Kansas fishermen goes from bust to boom when he catches 96-pound blue catfish on Kansas River

06/26/2014 6:09 PM

06/26/2014 6:09 PM

Catch of the week

Two hours into a fishing trip on the Kansas River last weekend, things weren’t looking so good for Joel Roberts.

He had gotten only a couple of bites, and he had failed to land a fish.

But with one giant bend of his fishing rod, Roberts’ fate changed.

A trophy blue catfish had inhaled the chunk of Asian carp he was using for bait, and was on the run. Roberts knew he had a big fish, but he he underestimated the size of the catfish he had on the end of his line.

“I figured it was maybe 50 pounds,” said Roberts, 27, of Olathe, who was fishing near the Interstate 435 bridge. “But when I got it up to the side of the boat and saw how big its head was, I knew I had a monster.”

Roberts loosened the drag on the reel and let the giant blue catfish fight and expend its energy. Finally, he was able to guide it into a landing net.

After four or five tries, he was able to flop it into the boat. He later called Brad Kilpatrick, the owner of Kansas City Catfish, who runs a tournament circuit, and Kilpatrick took certified scales to the boat ramp. The fish weighed 96.4 pounds, not far from the Kansas state record of 102.8 pounds, also caught on the Kansas River.

“The biggest blue cat I had caught before this weighed 48 pounds,” Roberts said. “I had always dreamed of catching a 100-pound fish, and this came close.”

Carp in a bubble

Marty Perrea of Parkville has quite a fish story about the big one that didn’t get away.

While fishing for bass at Riss Lake, he and his dad, Alan, noticed what appeared to be a plastic ball floating on the surface.

When they pulled closer, they found that it was a plastic globe off a yard lamp. And it was swimming.

“When we netted it, we found a carp with two-thirds of its body in the ball,” Perrea said. “It had entered a slit in the ball and couldn’t get out.

“But it was still in good shape.”

Perrea used a fillet knife to widen the hole in the globe and released the carp, which he estimated at 7 to 10 pounds. The fish swam off, relieved to stop living its life in a bubble.

Deer meetings

Do you have opinions about the way the Missouri Department of Conservation is managing deer? Here’s your chance to speak out.

The Department of Conservation is conducting a series of public meetings across the state to discuss deer management and get opinions from hunters and wildlife watchers.

Among the topics that will be discussed will be the possibility of reducing or eliminating the antlerless portion of the firearms season, the proposed use of crossbows by all hunters during the archery season, antler-point restrictions and the possibility of moving the November portion of the firearms season back a week.

The open-house meetings will be from 3 to 8 p.m. at each location. Meetings that will be held in the Kansas City area are:

July 1 in Chillicothe: Litton Agricultural Campus, M.W. Jenkins Building, 10780 Liv Room 235.

July 2 in Lee’s Summit: Lakeland Community Church, 913 N.E. Colbern Road.

July 8 in St. Joseph: Missouri Western University, Rooms 218-219 Blum Union, 4525 Downs Drive.

July 9 in Columbia: Hilton Garden Inn, Magnolia Room, 3300 Vandiver Drive.

Take it from a pro

Want to get a few fishing tips from a pro?

Casey Scanlon of Lenexa, who competes on the Bassmaster Elite Series circuit, will hold a meet-and-greet session from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Texas Roadhouse restaurant, 11973 S. Strang Line Road, Olathe.

Scanlon will answer questions, sign autographs, and display his state-of-the-art wrapped bass boat and truck. Guests can register for giveaways, including a fishing rod, lures, Bass Pro items, a Texas Roadhouse gift certificate, and steak sauces and seasonings.

Crappies draw crowd

One pole, one artificial bait.

That’s what fishermen were restricted to when they competed in the Bass Pro Shops Crappie Masters One-Pole Ultimate Challenge on June 20-21 at Truman Lake.

The tournament attracted 135 fishermen from across the Midwest.

Noel Fernandez of Deepwater, Mo., and Allen Morgan of Lowry City, Mo., teamed to take first place with 14 crappies weighing 18.77 pounds. They earned $5,000.

David Cox of Warsaw, Mo., and Steve Hockett of Sedalia, Mo., took second with 14 fish totaling 18.49 pounds. They took home $3,000.

Jeff Faulkenberry and Natasha Goucher of Clinton, Mo., took big fish honors with a crappie weighing 1.77 pounds.

To reach Brent Frazee, The Star’s outdoors editor, call 816-234-4319 or send email to bfrazee@kcstar.com.

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