Some awesome fish, fireflick.
I grew up in Moline in the 50's. My uncle used to catch some really big catfish out of the house boat he lived on in the summer.
I fished Sylvan Slough one day with a cheap rod, a stamped metal baitcasting reel and some braided line just short of clothesline.
Caught me a gar, nice size for a fourteen yearold kid. Reeled 'im in and watched the coagulated oil and green (John Deere Green) paint dripping off the tip guide.
It smelled so bad, looked so bad and messed up my fishing outfit so bad, I threw it in a nearby barrel and never fished the Miss' again.
Looks like things have changed some?
Keep 'em comin'