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Discussion Starter #1
Here is my beef. Out east it is common to hear of channels in the 30-50lb range, but in colorado if you reach the coveted 30lb mark you are really into a monster.  Why is this? Is it something to do with water temp/Overall size of the body of water? The reason I ask is because the #2 Blue catfish in the world caught a couple years back in lake texoma is alive (the last that I heard) in an aquarium and the fish is still growing and gaining weight, and an aquarium is no huge body of water.  If a world record class catfish can be taken from a huge lake and continue to grow in an aquarium, why isnt it possible that colorado lakes cant produce a world record class Channel catfish? I know colorado lakes are nowhere close to the size of the lakes and rivers out east but still if the fish can eat all the food they want and live out thier full life span, why cant colorado cats be contenders  ???
 

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I think it has alot to do with the size of the water system, there is a reason a fish that size was caught out of texoma.... its a freakin huge body of water. It also has to do with forage and habitat... water temps probably have something to do with it as well, catfish are pretty adaptable. Colorado does have some lakes that can produce large cats but we dont have the river systems like alot of the states... if you notice the states that produce large cats they usually come from big lakes with large rivers flowing into them.

The reason its still gaining weight is its an artificial enviroment, all it can do is sit and eat... no spawning runs no predators and always food.
 

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MC

And how many people here go out in a boat on one of the larger impoundments like Pueblo or Creek with the tackle that is heavy enough and huge hook with a whole chicken filled with beef liver attached...I dont think you have the numbers pursuing it like other states...there has to be some channels in those reservoirs a lot bigger than 30 pounds dont you think?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Absolutley my man, i am one of those few and proud that fish rediculous size baits and rods and reels that would pull a pickup out of a ditch.  If those plus size cats ever end up on the end of my line i certainley have the means to land them! People say i'm over prepared but i just dont want to miss the fish of a lifetime so i am ready at all times and all costs!
 

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it comes down to forage down here in s.e. colorado

every year me and a few of the old guys that i know that just chase cats

pull out some nice monsters in the 40-45" range but the cats are skinny
 

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I think it also has something to do with altitude.  The same goes for some other animals.  I am looking into raising gamebirds and also looking at growing some fryer chickens, the best fryers won't grow well at over 4500 feet so there goes that venture.  I'm also with the idea that there are not enough people throwing whole 8" gills out on surf rods to catch those big cats.  I am changing my setup this year and will only use livers for bringing the eating size fish home.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yeah occasionally my granparents put in a fish order and ask for some eater cats.  Liver picks up those eaters all day long.  Im the kind of guy that will hook a 15" bullhead on liver and leave it hooked up in hopes of a huge channel looking for a McBullhead sandwich for supper! Of course when i am done with the bullhead i unhook it and let it go
 

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'cause Slayer caught them all...
No seriously, there's not enough biomass in most of the smalller lakes here to fatten up the catfish in their lifetime, and their life expectancy is shorter in CO than in other states due to the severe and ever changing conditions. Also, almost none of CO's public lakes are managed for catfish for various reasons.
 

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Good point made about the water out there not really being managed for cat fish. Here in Ne. I get some large cats out of some pretty small waters. But they are waters managed for cats, bass, with gills and some type of minnows as forage.

Keep it safe JDL
 

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It is all dependent on the length of the growth season. Out east and down south where the temps stay warm all year the fish feed through out the year and get big. Typically in Colorado we only have a 7 month growth period where the cats feed heavily. In Texas at Lake Texoma it is a 12 month growth period. As with the monster blue in the aqarium, its gonna just keep getting bigger as long as she keeps getting food. Cats will eat and eat and eat until either the water turns cold or there is nothing left to eat. As with big baits, the bigger the better! I use whole sucker heads from 14" suckers for bait for my cats. In Nebraska I use baby ducklings and sometimes half a chicken or a half a beef liver. Depnds on the situation. In Colorado where the cats are typically smller I size down to catch on the biggest. I typically use sucker cut into strips one inch wide by three or four inche long.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I love the way catfish eat, its just like the way a person eats on thanksgiving. They gorge themselves to the point of explosion. Thats why after I eat a huge meal and I'm piled up on the couch unable to move people ask "whats wrong with you?" I just reply "I've got a bad case of catfish belly" ;) But on a more serious note thank you everyone for your thoughts. I now have a better understanding and a little peace of mind
 

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I got tons of books, magazines and videos if you ever want to borrow them. Everything I learned I learned from them, my dad, and my great grandfather. Also, mad props to Doug Stange and Steve Hoffman for possibly being the two best catters ever! Same to Toad Smith!
 

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i belive colorado can produce a 35to 40lb channel in some of the bigger lakes like john martin,navajo,pueblo,creek,and standley,the reason i say standley is because the best half of that lake cant even get fished due to the nesting bald eagles.i also belive that the flat heads in pueblo will reach that 50lb mark withen the next ten years or so. it would be nice to stock more of a varity in some of those bigger body of waters.
 

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Standley has a good chance yes. But I would also add Jackson, Boyd, and Lonetree to that list. I have seen big cats taken out of there like they were going out of style and have been spooled several times from each of those lakes on big cats.
 

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I plan on saoking the biggest bluegill I can catch this year all night at Pueblo. A few years ago I hooked into either a big cat or wiper. I was using 50lb Power Pro and 40lb leader with a fat bluegill, it finally broke the leader off on a rock or snag. It was a weird fight, it just kept going at a medium steady pace straight out and I could not stop him. I think he knew right where to break me off! We should have an all nighter down there pretty soon with all the forum members!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I just bought one of those aquaview cameras last summer and in a couple of choice spots in lonetree i saw some cats cruising around in there that were just downright disturbing in size. I would like to put a treble hook on the camera with a piece of cut bait and plug my video camera into the output and tape a catfish coming to dinner... but it cost to much to try something that wild with it just yet, maybe when i get boerd with it........
 

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I was using 50lb Power Pro and 40lb leader with a fat bluegill
OK I am going to ask something stupid...do you need leaders with power pro...would a monster cat care...or is there another reason?...seems like the more knots you have the more chance for lineus interruptus...
 
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