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Years of study in the Minnesota River shows that it holds a very large sized population of flathead catfish, giving anglers an opportunity tangle with 40 pound behemoths like the one held here. Submitted photo

Winter sites hold big 'home bodies'


MONTEVIDEO -- As surely as bears return to their dens to hibernate each winter, flathead and channel catfish seek out their favorite deep water hideouts in the Minnesota River to wait for the return of warm water.

The fish return in large numbers to these deepwater refuges and stack themselves up like cordwood, lying motionless to save energy. They remain so lethargic that silt covers them as if they were dusted with flour.

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Tom Cherveny
Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
(320) 214-4335