“Catfish are not exactly selective when it comes to their diet. In fact, they’re some of the most opportunistic feeders in freshwater.”
That’s what I wrote in a 2019 article about the five best catfish baits. I was specifically talking about how they’ll engulf whatever’s in your bait bucket—whether it be stink bait, hot dogs, or soap. But I never truly realized the spectrum of their diet until I talked to Richard Kesar of Shelbyville, Indiana.
Kesar took a buddy catfishing on the Ohio River last weekend with the goal of helping him catch his first ever blue cat. The trip was a success as the men boated a 3-pound channel, 4-pound blue, and 20-pound blue using shrimp for bait. Kesar immediately noticed something was off with the catch-of-the-day, though. It had a bulging stomach that was unusually swollen, even for the most gluttonous of catfish.
“When I saw it had a huge gut, I figured it was eggs,” Kesar told MeatEater. “But when I felt that hard lump, I knew that wasn’t the case. I’ve found turtles, muskrats, and all kinds of stuff in catfish before. I just assumed it would be something like that instead.”
Kesar’s friends and family gathered around the cutting board for the big reveal, but no one could have imagined what would happen next. As his knife opened up the stomach, a giant sex toy fell from the cat’s belly (as well as a Nerf ball and decomposed 6-inch fish).
“It came sliding out and we all started laughing and my wife tried to cover my 3-year-old daughter’s eyes,” Kesar said. “She hasn’t stopped asking what it is since.”
Kesar doesn’t have any theories on how a lunker catfish came upon a dildo in the Ohio River. He said it’s a fairly busy stretch of water for both anglers and recreational boaters, but not the kind of place you’d find a raucous party that’s spilling sex toys over the gunwale.
“It was wild,” Kesar said. “My buddy will never forget his first blue cat.”