Channel Catfish

 

CHANNEL CATFISH (Ictalurus punctatus)

ALIAS: Spotted cat, fork tail, speckled, fiddler

IDENTIFICATION: Scaleless, slender fish with deeply forked tail, and barbels around the mouth.  Back and sides are dark gray-blue; belly is white. Albino channel catfish are white to pale pink in color. Sharp spines in pectoral and dorsal fins. 

DIET: Crayfish, sunfish, small fish, commercial fish food and anything they can scavenge.

SPAWNING: Late-May to July when water temperatures are 70-75̊F.  Nests are constructed in natural cavities and overhangs.  

FISHING TIPS: Being a bottom feeder, catfish are often caught on nightcrawlers, chicken livers, sunfish, fathead minnows and golden shiners.  They feed most actively at night and in the early morning.

Michigan, Illinois, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Maryland, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, South Carolina, Louisiana, Arkansas, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska and Hawaii.