Catfish Fish Information
Catfish, common name applied to members of the fish familes constituting the order Siluriformes, found in fresh and coastal waters. Catfish are named for the barbels ("whiskers") around their mouths and have scaleless skins, fleshy, rayless posterior fins, and sharp defensive spindes in the shoulder and dorsal fins.
Catfish are diverse group of ray-finned fish. Named for their prominent barbels, which resemble a cat's whiskers, catfish range in size and behavior from the three largest species.
- Native to the neartic, the channel catfish is one of the most popular game fish in the North American. Due to their popularity, size, and good flavor when cooked, this catfish has been introduced to other places as well, such as Indonesia. The channel catfish is sometimes known as Fork-Tailed Cat, Fiddler, Spotted Cat, Lady Cat.
- A catfish is easily distinguished from other species of fish because of their smooth, scaleless bodies. The channel catfish is olive to light blue in color with black speckles on the sides, has a forked tail, whisker-like organs around the mouth, a broad flat head, and a slender body.
- Males generally are darker in color and have larger heads than the females. Catfish have very keen sense of smell and taste. The whiskers, known as "Barbels", are around their mouth with the purpose of helping htem locate food in the dark waters. In additon, they have taste buds all over the surface of their body.
- Catfish grow continually; the larger the fish, the older it usually is. On average, channel catfish weigh between 2-7 pounds and measure 12 to 24 inches long. However, many grow much larger than this, with the record weighing 58 pounds and measuring 52 inches.
- Catfish are monogamous, meaning they have only one mate during spawning season.
- Their whisker-like sensory organs are called " Barbels".
- Channel catfish can be a variety of different colors depending on the enviroment they are in. Common colors include olive, light blue, and bluish-gray.
- Large freshwater fish, such as flathead catfish and muskies, are predators to the channel catfish.
- A catfish's average lifespan is about 15-20 years.
- Channel catfish are located in lakes, ponds, rivers and streams from the Hudson Bay in Canada all the way down to northern Mexico and over to Colorado. They are also found near the bottom and prefer mud bottoms to anything else.
Feeding Habits Of The Catfish
- Channel catfish are omnivorous and feed mostly at night on snails, insects, crawfish, algae, and plants. They have an excellent sense of smell to guide them and they are attracted to the foods with the strongest scent. Juvenile catfish eat small invertebrates and insect larvae. Their diet changes as they grow older.
Catfish Fishing Tips & Baits
- Feeding habits depend on a variety of different factors such as weather, season, and time of day.
- Catfish feed from sunddown until midnight.
- Fish on the bottom for the most luck.
- Catfish bite year-round
- It is recommended that you use a heavier weight line than yhou use for other types of fish. Use at least a 10 pound test.
- The most common bait for catfishing inclues nightcrawlers, chicken livers, grasshoppers, minnows, cut bait, stink bait, cheese, hot dogs, and even bubble gum.
- Use a sponge hook when fishing with dip or stink bait.