Catfish Secrets and Fishing Tips
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Catfish Rigs and Strategies
Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) are my favorite species of catfish. As you can see from the picture they have a white belly with a darker back and dark tail. Channel cats can be caught in medium to larde rivers with slow to moderate current or in ponds, warm lakes, and resivors. They range from eastern Nebraska to almost the Atlantic coast. The temperature at which channel catfish spawn is in the 70 to 75 degrees F and are very difficult to catch during this time. One of the many good things about the channel catfish is that it is least selective of the food it eats. Channel catfish will eat almost anything such as fish(dead or alive), inscects, crayfish, crabs, snails, clams, nightcrawlers and many other things. Channel catfish are tremendous fighters and are very tasty if they are prepared right.
World Record: 52 lbs. Cantee-Cooper Resevoir, South Carolina
Blue Catfish (ictalurus furcatus) are the largest North American catfish species. Back in the early 1900's there were no doubt blue catfish that reached weights of 200 pounds, and ther are still blues weighing 100 pounds today. As the name suggests, blue catfish have a dark blue-grey back with a lighter belly. Some anglers get blue catfish and channel catfish confused, and it wouldn't be very hard to do. The way to tell them apart is by either the longer tail on the blue catfish, or the spots on the channel catfish. It takes practice and a close eye to tell a blue cat from a channel cat. Blue catfish roam open water considerably more than other catfish. The blue catfish's primary food source is gizzard shad and any other fish that can be found. Although blue catfish feed mostly on fish, they will not hesitate to take crayfish, clams, and inscects. Blue catfish feed heavily when the water temperture dips into the 40s. They spawn at tempertures of 70-75 degrees F just as channel catfish do, and are very difficult to catch at this time.
World Record: 111 lbs. Wheeler Reservoir, Alabama
Flathead catfish are named for their broad, wide head compared to their realitively slender body. Flatheads are dark brown to yellow in color and are the second largest only to blue catfish. Flathead catfish feed primarly on live fish, but will also take crayfish and clams. Unlike channel and blue catfish, the flathead rarly consumes rotten fish. Flatheads spawn when the water temperture is in the low to upper 70's and chose to do so in a hole in the side of a bank.
World Record: 92 lbs. Toledo Bend Lake, Texas