to do. We [PoorWordUsage]'d fishing and particularly Steelheads, Joel's fish of choice. As I was talking about the river and its fish species, I said lets head out and pitch some jigs around for awhile and see what happens. So we hit the river with plastics and cranks and spent an hour or so casting. This wasn't going well so I suggested we set up on our cat spot early. Best decision I've made in a LONG time!

Within 15 minutes of settling in (approx 6:30pm), flathead #1 hit. The bite was very goofy, I just noticed the line angle to the water was different and picked the rod up to see what was going on. It felt like I was snagged so I pulled hard to free the line and she thumped back at me. Uh Oh! Fish on!

Hanson hoisting 32lbs of Flathead Cat! (41" x 26")


I just couldn't believe it. Daytime fish and a big one at that!

Well... less than a half hour later, it was Joel's turn for his first Flathead Cat of the year!

"Catfishunter" with a 14lb Flathead wearing Channel Cat colors (33" x 17-1/2")


Joel was pretty pumped! I felt bad about taking the first fish so was happy to see Joel connect. We snapped some photos and as Joel was leaning over the side of the boat with the fish, I heard a boat thumping "Thump" w/ a short clicker burst. Uh Oh... I grabbed the rod and set the hook into the fish as Joel was releasing the one he just caught.

This one was BIG! I knew it right away and it stayed down in the current. We had a fight on our hands and the fish finally gave in with Joel scooping her up with the Frabill.

You never understand the size of these fish until they are laying on the floor of the boat. We both looked at that fish and our jaws dropped.

Hanson with the 42lb Beauty! (44.5" x 28")


Another shot of the 42lb!


After releasing the fish, a quick check of the time showed 7:10pm. In 40 minutes, we put 3 fish in the boat totalling nearly 90 pounds, lost one off the back corner, and missed another hookset as well. Just spectacular fishing!

After that, it was kick back time and we had very little action at all until 10:15pm when Joel's rod got the thump and clicker run. He handled the run well and got a perfect hookset on the fish.

"How's it feel," I kept asking him?

"Ummm... its big," was about the only thing he was saying.

"Catfishunter" with his PERSONAL BEST 31 lb Flathead Cat (39" x 26")


To cap off the night...

Fun with Gar grin


I've had some AWESOME experiences fishing on the river, but this one ranks up there with my best. Just unbelievable! As a matter of fact, this weekend was phenomenal with Aanderud catching the 47 lb on Friday night, and then getting a 31 lb, 32 lb, and 42 lb in the same night. It'll be awhile before that happens again!

I don't think Joel will quit smiling for a couple weeks after last night.

What a Birthday present!

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Happy b-day Chris! Nice bunch of fish man! What is that now three 40+ fish this year? Your on a roll!

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Sounds like you had the perfect birthday and just a ton of fun.Great pics and a good story. I love the fact that my birthday is always around opening of walleye. Take care and I hope there are many more to come.

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What is that now three 40+ fish this year? Your on a roll!

Nope... just Two.

Don't tell anyone but the biggest fish I caught ALL OF LAST SUMMER was 32lbs. I caught 4 larger than that this year already. The fish gods are looking down with favor, thats for sure!

Guess its all time on the water and grinding away. You get your good streaks and your bad streaks. You get your nights where you can't sink a hook into a fish, and then you get your nights when everything comes together. You get your periods where its ALWAYS the other guy in the boat catching the fish.

When you are catching them, its easy to be humble. When you aren't, its easy to get mad.

I just enjoy every minute out there now, good and bad.

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You are so right about putting things in perspective and simply enjoying the experience.

I fished with a fellow from Iowa last weekend and he caught his PB..a 37" flatty. You would have thought it was 50#. He is still excited.

We did see Dtro's freezer go through Chaska about 7:45 last Friday night. Even took a couple of pictures.

Thanks for the report and the great pictures.


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Thanks for the great time hanson, had a blast and my hand hurts but looks realy cool grin.

Happy Birthday.

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Wow, what a great night! I bet you're back on the river tonight too!

Nice fish, and what a way to get to the top of the leaderboard!

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Happy belated birthday man! Congrats on those beauties! Hmmm... daytime fish huh?

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