GIANT catfish-The size of Volkswagens? GIANT catfish-The size of Volkswagens?

One of the most common mystery animals stories in the United States involves giant catfish.

As the story typically goes, divers descend below a dam to inspect the walls and see a catfish “large as a Volkswagen and big enough to swallow a man”. Usually the story is related by someone who said their friends cousin’s uncle was the diver.

I actually went and dove at a couple of reservoirs to test the feasibility of the legend and traveled to Spain to encounter true giant catfish called the Wels.

It is my opinion that seeing a record class catfish in murky water at close range probably inspired the legend and it grew from there. I had the amazing opportunity to dive with the world record blue catfish (at the time) named “Splash” at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens.

If you have stories of giant catfish encounters, especially a firsthand encounter click here to contact us.

Source: Kingdom Zoo

  • David

    May 21, 2014 #1 Author

    Back in the early 70’s we had divers from the Army Corps of Engineers come to inspect our area lake’s dam for cracks. The water was dark & murky and they couldn’t see their hands in front of their face. They were basically feeling their way along the dam with their equipment. They claimed to have been brushed against by fish as big as they were… and believed them to be catfish. I know there have been several caught out of that lake weighting 100 pounds.


  • CF Hazlewood Jr

    June 4, 2014 #2 Author

    I have heard the exact story you related when I was a kid back in the 60’s. My grandfather said it occurred at Steinhagen Lake commonly known as Dam B. I was scared to death by the story and believed it for a long time. Then I heard the story told the same way by a brother in law that dove on Canyon Lake and related the story. I believe there are some big fish in these lakes but I doubt any could grow to that size. They are good to hear as a kid and help create the unknown that all kids have of the wild outdoors


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