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Catfish are often confused with each other. The difference between a Blue Catfish vs. Channel Catfish can be found in the anal fin. A Blue cat will display a straight anal fin, while a Channel Catfish will have a more curved and rounded anal fin. Unlike the two fish above, the Flathead Catfish doesn't have a forked tail.
  • Fishing

    Fishing for these fish is an enjoyable fishing experience for any level of angler. Heading out for a full-day or half-day fishing trip with a fishing guide near you is a perfect family-friendly adventure. Not only is the technique for catching these fish very basic, but they are great at any time of day.

    Catfish typically are the best when the weather is also the most favorable for us humans. Anglers can even fish for them a night to escape the hot summer sun.

    So, hold the fish from the top, right behind the dorsal fin, to avoid being poked by the smaller catfish.

  • Size

    As the largest freshwater fish in North America, it's obvious why anglers try their chance at casting for a huge catfish. A big reason why they can reach such enormous sizes is they can live up to 20 years.

    The current world record weighed an impressive 143-pounds and was caught in Kerr Reservoir or more commonly known as Buggs Island Lake, Virginia.

  • When & Where its Available

    The fish are native to the large rivers and river basins that drain into the Gulf of Mexico. Some of the major river systems where fishing for blue cats is available are the Mississippi River Basin, Rio Grande River, Missouri River, Potomac River, and the many rivers throughout Ohio and Missouri.

    Top 10 Destinations

    How big the fish get in their bodies of water, really depends on the density of the fish population. For example, if the fish has a high density of catfish, then the fish will be smaller in size. However, if more significant numbers of fish are allowed to be taken from the water, or commercial fishing is present, then it will often produce more giant catfish.

  • Fishing Tips

    With the potential to weigh more than your child or a small deer, these fish can be become addicting to try and catch. The best fishing techniques have been perfected over the years. So, if you follow some of these fishing tips, you should be able to catch fish in the 25 to a 40-pound range regularly and just maybe land one over 100-pounds.

    • Your rod and reel should be set up just in case that big fish is hooked. We recommend a fishing line of at least 30 pounds test, a 7-foot rod, and a reel that can hold 30 to 40-pound test line.
    • Catfish are bottom feeders, and having a weight at the bottom of your line is a must. When you weight your line correctly, it allows the weight to lie at the bottom of the water, and your bait float just above the bottom. The amount of weight will depend on the strength of the current.
    • Your hook will need to be significant, and a number 8 hook should do the trick. However, it will depend on the size of fish your targetting and what kind of bait you're using.
    • The most passionate and debated part of catfish fishing is the bait that attracts catfish the best. You can fish with anything from chicken livers, stink baits (bought at local sporting good stores), hot dogs, cut bait. However, the best bait for blue catfish is the ones common to the area you're fishing. Use a baitfish net or a bream trap to catch the local baitfish, then you can hook the baitfish at the end of your line or cut them up to create a stronger scent.
  • Good to Eat

    As long as your body of water has been approved by the local fish and wildlife departments for safe consumption of fish, Blue Catfish are excellent to eat.

    Many anglers who are familiar with the taste of Striped Bass, say the two fish species taste very similar. Fried or blackened is how the Migrate Outfitters crew likes to enjoy them.

    The best size of fish to harvest for consumption is less than 30 inches long. Many restaurants follow this same rule, and most states have strict regulations for harvesting any trophy-sized catfish.

  • License and Regulations

    When discussing Blue Catfish, the rules and regulations for your body of water will depend on the many factors. Some of these factors will include if the fish at native species, the goals for the size of catfish in the lake or river, the variety of fish in the body of water, natural spawning productivity, amount of fishing pressure, and the populations of baitfish.

    So before you head out to go fishing for Blue Catfish, check only with the local department of fish and wildlife for the most up to date information.

  • Interesting Facts

    • Blue Catfish don't have scales.
    • They are nicknamed "Hunpack Blue" due to the dorsal hump on the center of their back.
    • Mostly bottom-feeding fish.
    • A Blue Catfish will never stop growing.
    • Catfish don't sting, but pain can occur if the spine punctures the skin. So, have your fishing charter or guide show you have to grab the smaller catfish from the top and behind the dorsal fin.

Are blue catfish bottom feeders?

Not all catfish eat solely on the bottom. Blue catfish are considered bottom feeders during the day, but at night they ofter come closer to the surface and go wherever their baitfish take them.

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