VIDEO: Paternal instincts

Haul it in Neil Womack, Cat Daddy’s nephew, holds a flathead catfish the crew caught Aug. 28. Womack came up from his home in Arkansas to fish with his uncle.

Eric Smith

Catfishing is just one of the many activities that an avid outdoors person can take part in. And, if you live in Topeka and are looking to catch some, Cat Daddy can help you out.

Angling catfish since 1982, R.R. Shumway, also known as Cat Daddy, runs Cat Daddy’s Catfishin’ Adventures out of his home in North Topeka.

This business that spawned out of a passion of fishing entails Cat Daddy taking outdoors lovers on trips down rivers in Kansas, where they will camp, fish and learn about the area through an experienced guide. And while one might think he’s just another fisherman, he has several accolades and peers to testify to his talent, including his nephews Billy Shumway and Neil Womack, who came to visit and went fishing with him last week.

“I’ve gone fishing with my uncle a bunch,” said Billy. “And we never come back empty-handed.”

Womack, who lives in Arkansas, said his uncle really knows his stuff.

“Cat Daddy comes down to fish in Arkansas every once in a while, and he’ll catch one or two every time where sometimes I will only catch two in 10 months,” said Womack. “You don’t get a name like Cat Daddy without knowing something.”

Cat Daddy has won several fishing awards in his career, according to his brochure, including nine Master Angler Awards. He said while the big ones are fun to catch, he always throws them back.

(story continued below)

Bringin’ in the haul: Cat Daddy Shumway snags three good-sized catfish on this trip. Media Credit: Eric Smith

(…story continued) “The biggest one I ever hooked into I couldn’t get in,” said Cat Daddy. “It was well over 100 [pounds]. We got a 96 [pound fish]. That’s my biggest one to date.”

And Cat Daddy, who is a father of three with sons nicknamed Big Fish and Cat Daddy Jr., is very particular about the fish he catches.

“That’s the only thing that gets across my gunnel rails is catfish,” said Cat Daddy. “[Gunnel rails] are the rails on the edge of this boat. Nothing gets over that.”

While most of Cat Daddy’s customers are looking to catch some catfish, some are looking for other things, such as fossils, and the 53-year-old fisherman is happy to oblige.

“I take bone hunters out here on the river,” said Cat Daddy. “They’re looking for mastodon bones and arrowheads. They find a whole lot. I usually just drop them off on the sand bar and I sit there and go to sleep.”

Cat Daddy does adventure trips until the rivers ice over. If interested, contact him by phone at 357-0934, e-mail him at [email protected] or visit his Web site at