Largest Channel Cat
You hit that one spot on. I hear it all the time about all these 30 pounders being caught. I usually say nothing but some times flat out say it didn't happen. I boat literally tons of big channel cats per year and generally under estimate them but I know a 20 when I see it. I have caught and seen a few 30s and they are something to behold.
I notice that a lot of people way over estimate their catfish. Lot's of people say 25-30 LBs......well I don't think people realize how big a 30 lb channel is. Most 18 to 20's are people's 25-30 pounders.
I've fished cats for almost 20 years on the wolf river. We catch 100's a year, our biggest has been 22-23 lbs and they are in that 36-38 inch range.
Just pointing out the the fact that most aren't weighing cats are typically over estimate. I don't weigh many cats anymore either, I just know from 20 years of fishing them exclusively for few months. When you weigh big cats, they break scales. I've destroyed 3 Berkley digital scales in my time.
I'm not calling anyone out or pointing fingers, it's a common mistake...non catfisherman don't realize how big a 20lb channel is.
Biggest I have ever seen was actually in northwestern lower Michigan and unfortunately not landed. My buddy hooked a giant on a road runner jig tipped with a wax worm while bluegill fishing. The fish came to the surface just out of reach before spitting the hook. In my opinion it was huge, but its hard to tell exacts when you don't land them.