Further Evidence Of The Existence Of Monster Catfish At Bagnell Dam

Large Catfish
Photo By Luis Tamayo At Cabela’s

Awhile back, I wrote an article about evidence of the existence of monster catfish at Bagnell Dam on the Lake of the Ozarks.  I’m including most of that article at the end to incorporate all of the info in one spot.  But, I have since found more evidence pointing towards this and wish to discuss it…

 After writing the other article, I had a conversation with my mom about it ~ she has been nearly a lifelong resident of Missouri and used to live at the Lake of the Ozarks.  She told me about my dad’s fishing trip with his buddies where one of them hooked a REALLY big one on their line.  It was so big, it started to pull the boat with the grown men and all their gear in it!  She said that at first they were very shocked, but out of necessity, managed to cut the line and free themselves of the monster fish, big enough to pull the boat!  My dad has since passed away, but I do believe this story since it goes along with the other evidence given by divers and residents of the Lake.
And here is a tidbit of the other article (well, maybe more than a tidbit…it has all the important info)…
I’ve lived close to the Ozarks nearly my whole life and have heard tales of people seeing catfish as big as men while diving near Bagnell Dam, at the Lake of the Ozarks.  I believe that this is entirely possible, in spite of others refuting the fact.  Bagnell Dam was started in 1929 and completed in 1931 – the largest artificial lake in the world at that time.  Fed by the muddy Osage River,  this manmade Missouri lake is just over 80 years old – a lot of time for catfish to contentedly live and multiply.  

Here is some interesting info I found from another source:

“In more recent times, I have heard and read about divers and underwater welders who have quit their jobs to pursue different kinds of work. Allegedly, this has happened near Bagnell Dam at the Lake of the Ozarks . The divers claimed to have seen catfish the size of —as some stories have it—Volkswagons. Sometimes the fish have been described as being even larger than Volkswagons. Like most fish stories, this one might seem pretty hard to believe. At first anyway. Like I’ve written before, nature can be very mysterious to us; we look out at a body of water and can only imagine what’s underneath. Is it possible that catfish can grow so large that they could or would attempt to eat a human? “There’s Some Big Fish in the Lake Ozarks” by Wes Goff

We all continue to ask…Is this true—could there be a large bunch of them lurking in the depths of this old Missouri lake?  Perhaps, time will tell.


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5 responses to “Further Evidence Of The Existence Of Monster Catfish At Bagnell Dam”

  1. Matk Twain says :

    I’ll belive this fishy tale. I’ve read in the Guiness book of world records. Catfish can get as large as 20 tons. Great Lakes.

  2. ozarkmtnlake says :

    My neighbor caught a 79 lb. catfish a couple of years ago.
    He caught it back in a cove across the lake from the North end of Big Island.
    Approx. MM 3 on the Little Niangua arm.

    • newprairiestore says :

      Wow…that’s a big catfish! I believe it, though – especially after all that others have said and written about monster catfish at Bagnell Dam.

  3. Bobby Jean says :

    Catfish grow as long as they live, I’ve heard. Given the age of the dam and its favorable conditions, monster cats are probable.

    While fishing at a former strip mining operation, with lakes stocked by the original 1900s land owner, I brought up a monster cat that scared the dickens out of me. ‘Brought up’ is too generous a term, since it launched itself out of the water like a breaching submarine. I hollered (…ahem …screamed) for my fishing buddy to hit it with the axe and his reply was ‘No! NO! What are you going to do with it …it is bigger than the car!’

    Meanwhile, the monster was making ugly croaking sounds that may have been fishspeak for ‘I will eat you.’ It could have.

    While we were back peddling and arguing whether I’d need a chain saw to filet it, the beast gave a mighty flip and made it back into the water. Still unsure if I was disappointed or mightily relieved. True story, Missouri, late 1990s.

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