As someone who has fished quite a few Kansas lakes for bass, crappie, walleye and wiper, but never catfish, I took interest in recent stories of monster catfish being caught around the state. Motivated by dreams of reeling in a fish half my size, I decided it was time to try it out.

I knew a couple of things about fishing for big cats: 1) I'd need stink bait and 2) I'd need a bigger fishing pole. Instead of buying a new pole, 100-lb test line and risking life and limb with my limited knowledge, I called up R.R. "CatDaddy" Shumway, a local catfish guide based in Topeka.