Author Topic: Catfish  (Read 34725 times)

Offline dep190

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #30 on: June 01, 2010, 02:44:43 PM »
In Ohio The State posts a warning about how much fish such as catfish you should eat from certain waters!

Offline JoshRonin

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #31 on: June 05, 2010, 09:20:18 AM »
As a kid, I liked fishing for catfish more than anything.  I think part of it was the fact that my buddies and I could goof off and still catch some good sized fish.  Would ride our bikes across town with poles in hand, go into the store and buy chicken livers then ride to our spot.  Thinking it over that was probably about a 6-7 mile bike ride with bait, tackle and pole in hand.  Those where fun times, am trying to find the time to take my own kids out now and do it some more.

Offline Oakie

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #32 on: June 15, 2010, 03:42:14 PM »

I'm about to add fishing to my activities and I admit I dread cleaning the first few. 
Anyone aware of any 'how to' videos?   I know nothing!


Offline JoshRonin

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #33 on: June 18, 2010, 03:43:30 AM »
You can find plenty on Youtube.  Here is one for catfish.

How to Fillet a catfish

Offline Oakie

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #34 on: June 21, 2010, 01:49:55 PM »
Thank you, that is one of the better ones.  That is a good sized cat!   I've viewed dozens of utube videos but still have some questions.  None show how they killed the fish and I am assuming I want to keep them alive until time to clean them.
Thanks again.

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #35 on: June 21, 2010, 02:21:08 PM »
I always just drove a knife down into their skull right before I cleaned them.  I know lots of people who just clean em alive, but even for fish, I just thought that was a little bit cruel.  I'm not a squeamish person at all, i'm the guy with his hands in the fish worms worming everyones hooks and then eating sandwiches.  That kind of thing never bothered me.  But I just felt a little guilty if I don't at least try to end their life as quickly as possible.

As far as that goes.  There is a V just at the top of their skull.  A knife penetrates that pretty easily between the two upper skull plates.  Seems to dispatch them rather quickly. (not much flopping around after that).




Offline Oakie

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #36 on: June 21, 2010, 02:58:52 PM »

Thank you, I prefer a quick kill.  I see no reason to make anything suffer.

Offline BatonRouge Bill

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #37 on: June 27, 2010, 10:53:55 PM »
In March and April I like to go jugging at night. I spraypaint 20 oz coke bottles tie 3' of 200 lb braided line to it and add a small sinker hook and a piece of chicken gizzard and just toss them adrift in the center of the river. When ever you see a jug head for the bank you just go grab it and hang on! Might be a catfish, a goo, or an alligator gar! My preference is the gar, but 70-80% catfish. Most I ever caught was 300 lbs on 50 jugs. Along with 2 cottonmouths and a couple wasp nests and Japanese writing spiders in the low hanging Cyprus branches. Bull frogs are also a nice by product if the fish aren't biting.

Offline steeltownknight

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #38 on: June 28, 2010, 08:29:39 PM »
I have caught more Catfish on a YO YO reel  then any other technique.

I throw out the lil automatic yo yo, with a piece of "old" hot dog. and.... I always have fish or two by the time I am done setting up camp.

Offline BatonRouge Bill

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #39 on: June 28, 2010, 08:41:31 PM »
I have caught more Catfish on a YO YO reel  then any other technique.
I throw out the lil automatic yo yo, with a piece of "old" hot dog. and.... I always have fish or two by the time I am done setting up camp.
They are really are nice and effective with almost no effort which is why I have 4 in my bob! ;D One of the main reasons I like jugging is I can catch a years worth of catfish in a weekend then readdy the butterfly nets for shrimp season. Well not this year for the shrimp. hopefully next year.

Offline Morgan96

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #40 on: July 05, 2010, 06:24:05 AM »
The boys and I went out catfishing with a guide on Lake Keystone last year.   We caught 80 lbs of catfish in a few hours, as we had to get off the lake due to thunder and lightning.  Other friends who have used this guide have caught up to 300 lbs of catfish at one time.   Below are his recommendations for best catfish bait.

http://www.catfishing.tv/Main/tips-section/TipsSection.html

1. Shad  & Skipjack
2. Grasshoppers
3. fresh water herring
4. Perch
5. crappie
6. crawfish
7. worms

This is a fellow that fishes for catfish year round.  Insists that store-bought and frozen baits are a waste of time except for trot lines or juglines, and refers to fresh-caught shad as "catfish candy".  On our trip, he caught all the shad by handcast net before we set out.  The shad were kept in a live well as we fished. This  is not a promo for this fellow's guide service, only that his website has a lot of catfishing information from a guy that does this for a living...


Offline Huckleberry

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #41 on: September 27, 2011, 08:15:13 AM »
Another interesting bait choice that I've used in years past was a couple of cut up hot dogs, put in a jar of cherry juice, and left out in the sun for a day.  Big warning with this one, if you're using this bait, keep your hands away from your mouth, eyes, etc.  You run the risk of growing some botulism in that jar.

With that warning out of the way, I was pulling them in as fast as I could bait the hook.  It worked extremely well.  I assume it has to do with the combination of red coloring, the sweet taste and smell of the cherry juice, and the sheer nastiness of hotdogs that have gone bad in a jar full of sugary sweet water.  From my experience, catfish love anything that's disgusting.

As an additional comment to the "how to kill them" question, I usually keep a hammer handy.  It sounds brutal, but a well placed whack to the top of the head, near that "V" region, seems to put them out.  For the bigger ones, it's taken a few strikes.  I don't particularly love that method, but I've had issues with trying to kill them with a knife through the V as someone else suggested. I'm an advocate for a quick kill on any game.

The first big catfish I'd caught in quite a while was an adventure.  It had been 10 years or more since I'd even assisted in cleaning a catfish.  I had been cleaning panfish recently, and a few trout, but nothing like the cat.  For you guys that catfish often, you know these guys don't go down easily.  I've seen them live in truck beds for an entire summer day, it's ridiculous.  Point being though, I tried to just throw a heavy knife to the back of the fish's head and separate the head from the body, just like you would with a panfish/zombie.  Yeah... that doesn't work so well with a big cat, not really even with a smaller cat.

Needless to say, here I am, 3am in the 'burbs trying to take down a fish half the size of me so I can get the thing skinned, sliced, and in a bag and having a terrible time with it.  I've got neighbor's driving by who were probably thinking I was performing some kind of crazy ritual in my driveway, sacrificing an animal.  I tried getting to the brain from underneath, cut everything but the spine and the large "shoulder" bone, the thing just wouldn't give up.  It was likely just nerves still going, but the movements were awfully responsive, so I couldn't rule out that the thing was still kicking. The whole time, I'm just trying to kill the thing and get this overwith and I'm apologizing to the fish, apologizing to God, and just apologizing in general.  It was a terrible evening.

It made for a delicious Father's Day dinner for my dad though, so it worked out.

So, like I said... I keep a hammer handy now. But that's just my method.

Offline Arie

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #42 on: September 28, 2011, 08:42:04 AM »
My #1 fishing buddy is my Dad, who taught me from the get go that if you're planning on releasing a fish, you need to be extra careful with it, and if you plan on keeping and eating the fish you need to be extra quick with the kill.  I was taught that watching anything suffer is inhumane and I should be ashamed.

Which is why Dad made me a "Fish Bonker"!  It's basically a rubber mallet (weighted hammer like thing, I may not be calling it by the right name) with grips wrapped around the handle.  The instructions are to lay the fish belly down on the ground far enough from the water it won't squirm away.  Then put a rock under it's "chin" (it has to be bigger/wider than the fish's head), dry off my "Fish Bonker" hand (so I don't slip and drop it I'm assuming?) and give it a big strong bonk on the head.  "Like you mean business!"  (my dad says)

Honestly? I've never done it.  I can't.  I mean, I'm sure I can, but it's better (aka easier and less gross) for me to just bat my eyelashes and say "Daddy? Will you bonk the fish for me?"

(He made me promise by the time I'm 30 that I'll be able to bonk them myself.  Sadly, 30 is right around the corner and I'm not closer to being ready to do it myself!)

Offline Huckleberry

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #43 on: September 28, 2011, 10:12:17 AM »
Arie-  Sounds like your dad uses my method.  I like it.  I don't have a special "bonker" though, it's just whatever hammer happens to be closer.  It's really not as bad as you'd think, and if you do it right "Like you mean business!" it's quick and easy.  Be sure to keep a foot on it's back though, or find some way to secure it, or you'll just slide your "bonker" off the side of the fish and do damage, as opposed to getting the quick kill.

Something I would like to add though, is that I generally wait to kill the fish until I'm ready to clean it.  I'll keep it in a basket, on a stringer, or in a livewell if on a boat so that it's just hanging out in water, breathing and living.

I don't know the exact issues you'll run into, but I've read that bacteria begins to grow on the fish as soon as you remove it from the water.  I like to minimize the bacterial growth by keeping the thing in water, and alive, until it's ready to be cleaned.

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #44 on: September 28, 2011, 03:48:22 PM »
YUMMM  CATFISH

Offline mobilus

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #45 on: September 28, 2011, 07:46:03 PM »
I have caught more Catfish on a YO YO reel  then any other technique.

Regrettably, YoYos are illegal in the state of Texas...that said, a good limber sapling cut with a Y at the end on which to secure the line is a pretty good substitute.  Stuck in the bank and angled out over the river, it is really exciting to hear that pole slapping the water when you're approaching.

I love catfish!  I grew up catching and eating them, and I think that a farm pond filled with them is a definite bug-in necessity if at all possible!

Offline SteveandTracyinKY

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #46 on: April 11, 2012, 02:08:28 PM »
We love catching catfish. Its one of our favorite fish to eat and they are so much fun to catch. We actually get more fish using night crawlers than about anything else, its all about how to rig them. Using a slip sinker rig with about 2' of leader, a large hook, and several worms knotted and balled on the hook with get you a hit every time. During the day you get large bass sometimes too, and even really large bluegill. I just sink it to the bottom, just, outside of what I believe to be the deepest hole in the lake or pond.

Offline Dawgus

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #47 on: May 17, 2012, 11:12:46 AM »
Mrs and I have been going out a lot for cats in the past week and a half. She's never fished for them before, or eaten one, so her first 3 pounder was new to her in both aspects. She's totally hooked. (pun intended lol) She left work a little early yesterday to go again.  ;D Now we're scheduling Friday and Saturday night to go. She still won't bait her own hook with nightcrawlers, and I get a big "HELL NO" when it comes to handling stink baits, but she loves to go and that's enough for me.

 I locked into a big one on Monday night. At the time, (1am) I misjudged it's weight, but I'm guessing it was a good 12-15lb fish. I saw it a foot from shore as it rolled before breaking 12lb test, and it was as long as my arm. Now I'm determined to find it (or it's equally sized siblings) this weekend.  ;)

Offline Freebirde

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #48 on: May 17, 2012, 08:20:39 PM »
If only they had crappie restaurants. That's my favorite freshwater fish to eat.

I haven't checked since they changed the lake fishing regs, but the restaurants around Reelfoot Lake sold crappie.   For those of you who don't know, Reelfoot is in the NW corner of TN and allowed commercial fishing of crappie to thin them down and improve size.

I found that if you put the shaft of a treble hook through a cotton ball, that it will hold cheese and stink baits better.   There are some fishers that blur the line between dough, cheese, and stink baits in combonations that they form on hooks then freezing them.      I have been thinking of trying a fishoil gelcap as bait, the hook's point and barb inside the gelcap.   

Offline mobilus

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #49 on: May 20, 2012, 08:56:56 AM »
I have been thinking of trying a fishoil gelcap as bait, the hook's point and barb inside the gelcap.

That reminds me of a practice done long before all the commercially available fish attractants we have now: Some folks would spray WD-40 on their bait...probably not the most environmentally conscious thing in the world, but it supposedly worked for the same reason - fish are attracted by sense of smell.

That might be one good idea...I'll have to try it.

Offline SteveandTracyinKY

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #50 on: May 20, 2012, 11:32:32 AM »
That reminds me of a practice done long before all the commercially available fish attractants we have now: Some folks would spray WD-40 on their bait...probably not the most environmentally conscious thing in the world, but it supposedly worked for the same reason - fish are attracted by sense of smell.

That might be one good idea...I'll have to try it.

That is highly illegal in most states.

Offline mobilus

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #51 on: May 21, 2012, 04:37:22 PM »
That is highly illegal in most states.

Using fish oil is illegal?

Oh, re-reading my post I can see where you might think that I was refering to trying WD-40.  I was referring to Freebirde's idea on fish oil gel caps, not the WD-40.

Offline luke

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #52 on: May 21, 2012, 09:33:42 PM »
caught my first catfish (plural) of the season on saturday! We caught several large largemouths and some bluegill and crappie, then I put out my junky pole with 20lb line and a bell when it got dark, stuck it in a hole in the dock and went to help clean some fish. Heard the bell, caught a nice sized channel cat. Put him on the stringer and then caught another one! It swallowed hook line and sinker, so I released the one on the stringer and kept that one. Caught one more before calling it quits but let him go too. I was using chicken liver. My friend saw my success so he grabbed his pole and some liver and hooked one but it broke his 6lb line, heh heh heh.

There were millions (it seemed like) bass minnows swimming around right by the dock, and the bluegill were protecting their nests. It was a pretty fun evening.

Offline SteveandTracyinKY

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #53 on: May 28, 2012, 03:57:41 AM »
Went night fishing with the wife. Caught this momma channel cat that was about ready to pop. First time I have caught one full of eggs. She was released just after the pic was taken.


Offline Dawgus

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #54 on: June 22, 2012, 10:36:00 AM »
I've been KILLING the cats the last few nights. 19 on Wednesday night and 27 last night. Only 6 were worth keeping each day, but I still had a blast.

 Some guys at the lake taught me this rig http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgGxTJwz1II It works GREAT for cats with a ball of nothing but oats, creamed corn, and a little white bread. You don't bait the hook with it, but bait the "hair" below instead. You want a ball that breaks down fast. As it does, the cats (and carp) will come in to feed. As they do, they'll chomp at bits and pieces in the water, and take the hook. I've found that using this and putting a few pieces of corn on the hook itself gets them REALLY well.

 Last night, a quick storm rolled through, and it made fishing with these almost impossible. The wind was so strong that no matter what weight I used, it blew the line away from the bait. It was REALLY windy, and started to rain, and I switched to plain old store bought stink baits. (chicken blood). WOW.....nearly every cast got me a fish or a big hit. I planned on coming home sometime between 1 and 2am, but ended up staying till 4 since they were hitting so great.

Offline Dawgus

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #55 on: July 09, 2012, 06:01:08 PM »
It sure wasn't me, but this beast was caught yesterday on North Reservoir here in NE Ohio. That is a MONSTER fish for an inland lake, especially here! Of course, it's one of 2 lakes that have no fishing spots at all from shore. MANNNNNN I need a boat! 53lb channel cat!





Offline SteveandTracyinKY

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #56 on: July 09, 2012, 11:23:24 PM »
It sure wasn't me, but this beast was caught yesterday on North Reservoir here in NE Ohio. That is a MONSTER fish for an inland lake, especially here! Of course, it's one of 2 lakes that have no fishing spots at all from shore. MANNNNNN I need a boat! 53lb channel cat!






Quick!! To the lake!!

That is a massive fish. I spend hours and hours watching lines hoping for just that.

Offline Huckleberry

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #57 on: July 13, 2012, 08:28:48 AM »
Dawgus-  Not to be too picky, but I do believe that's a Flathead.  The green color, and shape usually give them away.  However, if I'm wrong, and it's a channel, that gentleman may want to consult the OH record books.  The current record in OH is 37, almost 38 lbs.  Which is a MONSTER channel, you generally don't catch them much over 10-15lbs, and even those are fairly hard to come by.  I think the world record is something like 58lbs.

That is a beautiful, beautiful monster though.  I'd love to hook up with one of those beasts.

Offline Dawgus

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #58 on: July 13, 2012, 05:48:17 PM »
Good call Huckleberry. You're right, it was a flathead. That's what I get for posting after an exhausting work day.  ;D

 It's such a shame that the fish washed up dead 2 days later. Several people reported that it was out of the water for over a half hour with the rush to the bait shop and picture taking. What a tragedy. It takes a looooong time for an old boy like that to grow to that size.  :(

Offline Huckleberry

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Re: Catfish
« Reply #59 on: July 14, 2012, 06:30:24 AM »
No worries, I hate correcting people with a passion, but I've had some experience with trying to identify a fish and finding misleading information.  Didn't want someone to stumble on this post and toss back a record breaker without getting it checked.

Maaaaaannn, that is a shame.  I've got no problem with him killing it if he was going to eat it, but just dying off like that is a waste.  Hopefully he'll take some precautions in the future to keep those monsters alive.