That’s A Lot of Bull……Head

Chris and I have a  bit of cabin fever.  Mother Nature dumped a bit more snow on us last week and I am trying to not complain but doggone it—-I am tired of the fluffy white stuff.  Thank goodness it almost all melted off in 24 hours and we are supposed to experience a bit warmer temperatures this week.  Not a minute too soon.

We had to get out of the house.  We didn’t want to venture too far but wanted to go do something outside so we headed out after consulting Oddball Iowa–A Guide to Some Really Strange Places written by Jerome Pohlen .We headed off to Crystal Lake—population around 250 as of the 2010 census.  Not exactly a metropolis but there is one thing that the locals are proud of—-their World’s Largest Bullhead.

watermarked bulheadThat is a heck of a big fish, right?   Bullhead catfish are not the prettiest fish or the most tasty—they are bottom dwellers and not too tasty but easy to catch which makes me think they might not be the brightest fish in the lake.  Regardless, the locals are proud of their bullheads and erected a 12 foot from snout to tail structure to honor this prominent fish.


Most bullheads are brown and yellow but this one is green and yellow and sports 3 foot whiskers. Fun and odd, yes.



I took the chance to snap a few photos in the surrounding area and managed to spy a couple of lingering ice fishermen hanging on for some last of the season fishing.




P1010622When we were walking back to the car we spied a non-ice fisherman trying his luck at snagging something for dinner.

P1010634All he caught while we watched was the elusive “leaf fish” and Chris asked him what the size limit on that was.  Always the jokester.

P1010635A few other pictures to round out our little much needed jaunt.




P1010609Of course this little trip out involved eating.  Chris spied a little diner in Britt when we drove by so we headed back to grab a bite at the Heartland Diner in the heart of Britt.  Yum.  Great food, great prices, and the entire diner atmosphere that the hubby loves complete with locals who added a bit of texture to the experience.  And yes—we shared the coconut cream pie and ate it before our tenderloin sandwiches arrived.  After all—life is short. Eat dessert first.








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  1. looks like such a fun day!

  2. Funny, I went to bed last night with Rick watching Alaskan fishermen fishing for giant tuna, halibut and salmon. Then I wake up to your bullhead! I showed Rick the fishermen camped out on the ice with the water flowing by. Me: “Honey, look at this. They’re fishing on melting ice.” Him: “Maybe they know what they’re doing.” Indeed they do. Thank you for the trip to Crystal Lake.

    • Yea—it made me a bit nervous to see then out there with the ice half gone. Most places have deadlines when you have to have your huts off the ice and obviously these guys don’t have the same rules. 🙂

  3. Good for you! The new snow would have qualified me for a straight-jacket.

  4. You know I would have loved this day trip. It had all the components…kitsch, scenery, attractions, local food…

    Did you know I live 15 miles from the Bullhead Capitol of the World? That would be Waterville, Minnesota. But no bullhead statue there. Only Bullhead Days in June.

    What’s with those crazy ice fisherman? Didn’t they see the open water?

    When Randy and I were newlyweds, we lived in a lake cabin and one of our weekend neighbors hailed from Britt. Did you see any hobo “stuff” there as I believe this Iowa community is known for its Hobo Days?

  5. Love the train car with the passengers painted into the windows — does it have a practical purpose (like dining?), or is it just for show? I know what you mean about the cabin fever. I think ALL of us are getting tired of this winter. Wonder if any of those ice fishermen caught anything edible??

  6. Bullheads eat anything, everything, all of the time. Frying them fast in high heat, and a good batter, is the best way to eat them. They are common because they are hearty. We used to catch them with our hands, in ditches and bayous down south, when I was a kid. You have to be careful of their spikes, though! You had fun! Wish I were there!

  7. BETH ANN—I am truly beginning to worry about you—or am I the only one seeing it..Oh dear. Just, never mind. LOOK A BIG Fish! So Mighty. Something to be proud of fer sure. And the food looks really good. Sounds like the perfect odd get away!!

  8. Americana at its best.. When I saw that Rock Island Line train, I started singing the song.. “The Rock Island Line is a mighty good road, yeah, the Rock Island Line is the road to ride…” Thanks for that, at least it’s not a song that I hate that will be running through my head all day..

  9. Missouri has its share of catfish and they are gigantic. When CH’s Dad would pull a catfish out of the Lake of the Ozarks on to the dock it used to creep and freak me out! Your tenderloin sandwich looks delicious, a fav here, and so is the coconut cream pie! One of the great things about being an adult, eating dessert before a meal or a cupcake before breakfast because.. well… we can! Now I am hungry for CH’s coconut cream pie.. 😀

  10. What a fun day you had! That lonely red bench is just waiting for warmer weather and someone to spend some time relaxing there. Your lunch looks delish!

  11. That’s one bi fish and some brave ice fishermen!

  12. I do hope Mark gets a look at this fish. He might even come to Iowa and see if he can catch a big one.

  13. Oh my, I thought we were the only ones who did oversized roadside attractions – we have apples, goose, chair, Winnie the Pooh – seriously. I think it’s so cool. And yeah, those bullheads – we call them catfish, will bit at anything.
    Me….I’m all over that coconut creme pie. my favourite!

    • Oh we have a lot of huge roadside attractions here in Iowa. I love the oddity of them and never cease to be amazed at why someone would erect some of the ones that they do. But then it makes for great photo opportunities and the chance to stretch the legs a bit so it is all good!

  14. What fun.Often those little out of the way places are interesting and have great places to eat. The pie looks so yummy.

  15. Brave ice fishermen! I would not feel safe ice fishing on a lake with open water!

  16. Coconut Cream Pie is my favorite, and that looks like a good one! Yum. Glad you got out and about. Sometimes, a quick little getaway is exactly what is needed.

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