Re: NANFA-- Flathead Cats, Pylodictus olivaris

R.W.Wolff (
Sat, 5 Feb 2000 00:19:52 -0600

Dont discount every "tall tale" you here about over sized fish. Locally I
have seen bowfin clearly over 36 inches ( lying along side a 28 incher that
took my bait before the big one reacted). This one was dwarfed by the ones
I seen down canal in the resivoir. One had a tail fin the size of a ice
cream pail lid ( my wife was witnes to this, she doesnt like boat rides in
the marsh anymore). I guessed going off that that it had to be nearly 4
feet in length. It was swimming along in turbid water at the out flow of a
channel that muddied the water, so maybe it just had a freakishly large
tail, I doubt it. I also seen another bowfin surfaceing for air in another
body of water connected directly to this one. when they surface the nose
comes out to just before the eyes, and this snout was the size of half a
foot ball, again approaching or surpassing four feet. I seen these two
fish 10 years apart, so it is unlikely that it was the same fish. Tales
abound of Northern Pike, catfish, and Musky near 6 feet here in the
Wisconsin river. No proof, but too many accounts of divers working on
bridge pilings or the dam to discount. A team of two men that were veteran
divers were so shooken by the site of a trio of huge catfish they refused
to dive again.
On the same note, I have seen many snapping turtles with shells atleast 3
feet across, and necks and heads nearly as large as 5 gallon pails sticking
out of the water in the swamps here ( snapperes necks swell up with air
when they stick there head out of the water). Audobons feild guide to
reptiles says the common snapper reaches a shell length of 12 or maybe 18
inches ( somthing in that range anyway). these creatures would eat them in
one bite. Knd of like that one movie with the hairless bear , " Things
grow big here" said the man with mercury poisoning who burnt cigarrettes
down to his skin. ( by the way, there is no mercury detected in these
waters, maybe the aliens have landed???)
Ray from the land of northern gators ( oversized snapping turtles, another
story in itself.. funny!) and trophy bowfin

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