In this old family photo, you can see a joyful spark in Rodney Crimm’s eyes
as he hoists a 13-pound flathead that’s nearly as big as the eight-year-old angler.
Why We Catfish
By Rodney Crimm
From the banks of a farm pond to the open waters of big rivers and reservoirs,
Rodney Crimm has developed a lifelong love of catfishing.
My first catfishing experiences began in a farm pond catching channel cats. Those fun times as a child hooked me for life on catching catfish and particularly big catfish.
I was just eight years old, fishing with my dad, when I caught my first flathead below the spillway of Grenada Lake in north Mississippi. That fish weighed a whopping 13 pounds, but it was nearly as long as I was. I was as proud as I could be. Dad had fished those waters for years and continued to fish them with me for many years after that experience some 46 years ago.
I learned a lot from my dad about catching big flatheads and blue catfish. We spent countless hours fishing in various weather and water conditions in those tailrace waters. We also fished along some of the river systems in Mississippi. Dad even became well known in our area for catching big fish. I have taken things he taught me from a young age and added newly acquired knowledge over the years to grow my catfishing skills.
Moving forward several years, my brother and I started fishing the Yazoo and Tallahatchie rivers in the Mississippi Delta from his first boat. We would mostly fish with live bluegills or shad back then, as Dad had always firmly believed that flatheads could only be caught on live bait. We know now that’s not true, thanks to the additional knowledge we gained during those trips. We improved our success by learning to properly anchor fish around wood structure we found in the rivers.
After several years of fishing those rivers, we got very consistent at catching quality catfish, and through fishing there, we met David Woods who was starting a catfish tournament trail in Mississippi. He invited us to try our hand at tournament fishing, but our first attempt on the tough waters of the Tenn-Tom Waterway was a bust. Our next attempt was different, however. We won second place on Ross Barnett Reservoir, and from that point on, we were hooked.
We have learned many new techniques since then that we had never heard of. When we started fishing catfish tournaments, we were anchor fisherman to the core. Now we might be suspending baits, back bumping, anchored or dragging baits depending on where we are fishing and the current conditions.
So that is an overview of why I catfish and how I have evolved as a fisherman over the years. Some of the ways I catch fish now would seem so foreign to my dad. But it all goes back to the love of catching big catfish that he instilled in me as young boy. That has led me through this journey as a fisherman and now even taking a catfish tackle business that my brother started, Flathead Fever Tackle.