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Kansas was another of the pleasant surprises I found in the Midwest, especially Topeka, a nice town that I knew absolutely nothing about before visiting. Many Kansas fishing guides focus on hybrid striper, which is a very exciting fish to catch. However, when searching through guides, I knew I found the right one when I discovered Cat Daddy ( Cat Daddy consistently catches trophy blue, channel, and flathead catfish, as well as paddlefish (called spoonbill in the Midwest). As I learned later, he is even somewhat of a local celebrity.

We fished Banner Creek Reservoir, west of Holton, for channel catfish on a beautiful fall day. The bite was excellent and I caught 14 fish, the biggest being a 39-inch, 17.8-pound channel catfish that easily exceeded the 33 inches necessary for a Kansas Master Angler Award and that is still my personal best channel catfish by length. I also had a great time talking with Cat Daddy and his son, both of whom did an excellent job of putting us on the best spots, and keeping us there despite the constant double-digit Midwestern wind.

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