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Radar Chief
07-22-2010, 07:48 AM
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Florissant man catches record-setting catfish in Missouri

BY JOEL CURRIER> jcurrier@post-dispatch.com | Posted: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 12:25 am
ST. CHARLES COUNTY ē It was a dead night on the Missouri River. Hardly a nibble on the line for hours. So as storm clouds rolled in about 12:45 a.m. Tuesday, Greg Bernal and his girlfriend decided they'd head for shore after 15 more minutes.
Then, suddenly, came a pull on the line stronger than Bernal had ever felt.
"That rod just started screaming," said Bernal, 47, of Florissant. "I knew he was big. It raced out, I set the hook and there was no movement at all. I just kept the pressure on him and finally I could feel him thumping."
Bernal landed the 130-pound blue catfish that officials say is big enough for a world record held since May 2005 by Tim Pruitt of Alton. Pruitt caught a 124-pound blue catfish on the Mississippi River near Alton.
The Missouri record, until Tuesday, was a 103-pound catfish caught with a pole and line in 1991 on the Missouri River.
Bernal fought his big catch for 15 minutes and spent another 30 minutes ó with help from his girlfriend, Janet Momphard ó pulling it into their johnboat as rain pelted them and lightning flashed. The fish's teeth snagged Bernal's hands and drew blood.
Bernal and Momphard, 47, a nurse from St. Charles, said they used 40-pound test fishing line and Asian carp as bait.
"I am still numb," said Bernal, a lifelong fisherman. "That's the biggest fish I've ever seen."
Bernal's fish was at least 25 to 30 years old, officials said. It was 57 inches long and 45 inches in girth. That's one inch shorter but also one inch fatter than Pruitt's catch.
Bernal wouldn't reveal the exact location of his fishing spot, saying only it was near the Columbia Bottom Conservation Area.
Bernal's fish was weighed Tuesday morning at the Straatmann Feed Store in New Melle. Manager Jim Blair said he brought a portable scale out to the store's front porch, a spectacle that drew a crowd and caused a small-town traffic jam.
"It was total chaos," said Blair, 61. "Everybody was jumping for joy. People were getting out of their cars and taking pictures."
Bernal's catch will have to be certified before it becomes an official record.
Pruitt, 38, the outgoing record holder, had hoped to profit from catfish fame by selling DVDs about his catch on his website, www.timpruitt.net. But he says he lost more money in that venture than he cared to discuss and no longer offers catfish merchandise.
"It didn't work so good," Pruitt said. "Catfishermen don't like to spend too much."
Pruitt said he is happy for Bernal and isn't bothered that his five-year reign as catfish king is ending.
"Records are made to be broken," he said. "I've held it long enough. It's time to pass the torch."
Bernal, an unemployed land surveyor, says he won't eat the record-breaking fish, but plans to mount a reproduction in his home, next to a 79.12-pound catfish he caught in 1995. He hopes there's room for another someday.
"I'm going to go out there and catch a bigger one," Bernal said. "They're out there."


http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/article_c97f11fc-9433-11df-8b39-0017a4a78c22.html

Rooster
07-22-2010, 07:58 AM
That will be one hell of a fish fry.

Reerun_KC
07-22-2010, 07:58 AM
That will be one hell of a fish fry.

I bet that old and big, it probably wouldnt taste very well?

Radar Chief
07-22-2010, 08:05 AM
I bet that old and big, it probably wouldnt taste very well?

It probably could be cleaned and eaten but something that big should be studied, not consumed.

rad
07-22-2010, 08:28 AM
It probably could be cleaned and eaten but something that big should be studied, not consumed.

Try telling that to my wife.

Rooster
07-22-2010, 08:29 AM
It probably could be cleaned and eaten but something that big should be studied, not consumed.

Good point. I was surprised he got it to the boat in only 15 minutes. What a freaking rush that would be.

loochy
07-22-2010, 08:33 AM
Good point. I was surprised he got it to the boat in only 15 minutes. What a freaking rush that would be.

Yeah seriously...he was only using 40 lb line, so that's a pretty quick time to get that in...especially in river current. Although, he was in a jon boat so he probably chased the fish with the boat to make it quicker, but still.

notorious
07-22-2010, 08:34 AM
Those monsters are swimming around our feet every time we take a swim in the lake in Ark/Missou/Okla.


That is some scary shit!

Radar Chief
07-22-2010, 08:58 AM
Those monsters are swimming around our feet every time we take a swim in the lake in Ark/Missou/Okla.


That is some scary shit!

Not only that but the guys that noodle can have that shit. Imagine sticking your hand in that things mouth. Itíd probably crush your hand and take off with it.

Sofa King
07-22-2010, 08:59 AM
Thank god he killed it. We don't need an amazing fish like that alive in an aquarium for all to see and enjoy anyways...



I'm kidding BTW. i would have liked to see that fish stay alive, even if it's in an aquarium or even released. I would like to know if anyone could determine what made that fish get so damn huge. (other than the obvious lots of food, stress free area to live in stuff) genetics? raw sewage? nuclear waste?

Pretty cool though.

seclark
07-22-2010, 09:04 AM
Not only that but the guys that noodle can have that shit. Imagine sticking your hand in that things mouth. Itíd probably crush your hand and take off with it.

no doubt you'd need a couple buddies to help pull you back out.
sec

loochy
07-22-2010, 09:05 AM
Thank god he killed it. We don't need an amazing fish like that alive in an aquarium for all to see and enjoy anyways...



I'm kidding BTW. i would have liked to see that fish stay alive, even if it's in an aquarium or even released. I would like to know if anyone could determine what made that fish get so damn huge. (other than the obvious lots of food, stress free area to live in stuff) genetics? raw sewage? nuclear waste?

Pretty cool though.

Here in Texas they have a program called ShareLunker in which people that catch bass over 13 lbs donate it (alive) to the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center. They study the fish and its genetics for use in engineering bass with larger growth potential.

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/visitorcenters/tffc/sharelunker/ (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/visitorcenters/tffc/sharelunker/)

Sofa King
07-22-2010, 09:08 AM
Here in Texas they have a program called ShareLunker in which people that catch bass over 13 lbs donate it (alive) to the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center. They study the fish and its genetics for use in engineering bass with larger growth potential.

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/visitorcenters/tffc/sharelunker/ (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/visitorcenters/tffc/sharelunker/)

Cool. That's along the lines of what i was thinking.

BTW, that's a huge bass.

Radar Chief
07-22-2010, 09:28 AM
Thank god he killed it. We don't need an amazing fish like that alive in an aquarium for all to see and enjoy anyways...



I'm kidding BTW. i would have liked to see that fish stay alive, even if it's in an aquarium or even released. I would like to know if anyone could determine what made that fish get so damn huge. (other than the obvious lots of food, stress free area to live in stuff) genetics? raw sewage? nuclear waste?

Pretty cool though.

Agreed, Iíd prefer the thing be alive to study for years to come but realistically the thing was injured and in a continuous 15 minute battle for its life. Unless they had a live well on hand big enough to handle it or immediately got it back in the water to resuscitate it, it didnít have much of a chance.

Reerun_KC
07-22-2010, 09:31 AM
Agreed, Iíd prefer the thing be alive to study for years to come but realistically the thing was injured and in a continuous 15 minute battle for its life. Unless they had a live well on hand big enough to handle it or immediately got it back in the water to resuscitate it, it didnít have much of a chance.

I couldnt imagine a fish that old and heavy putting up too much of a fight.

Rooster
07-22-2010, 09:33 AM
I would like to know if anyone could determine what made that fish get so damn huge. (other than the obvious lots of food, stress free area to live in stuff) genetics? raw sewage? nuclear waste?

Well it was caught in MO so I would bet raw sewage. :D

LOCOChief
07-22-2010, 09:40 AM
I'll bet that's not the largest blue in that river.

KCUnited
07-22-2010, 09:42 AM
Bernal, an unemployed land surveyor, says he won't eat the record-breaking fish, but plans to mount a reproduction in his home


[death metal voice]
Give me back that filet o fish
Give me that fish
Give me back that filet o fish
Give me that fish
[/death metal voice]

Radar Chief
07-22-2010, 09:57 AM
I couldnt imagine a fish that old and heavy putting up too much of a fight.

I wouldnít think that.
If he was fishing from shore he probably wouldnít have landed it with the light gear he was using.
Fishing from a John boat he probably just held the line tight to keep itís head up and let it drag the boat around until it wore out. At least thatís what I would do.

Reerun_KC
07-22-2010, 10:01 AM
I wouldnít think that.
If he was fishing from shore he probably wouldnít have landed it with the light gear he was using.
Fishing from a John boat he probably just held the line tight to keep itís head up and let it drag the boat around until it wore out. At least thatís what I would do.

My guess too....

Still would of been a rush when you pulled it out of the water.

Rooster
07-22-2010, 10:11 AM
[death metal voice]
Give me back that filet o fish
Give me that fish
Give me back that filet o fish
Give me that fish
[/death metal voice]

Damn it dude.. Now that song is stuck in my head.:banghead:

Fish
07-22-2010, 11:07 AM
I found this pretty funny.. Guy catches a big fish and thinks he's on easy street.

Pruitt, 38, the outgoing record holder, had hoped to profit from catfish fame by selling DVDs about his catch on his website, www.timpruitt.net (http://www.timpruitt.net/). But he says he lost more money in that venture than he cared to discuss and no longer offers catfish merchandise.

boogblaster
07-22-2010, 11:07 AM
Nice fish, biggest I've ever seen was 89 pounds ....

gblowfish
07-22-2010, 11:08 AM
Why would anybody eat anything pulled out of the Missouri River? Its just a giant open sewer.

Param
07-22-2010, 11:11 AM
That will be one hell of a fish fry.

heh, ya no kidding! I'd stuff it and mount that thing on my trailer.

CoMoChief
07-22-2010, 11:29 AM
Damn that's a big catfish. I've seen some huge blue and flat heads while I worked at Lake Jacomo, ones that have been 70+ lbs, almost as big as the people that catch them. But this one's huge.

Radar Chief
07-22-2010, 11:30 AM
heh, ya no kidding! I'd stuff it and mount that thing on my trailer.

Right next to the Boogie Bass. ;)

Fish
07-22-2010, 11:33 AM
Why would anybody eat anything pulled out of the Missouri River? Its just a giant open sewer.

I've boated up and down the Missouri down by the Rivermarket here in KC. There are a few places next to the industrial buildings down there that will downright make you sick. We found a huge pipe that was pouring the most rancid smelling brown sludge into the water. It really made me sick. The smell was so bad I couldn't stay there long. Like rotten yeast or something. It took your breath away. There were a bunch of asian carp in the area too, and they would jump 3 feet out of the water when they heard the boat motor. We had several jump into our boat. All the fish were also covered with the same nasty slimy brown sludge. I'm not really a hardcore environmentalist by any means, but that moment really made me sob for mother Earth. There's no way it's legal to dump whatever that was into the water.

I would never ever ever eat anything from the Missouri river after seeing that.

jbwm89
07-22-2010, 11:33 AM
I'll bet that's not the largest blue in that river.

I bet your right there are some huge holes in that river.

Fish that large have so much red meat its not even worth frying them. I caught a 36lb blue in the Missouri took a few pictures and threw her back.

Radar Chief
07-22-2010, 11:34 AM
I found this pretty funny.. Guy catches a big fish and thinks he's on easy street.

I know, a coworker and I were laughing about that also.
Pruittís conclusion is exactly right though: cat fishermen are cheap.

LaChapelle
07-22-2010, 11:40 AM
They'll have to cut off a flag pole
to hang that from the fence row

KCUnited
07-22-2010, 11:57 AM
I've boated up and down the Missouri down by the Rivermarket here in KC. There are a few places next to the industrial buildings down there that will downright make you sick. We found a huge pipe that was pouring the most rancid smelling brown sludge into the water. It really made me sick. The smell was so bad I couldn't stay there long. Like rotten yeast or something. It took your breath away. There were a bunch of asian carp in the area too, and they would jump 3 feet out of the water when they heard the boat motor. We had several jump into our boat. All the fish were also covered with the same nasty slimy brown sludge. I'm not really a hardcore environmentalist by any means, but that moment really made me sob for mother Earth. There's no way it's legal to dump whatever that was into the water.

I would never ever ever eat anything from the Missouri river after seeing that.
There are times, at least twice a year, when it is down right hard to live down there with the smell coming off the river. Its a smell I can't quite put my finger on, but it makes Emporia smell like young but legal, freshly showered, tit skin.

Radar Chief
07-22-2010, 12:42 PM
I bet your right there are some huge holes in that river.

Fish that large have so much red meat its not even worth frying them. I caught a 36lb blue in the Missouri took a few pictures and threw her back.

You donít fillet a big fish like that. The way to do it is hang them from a pole, or nail their bottom jaw to a board, skin them and cut slabs of meat off. Then take each slab one by one and cut out all of the red meat because one bite of that will put you off eating fish for a while. When properly prepped like this, you should be left with plenty of good clean fish meat.
My fishing friends and I typically donít bother with a blue or flat head smaller than 20 lbs because they need to be at least that big to make it worth cleaning them.
I made the mistake of taking home a 10 lb flat head once and by the time I got through cutting out all of the red meat I was left with a handful, probably less than a pound, of fish meat.

MOhillbilly
07-22-2010, 01:25 PM
stuck about a 40-50#. put em all the way to the bottom. When i first hit him i was standin on the gunnels. Hit so hard it damn near flung me off the boat.
My dads buddy stuck a big big big cat early 80s. He hung the head from a tree years.

seclark
07-22-2010, 03:16 PM
if the river goes down enough this weekend, i'm going to try and grab a few. been a year since the wrist & knuckles have been scabbed up.
sec

Radar Chief
07-22-2010, 03:30 PM
if the river goes down enough this weekend, i'm going to try and grab a few. been a year since the wrist & knuckles have been scabbed up.
sec

If youíre supplying the beer Iíll watch and keep emergency services on speed dial. ;)

Radar Chief
07-22-2010, 03:36 PM
The Neosho is coming up here because Redman is dumping.

http://www.swt-wc.usace.army.mil/JOHN.lakepage.html

Iím thinking more along the lines of buying a few gold fish and hitting the river tomorrow night. Or catching a few perch for the same purpose.

seclark
07-22-2010, 03:45 PM
If youíre supplying the beer Iíll watch and keep emergency services on speed dial. ;)

sounds like a fair deal. a few years ago my appendix ruptured while i was down there and i didn't get to the hospital til the next day. spent over a month in there. all the people kept seeing my scabbed up arm and kept asking if i was in a car wreck. the day after i got out, i took a hs kid and my brother in law back down to the hole and had them pull out a 37 pounder. i just stood on the bank w/a beer shouting directionsLMAO
sec

Bill Lundberg
07-22-2010, 04:06 PM
Quick question. I noticed they were using Asian Carp as bait. Why in the hell would you use that as bait when everyone and their brother is trying to keep them out of our waters? I'm assuming they were using dead asian carp?

Radar Chief
07-22-2010, 04:09 PM
Quick question. I noticed they were using Asian Carp as bait. Why in the hell would you use that as bait when everyone and their brother is trying to keep them out of our waters? I'm assuming they were using dead asian carp?

I believe in another article I read about this guys catch that the Asian carp jumped in their boat. So he threw it on the hook and used it as cut bait.

Fritz88
07-22-2010, 04:19 PM
no more swimming in that river

WilliamTheIrish
07-22-2010, 04:24 PM
You donít fillet a big fish like that. The way to do it is hang them from a pole, or nail their bottom jaw to a board, skin them and cut slabs of meat off. Then take each slab one by one and cut out all of the red meat because one bite of that will put you off eating fish for a while. When properly prepped like this, you should be left with plenty of good clean fish meat.
My fishing friends and I typically donít bother with a blue or flat head smaller than 20 lbs because they need to be at least that big to make it worth cleaning them.
I made the mistake of taking home a 10 lb flat head once and by the time I got through cutting out all of the red meat I was left with a handful, probably less than a pound, of fish meat.

Before you do any of that, find and fill a huge livestock tank. Let that big thing filter for about a day. It will turn the entire tank muddy. Drain and refill until that water becomes less and less dingy. On a fish that large it may take a full week.

I did this on a 52 lb'er and then did the fillets. It makes a huge difference.

MOhillbilly
07-22-2010, 04:28 PM
If youíre supplying the beer Iíll watch and keep emergency services on speed dial. ;)

My pops swore by roadkill for catfish bait.

Radar Chief
07-22-2010, 04:30 PM
Before you do any of that, find and fill a huge livestock tank. Let that big thing filter for about a day. It will turn the entire tank muddy. Drain and refill until that water becomes less and less dingy. On a fish that large it may take a full week.

I did this on a 52 lb'er and then did the fillets. It makes a huge difference.

Yes, this also.

MOhillbilly
07-22-2010, 04:30 PM
Before you do any of that, find and fill a huge livestock tank. Let that big thing filter for about a day. It will turn the entire tank muddy. Drain and refill until that water becomes less and less dingy. On a fish that large it may take a full week.

I did this on a 52 lb'er and then did the fillets. It makes a huge difference.

we do the same w/ crawfish. Add abit of of cornmeal.

Radar Chief
07-22-2010, 04:30 PM
My pops swore by roadkill for catfish bait.

Iíve heard live kittens work well also. ;)

MOhillbilly
07-22-2010, 04:33 PM
I’ve heard live kittens work well also. ;)

he used to pull over and scrape shit off the road and put it in the boat. Wed cut it into chunks and bait our trots with it. IMO it brought in more turtles than fish.

R8RFAN
07-22-2010, 04:41 PM
Nice fish, been all over the news here in NC...

I would have put him back in though

Rooster
07-22-2010, 04:43 PM
Before you do any of that, find and fill a huge livestock tank. Let that big thing filter for about a day. It will turn the entire tank muddy. Drain and refill until that water becomes less and less dingy. On a fish that large it may take a full week.

I did this on a 52 lb'er and then did the fillets. It makes a huge difference.

That's really interesting. I hadn't heard of that.

Radar Chief
07-22-2010, 05:09 PM
he used to pull over and scrape shit off the road and put it in the boat. Wed cut it into chunks and bait our trots with it. IMO it brought in more turtles than fish.

:cuss: Fucking turtles.
I'm going to buy one of those Gammo pellet rifles for the snapping turtles here. They've taken over a couple of my favorite fishing holes.
There are still fish in there but you can't fish the bottom because as soon as the bait settles there's a turtle on top of it.

Radar Chief
07-22-2010, 05:11 PM
That's really interesting. I hadn't heard of that.

A buddy that I run trot lines with has two stock tanks set up with aerators. One for bait and the other for clearing out catfish.