There are several different species of catfish. I hope that the following information will be helpful.

Now this old catfish is like ol pappy, it has more names than it has whiskers! You'll hear alot of folks call the channel a willow cat or a spotted cat. Heck, I've even known him to go by a few names such as the Great Lakes cat, white cat, silver cat, fiddler cat and forktail cat! Now I guess it's up to you what you want to call him. I think I'll just stick with channel cat.

You'll also hear different tales about the size of this catfish. I've never heard of many being caught over 50 lbs. The records will tell you that they don't get that big....but what the heck are records anyhow? For the most part, a channel will average between 2 and 10 pounds. Now I do know that this cat is a favorite among anglers for two reasons. First he is a sporty striker. This cat has been known to strike spoons, spinners and a few other artificial baits. His main diet consists of mussels, crayfish, frogs, grubs, worms and a variety of live bait. Shad and minnows among them. Don't rule out the dough baits, liver and shrimp. I've caught several by using these types of baits.

You'll usually find this critter roaming around high oxygen water. They like to be around sand and gravel bottoms. They don't like polluted water and the one thing that you need to remember about them is that they are going to be in the fast moving waters. Just think about the name "channel" and you'll know where to locate this species.

Another thing that I might mention about the channels......this fish can steal bait like a pro. Any good angler will tell you that out of all of the catfish species, the channel is the hardest to hook. This catfish has a strange way of approaching, biting, backing off, and swallowing the bait. The trick to catching this fish is not to wait for that big jerk on your line. When you feel him messin with your bait you will only have seconds before he has either swallowed it or knocked it off the hook. Act fast and you'll have no problems.


Now we are talkin fish. The blue catfish is a heavyweight of his species. These are usually the ones that anglers catch when they say "I caught one that weighed 100 pounds." They are giants but not everyone gets the opportunity to land one of the monster blues. Most of the time the blues will average between 5 and 10 pounds. Or as Ol pappy says... good eatin size!

This species is also known by a long list of nicknames. I use Mr. Whiskers. Others use blue buckethead, Mississippi cat, the great blue, the blue channel, the Fulton cat and even the chucklehead cat.

I am a commercial fisherman and this fish is my bread and butter. There are a number of reasons why I feel this way. First, this fish tastes good. Second, the blues are usually the ones that bite trotlines.

The bait used for catching the blues is just about similar to what the channels eat. I have good luck using deer liver and pork brains.


I call the flatheads, yellow cats. That is what most people call them although they have been called mudcats and Goujon. The flathead is similar to the blues in size. They can go 100 plus. The average size for these fish range between 2 and 6 pounds. They are also a very tasty fish.

This species prefers live bait more than anything. I have used freshly-opened mussels and crayfish. Flatheads will more than likely wait for food to come to them. They like to stay along the bottom when the water levels are normal or low. If the water rises you will find them closer to the shoreline. I catch a few flatheads on my trotlines but not many. The reason for this is that flatheads are sluggish feeders. As I mentioned above, they usually will wait for food to come to them. The only time they search for food is if the current is slow. When I do find them on my lines you had better believe me when I say I'm a happy pappy! This is an all-time favorite eating fish around my house. Most of the time when I catch a flathead it is one that I can fillet. Very seldom do you catch any that go under 5 pounds.


I didn't want to take up alot of room for these fish. I like to catch them and I usually do in creeks. They are very small fish that average about 5 to 10 inches in length. You'll do better using a cane pole and a few worms to catch this species. They bite better at night. Bullheads feed on the bottom and will usually stay in the same location.

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Catfish Central
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The Catfish Hole
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TomZ's Cat Tactics
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