The Legend of the Mississippi River Catfish that Spit Out a Diver
We've been known to tell some true whoppers when it comes to fish stories involving the Mississippi River. One of the greatest of them all is the tale of the monster catfish that was so large it spit out a diver. Let's explore this legend and see how much truth lies down there.
Here's the short version of the legend: a monster catfish in the Mississippi River was found by a diver who was allegedly swallowed by the large fish and spit out.
I can testify personally that I have family members who have seen with their own eyes catfish in the Mississippi River the SIZE OF A PERSON. That's ALL CAPS because the fish really were that big. Doubt me? Well, the legend of the giant catfish has been told so many times that even Snopes tackled the legend. (NOTE: I don't believe Snopes is right about everything either) They said the claim was that "Monstrously large catfish lurk underwater at the base of dams." They seem to infer it's a made-up legend that's been adapted from different parts of the country.
Let's look at some actual catfish that have been caught in the Mississippi River. Some are upwards of 130 pounds.
It's not just the Mississippi River either. Many years ago, the world record catfish was caught out of the Missouri River in Missouri.
As for the diver part of this legend, I have no clue if there's any truth to that. If it is, I'd love to see that video.
I do believe that those who haven't hung out under a bridge on the Missouri or Mississippi Rivers underestimate how large a catfish can get. In my opinion, this is one legend that has at least some basis in fact...or at least that's how I'm gonna tell it.