June 26, 2013
Catchbook Photo: Sam Daniels' 18.5 Pound Father's Day Catfish
By Ben Romans
Field & Stream's Catchbook app for the iPhone is a social-fishing tool that allows users to share photos of their catches and create instant fishing journal entries.
Every now and again a Catchbook user photo stand out above the rest—like this shot from Sam Daniels of an 18.5-pound channel catfish he caught on Father’s Day.
Daniels, 15, a sophomore from Overland Park, Kansas says it doesn’t matter if he’s looking for bass or perch to use as bait, he simply loves to fish—and it was that urge to get on the water that led him to one of the biggest catfish he’s ever caught.
“We fish on a lake called Lake Dabinawa. It’s a 100-acre private water about 10 minutes outside Lawrence, Kansas. My family has a cabin there on the shore and we go up there about every weekend of the summer,” Daniels says. “It has some really good bass fishing and the biggest one I’ve caught was about six pounds, but there are bigger ones out there. I’ve heard of people catching some 10-pounders. In fact, they did a shocking survey not too long ago, and in one little area, they were able to find about 50 or 60 bass that were all 5 to 10 pounds, so I think this is one of the better fishing lakes in the state.”
On June 15, Daniels fished from a dock and caught perch to use as catfish bait.
“If I’m chasing catfish, I’ll fish off our dock and catch a perch or crappie, and I’ll hook it under the spine and cast it out on my big catfish rod. I use quite a bit of weight to get it all to sit on the bottom where hopefully a catfish will swim by and see it swimming around and eat it.”
Daniels placed the rod in a holder at the end of the dock and left it until the next day. In the morning, he noticed his rig wasn’t situated the way he left it.
“On Father’s Day, I woke up at 6:30 in the morning to go bass fishing. I went down and noticed my line moved way to the right of where I left it the night before, so I figured I had a catfish on, but I didn’t know it was as big as it was,” Daniels says. “I don’t think the fight took more than 10 minutes because the fish was tired—probably from fighting my rod all night—but my dad was still sleeping so I was the only one on the dock.
“It’s the first big catfish I’ve caught using perch, but I’ve got some other good sized ones using some actual catfish baits, and I caught a 17-pounder using carp bait. The lake record is actually a 64-pound flathead, so my goal is to catch a bigger one this season.
“It was Father’s Day and I figured this catfish might have some kids, so I took a photo for the Catchbook app and then just let it go,” Daniels says.