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.