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Topwater_Popper

Holding Catfish Without Getting Spiked

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I love to fish for catfish.  After catching a few, I have a few questions.  Question one: why do catfish make that croaking sound when you haul them out of the water?  Question two: what is the proper way to hold a catfish ( specifically channel catfish) without getting spiked.  I would appreciate some help.

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The smaller ones i alway brought my hand along the back from the tail and use the Dorsal Spike as a slip restraignt.

The bigger ones, (i've only caught one to big for the first method) i just suck it up and lip it, but i use the full hand grip not just fingers.  The back of your hand can get roughed up ths way but it will hold the fish.

I know some of these guys are way more experianced than me.

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smaller ones you can grab around the belly with your thumb behind one pectoral fin, your index finger in front of the other pectoral fin and the rest of your fingers behind that fin.

bigger ones, gill plate or in the mouth

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The reason that they make that drumming sound is because catfish are part of the drum family.  In my experience, anything under about 5 lbs. will do it.  I have hardly heard anything larger than that do it.

As for me, it doesn't matter the size, I will lip them.  With blues and channels, you really have to watch out for their jaws.  They have extreme clamping pressure, and can make you say a few choice words, and will cause you to bleed, and to lose skin.

If you do happen to get stuck by one, do not resort to going home to medicate the wound.  Take some of the smile from the catfish, and wipe it over the wound.  It's an ole wive's tale, but, the truth about it, it really works.

If you are squimish about picking up ole Mr. Whiskers, you can get a variety of grabblers, which can assist you in handling the fish.  If that's not an option, why not get a Boga Grip?  That way, you can lip them with it, and also get a very accurate and IGFA official weight on the fish.

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on the small ones I use the the fins as support to hold them, others I just grab them in the mouth or gill plate,  If you grab them in the mouth be prepaired for cuts if you dont have a good set of gloves

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Catfish cuts aka "Glory Wounds"!!!!!  You aren't a true fisherman until you questioned a channel cat's genetic make up, and raising questions about his father's where-abouts.   :o  

I have had more catfish tear up my hands.  The best thing that you can do, as soon as you get home, is to either hit the alcohol (rubbing and/or drinking) or either get some anti-bacterial hand soap and rub.  You might say a few choice words, but in the end, you will prevent infections.

Yea, I did not really think that the whole slime thing worked.  Then, by chance, when I was a young lad, I happened to get a decent puncture wound from a channel cat.  My father reminded me of it, admist my gritted teeth and questions about the fish's biological make up, and sure enough it worked!  No more pain.

The only problem is that when I got home, I had to re-open the wound.  It really stung but I flushed the wound out with alcohol.

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I have never been spiked by a catfish yet, but I am dreading the moment of graduation.  Too bad you can't just lip them without worrying about getting wounded like you can with a bass. :(

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I use a chefs glove with the intergrated steel mesh. I have a nasty "wussy reflex" that I have never been able to get rid of. The glove alows me to handle catfish without dropping them like a girl. It was $8 at Wally World.

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CHANNEL CATFISH

(Ictalurus punctatus)

Common Names - spotted cat, blue channel cat, river catfish

Description - Channel catfish closely resemble blue catfish. Both have deeply forked tails. However, channels have a rounded anal fin with 24-29 rays and scattered black spots along their back and sides. They have a small, narrow head. The back is blue-gray with light blue to silvery-gray sides and a white belly. Larger channels lose the black spots and also take on a blue-black coloration on the back which shades to white on the belly. Males also become very dark during spawning season and develop a thickened pad on their head.

Subspecies - There are no recognized subspecies. However, on rare occasions, they hybridize with blue and flathead catfish. Aquaculturists recognize numerous hatchery stocks and create a variety of hybrids to improve their culture characteristics.

Freshwater Drum

Aplodinotus grunniens

Length: up to about 14 inches, although it may become quite large in rivers

Weight: 5-15 pounds, world record is 54 1/2 pounds

Coloring: Gray or silvery in turbid waters, bronze-colored in clearer waters. The head is somewhat darker than the rest of the body; the ventral portion of the fish is white. The pectoral and pelvic fins are white, but the rest of the fins are dusky.

Common Names: sheepshead, croaker, thunder pumper, lake drum, grunt, bubbler, grinder

Found in Lakes: all Great Lakes

The freshwater drum is the only member of its family that lives entirely in freshwater habitats, and it has the largest native range of any sport fish in the region. Drum are an important commercial crop on the Mississippi River but constitute only a small portion of the commercial perch catch in Lake Michigan.

The drum earned part of its Latin name, "grunniens" (meaning "grunting"), by its odd grunting noises, which are produced by a special set of muscles located in the body cavity that vibrates against the swim bladder. The purpose of the noise is unknown, but only mature males develop the structure (by the time they reach three years of age), suggesting that it is most likely related to spawning. Drums also may croak like bullfrogs when removed from the water, and scientists still don't know if the croaking noise is generated in the same way.

Identification of this fish is fairly easy. Drum have two dorsal fins that are joined by a narrow membrane. The anterior fin is spiny, and the posterior fin has soft rays. The are the only fish found in Wisconsin with a lateral line that extends through the caudal fin.

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The reason that they make that drumming sound is because catfish are part of the drum family.

This is incorrect a catfish makes that noise by moving it's fins and is not part of the drum family.

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Thank you Chris!

Well class, any questions?

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The reason that they make that drumming sound is because catfish are part of the drum family.

This is incorrect a catfish makes that noise by moving it's fins and is not part of the drum family.

common name applied to members of the freshwater fish families constituting the suborder Nematognathi. The catfish is related to the sucker and the minnow, and like them has a complex set of bones forming a sensitive hearing apparatus. Catfish are named for the barbels ( "whiskers" ) around their mouths and have scaleless skins, fleshy, rayless posterior fins, and sharp defensive spines in the shoulder and dorsal fins. They are able to use the swim bladder to produce sounds. Some species, such as the stone and tadpole catfishes and the madtom, can inflict stings by means of poison glands in the pectoral spines. Catfish are usually dull-colored, though the madtoms of E North American streams are brightly patterned. Members of most madtom species are no more than 5 in. (12.7 cm) long; some are less than 2 in. (5 cm) long. Danube catfish called wels, or sheatfish, reach a length of 13 ft (4 m) and a weight of 400 lb (180 kg), while the Mekong giant catfish can reach 10 ft (3 m) and 550 lb (250 kg). Catfish are omnivorous feeders and are valuable scavengers.

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nematognathi

<zoology> An order of fishes having barbels on the jaws. It includes the catfishes, or siluroids. See Siluroid.

Origin: NL. See nemato-, and Gnathic.

siluroid

<zoology> Belonging to the Siluroidei, or Nematognathi, an order of fishes including numerous species, among which are the American catfishes and numerous allied fresh water species of the Old World, as the sheatfish (Silurus glanis) of Europe.

A siluroid fish.

Origin: Silurus.

How do fish produce sounds?

Fishes produce a variety of sounds using different mechanisms and for different reasons. Sounds are produced as warnings to predators or competitors, to attract mates, or as a fright response. These intentionally produced sounds are generally referred to as vocalizations. More than 800 species of fishes are known vocalize. Other sounds are produced unintentionally such as those made as a by-product of feeding or swimming. The three main ways fishes produce sound are by rubbing together skeletal components (stridulation); using muscles on or near their swim bladder known as sonic muscles (drumming); and by quickly changing speed and direction (hydrodynamics) while swimming.

The sounds that fishes produce range in frequency from about 50 to 8,000 Hz. Sounds made by drumming are lower in frequency, varying from 50 to almost 500 Hz, with higher frequency harmonics often present to about 1.6 kHz. Sounds made by stridulation are usually concentrated at the higher end of the spectrum, from approximately 1,000 to 8,000 Hz. Hydrodynamic sounds produced by fishes are below 500Hz (and usually below 100Hz) and are nonharmonic.

Stridulation occurs when a fish rubs skeletal parts together to produce sound (similar to the method used by crickets to make sound). These sounds can be generated by pharyngeal teeth, jaw teeth, fin spines, or other skeletal components. Stridulatory sounds can be classified into two general categories, those which are independent of the swim bladder and those in which the swim bladder plays a part in determining the quality of the sound by amplification. Sounds that are produced independent of the swim bladder usually have frequencies that are greater than 1,000Hz. Sounds produced where the swim bladder is involved generally have frequencies less than 1,000 Hz. In either case, stridulation sounds may be produced intentionally or unintentionally.

 Some fish, such as the sand seatrout (Cynoscion arenarius), produce sound by using muscles on or near their swim bladder (also called gas bladder). Image courtesy of Grant Gilmore, Estuarine, Coastal and Ocean Science, Inc.

Some fish such as the sea catfish (Galeichthys/Arius felis) have specialized pectoral fin spines that make a stridulatory squeaking sound. The base of the pectoral fin spine is modified in these catfish. A part of the base, known as the dorsal process, looks like a ridged potato chip. Sound is created when the dorsal process is rubbed against the pectoral girdle. This type of sound production is commonly observed by anglers who catch the sea catfish. These catfish stridulation sounds range in frequency from 100 - 8,000 Hz, although most sounds are within 1,000 - 4,000 Hz.

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so whats the deal here, we got conflicting information??? anyways, i just lip catfish like u do a bass, and the really big catfish, their fins arent as sharp as teh small cats, so the small cats are actually more likely to stab u with its fin.

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so whats the deal here, we got conflicting information??? anyways, i just lip catfish like u do a bass, and the really big catfish, their fins arent as sharp as teh small cats, so the small cats are actually more likely to stab u with its fin.

Buy fishing gloves if all you want  is to "lip" them.  The bigger spikes are just as sharp but easier to avoid.  There is a whole mess of people on the Mississippi who fish for Cats with bare hands. No rods, reels or bait.  So a glove is not required, but it will save your "SKIN"

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so whats the deal here, we got conflicting information??? anyways, i just lip catfish like u do a bass, and the really big catfish, their fins arent as sharp as teh small cats, so the small cats are actually more likely to stab u with its fin.

Buy fishing gloves if all you want is to "lip" them. The bigger spikes are just as sharp but easier to avoid. There is a whole mess of people on the Mississippi who fish for Cats with bare hands. No rods, reels or bait. So a glove is not required, but it will save your "SKIN"

well if u want to wear gloves thats cool it really wouldnt hurt to try to protect ur hand, i dont think i really need them though, ive had catfishing trips where ive lipped over a hundred of them without doing too much damage to my thumb or hand. and in my experince with larger catfish is their fins are more dull than the smaller ones, but maybe thats cause its a different species then a channel cat, i mainly catch blues, and flatheads, and some channels...

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Many times when fishing off the coast down here for reds, trout, or flounder, it not uncommon to battle hardheads and gafftops taking your bait all day.  For this I always carry a pair of needlnose plies in my back pocket.  Some of the other, less fish-freindly, locals can usually be seen doing what we call the catfish flop.  Basically this involves swinging the hardhead around, still on the hook, and smacking it on the ground to stun it for hook removal.  They don't call 'em hardheads for nothing.........these things will actually swim off after a beating like that.

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I ahte fishing for catfish, love catching em' but horrible when you have to hold em' as I am afriad to get spiked/stund by em'. I hold em' by the grill when I catch them though.

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When "lipping" a cat just make sure to reach for the lip from under the fish outside their vision and grab the lower lip firmly. Reaching for the lip with your thumb / fingers to close to the upper lip and in the fish's sight might just give you a lesson in the speed of a cats reflexes and the strength of their jaws, not to mention the skin cutting ability of the little teeth they have.

Been there, Done that.

Little cats fin barbs are sharper and the "venom" is more painful than older bigger cats. The bigger cats barbs aren't as sharp but they are a heck of a lot stronger.

The only times I have been "stung" by a catfish was when I was grabbing it and it flipped around on the line while I was dangling it.

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I ahte fishing for catfish, love catching em' but horrible when you have to hold em' as I am afriad to get spiked/stund by em'. I hold em' by the grill when I catch them though.

Look at that catfishes grill, WOW. ;D ;D  Shiny!

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I like fishing for catfish, but despise handling them. Y'all can call me a sissy. I have been "finned", "stung", or whatever you wanna call it one time by about a 19 lb channel cat...and that was about enough for me...hurt like hell. So when I catfish I use a pair of fish grippers now.

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Catfish cuts aka "Glory Wounds"!!!!! .

Amen! I still have the scratches on my hands from one.

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