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Extreme Channel Catfishing

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Channel cats have scattered black spots on a silver or gray colored back and sides with a white belly. Few spots on large adults. The skin is smooth and has no scales and they have 8 barbels or 'whiskers'. The small adipose fin has a short base . The tail is deeply forked. The anal fin has 24 to 30 rays and is slightly rounded.  Normally they grow fifteen or twenty pounds. But channel  cats as heavy as sixty pounds have been recored. Found in most warm-water lakes and rivers. Inhabit deeper stretches of rivers and streams with moderate current. They generally spawn from April through early June.

Channel catfish will eat almost anything, dead or alive although, they prefer minnows, crayfish, and aquatic insects. Effective baits are waterdogs, liver, blood bait, shad, shrimp, anchovies, homemade stink baits, minnows and worms. Contrary to myth, the whiskers are harmless to touch and are used by the fish to smell, taste and feel as it forages for food. But be careful, the dorsal fin and pectoral fins have a sharp spine which can inflict a painful wound.  The meat is white, tender and sweet when the fish are taken from clear, cool waters.  


 

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