American kitties vs. Canadian hawgs!

Discussion in 'Channel Catfish' started by Didgeridoo, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. Didgeridoo

    Didgeridoo New Member

    Messages:
    14
    State:
    Manitoba, Canada
    [​IMG]

    I always see pics of channels from the states and they're always little guys. Good 'eaters you'd say. The average is between 15-25" that I see. On the odd occasion I'll see a pic of a larger fish but primarily they're all smaller. I also noticed that alot of people are fishing small little creeks for em.

    [​IMG]

    I guess what I'm trying to get at is up here our average is from 25-35 inches. I dunno if it's less competition or what!? I commonly see cats chasing goldeye and eating them from the surface. Maybe it's because of an abundance of prey species?

    [​IMG]

    Now I know people are going to get all defensive and say that the US cats are biggers, blah blah blah. I'm just stating an observation is all. I belong to a local fishing forum from up here and the sheer numbers of big cats is truly remarkable! It's not uncommon to catch 5-15 cats a night between 30-40 inches!

    [​IMG]

    Up here we don't eat the cats though and there's a slot size where it's the law to release them. So maybe they're big because of that!?

    Just wondering is all.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Dave L

    Dave L New Member

    Messages:
    1,012
    State:
    Minnesota
    Nick, welcome to the BOC.

    Yeah channels get bigger when you get into Canada, and more plenty full, it appears.
    I would have to say the regulations up there have a big impact.

    The river I fish contains some very large channels say 36"+ as well as many more small ones.
    I would have to bet the further north the bigger they are.

    Thanks for sharing the pic's of them channel hogs.
     

  3. willcat

    willcat New Member

    Messages:
    2,463
    State:
    texas
    i don't think you'll find too many ppl that would say the US channels are bigger!!!! They get huge up there, and they are beautiful fish to look at( I wish I could say to catch but havent been) welcome to the boc and thanks for the pics!!!!!!!
     
  4. Bacardipr05

    Bacardipr05 New Member

    Messages:
    1,424
    State:
    Pennsylvan
    I am sure the water quality is probably a big factor....
     
  5. big-muddy

    big-muddy New Member

    Messages:
    1,834
    State:
    norfolk, va
    those are some pretty big channels! i didnt know they got that big up there. well we still have our flatheads!
     
  6. tiny b

    tiny b Active Member

    Messages:
    847
    State:
    TX
    Welcome to the BOC Nick. And thanks for the great pics!!Great looking catfish. How about sending a few of them bigguns south.
     
  7. CaptainBrad

    CaptainBrad Active Member

    Messages:
    640
    State:
    North Dakota
    Welcome to the BOC.

    I have say I found your post somewhat disturbing in the tone that you said people from the states will say our fish are bigger and better like we are stupid or something. Most people around the United States know that the Red River of the North is known for large trophy channels and once you get to the Canadian stretch it does not get any better.

    Now that being said, I am a regular to the Lockport/Selkirk area for catfish as well as walleyes. I know there is no other place on earth like it for catching numbers of giant channels. I personally have been in the boat for numerous 50 fish days up there. In fact last year in 4 days my buddy and I boated 2 tons of cats. The only way someone from the south or anywhere from that matter could understand what it is like is to experience it for themselves.

    There are many reasons the fish there get so big and many of those we will never know. What I do know is there is a ready supply of food in the river, regulations have protected the big fish wonderfully, people tend to not eat catfish up here, and lastly I think the ability for the cats to go in the lake for rest and sustainable food between feeding frenzies in the river all make it the best channel cat fishery on earth.

    Again, Welcome to BOC
     
  8. Philiagorillia

    Philiagorillia New Member

    Messages:
    296
    State:
    Missouri
    Holy crap man, those are huge channels! You are considered lucky to catch one like that around here in the lakes. The average for channel cats for me is anywhere from 1-5lbs. Come stock some of our lakes down here with nice cats like that!
     
  9. CJ21

    CJ21 New Member

    Messages:
    4,303
    State:
    Montgomery, Alabama
    Nick welcome to the BOC, and those are some nice Cats.
     
  10. yeppa

    yeppa New Member

    Messages:
    636
    State:
    Topeka, Kansas
    Those are all good ol' American catfish that fled north to escape all of the intellegent fishin' pressure!!
     
  11. catfishbrett

    catfishbrett New Member

    Messages:
    181
    State:
    Steubenville,Ohio
    I have been waiting years for a trip to get up there after those hawgs!!! i few years ago i watch the in-fishermen crew catch monster channels up there and wanted to go ever since. here on the ohio river a 15 - 20 pounder is a channel of a lifetime
     
  12. fcrnnngbck25

    fcrnnngbck25 New Member

    Messages:
    205
    State:
    Lafayette, Indi
    That's what I love about the B.o.c. and catfish1 forums. It's one place everyone can unite for a common purpose and thats the pleasure of catching catfish and fishing in general. I say this because regardless of race, intelligence, nation of orgin, or religion, we all unite as one. I agree though you guys sure do grow the channels up there monsterous:cool2:
     
  13. Mo.Hick

    Mo.Hick Active Member

    Messages:
    1,531
    State:
    Madison Mo.
    Welcom to the BOC Nick. Those are some nice fish. Those would be a fish of a lifetime in my neck of the woods. Maybe one day if fuel prices dont break me I will be able to make a trip up there.

    Tom
     
  14. Mizzbigcat

    Mizzbigcat New Member

    Messages:
    374
    State:
    Warren County Ohio
    Welcome to the BOC Nick.

    What beautiful Channel Cats you have in Canada! I grew up in Alaska (near Anchorage) and EVERYTHING, from the veggies to the misquito's seem to grow bigger and better up north. It may have something to do with the pristine environment.

    Do ya'll have flatheads up that way? And what part of Canada are you in?
     
  15. GaryF

    GaryF New Member

    Messages:
    3,649
    State:
    O.P., KS
    Mostly just the Texans. Actually the main reason you folks have such an abundance of big cats is that they swim down through the dam: http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/hh271/garyf_bucket/AlaskaTrip/AlaskaTrip2007035.jpg and then are too big to get back through the fish ladder, and so the big ones get stuck below Lockport and just grow and grow while only the little ones can migrate back upstream :crazy:

    The 54lb channel cat in my avatar for example was caught at the Drayton Dam in North Dakota, but is probably now forever trapped in Canadian waters between the St Andrews Lock and Dam and Lake Winnipeg…. or being served as fish sticks in one of the many catfish taverns up that way :0a5: http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/hh271/garyf_bucket/AlaskaTrip/AlaskaTrip2007044.jpg

    Of course he is probably pretty small by Manitoba standards, and he may have simply been eaten himself by one of the giant Volkswagen sized channels that have long been known to inhabit the deep holes below the dam.






    Disclaimer: Don’t take anything in this post too serious, except the part about the giant channel cats below the dam. That part is true - my friends brother’s uncle with the white hair is a part time Dam Maintenance Scuba Diver , and he seen it for himself I heard. Oh, and the part about the Texans, too.
     
  16. rockfordflathunter

    rockfordflathunter New Member

    Messages:
    142
    State:
    rockford,illino
    My thinking is there is much better conservation !The slot size limit is great and we could defenitly use that down here!
     
  17. Didgeridoo

    Didgeridoo New Member

    Messages:
    14
    State:
    Manitoba, Canada
    Thanks all for the posts. This forum is much more polite than my local Canadian forum. haha. I would have got my arse chewed for that one.

    I do agree with the observation with the dam. All the smaller creeks and rivers get infested with medium to large channels every spring. We normally will fish just below a dam as that's where the largest concentration is.

    I agree that Lockport holds the most cats in one area. There are lots of big cats right in the city of Winnipeg too. My girlfriend lives right on the river in the city and it's not uncommon to catch a hundred pounds of cats each night. So the largest cat may be 20lbs!? So not Lockport size but not bad for outta her backyard! The pic shows about the average. This one was caught by her little sister.

    [​IMG]

    I always thought the opposite. Because of our weather and our short growing season I would have thought they'd get bigger in the south!?

    Definitely food is a big factor. We've seen cats attacking 10-14 inch goldeye on the surface. 20lbs of catfish clearing the water! We've caught cats on full size goldeye too...so we proved that a cat will eat one no problem.

    We do have pretty strict slot sizes and limits. At lockport it tends to get abused by shore fishermen from the city, but conservation steps in when they can to ruin someone's life. Our limit is 4 and none may exceed 26 inches. Also like someone pointed out, we don't really keep any to eat. In such large cats the mercury levels are so high that most people will just catch them for fun.

    Also, the Red River isn't exactly the cleanest river. During the best of times the visibility is maybe an inch if you're lucky. This is primarily from silt but also there's a lot of crap (like actually), dumped into the river. It's unfortunate and it's affecting Lake Winnipeg big time!

    Anyways, thanks again for all the awesome posts and you'll have to come up here to fish! There's a few places along the Red that rent boats or can tell ya where to go. =)

    Ps-> Our gas prices are high as well. $1.33/L x 3.98 = 5.29 per US gallon!
     
  18. catfishjohn

    catfishjohn New Member

    Messages:
    10,217
    State:
    Greenup Co. KY
    Welcome to the BOC Nick!!!:big_smile:
    Awesome pics of those Channels also!!! :)
     
  19. ratkinson

    ratkinson New Member

    Messages:
    627
    State:
    NY
    "Now I know people are going to get all defensive and say that the US cats are biggers, blah blah blah. I'm just stating an observation is all. I belong to a local fishing forum from up here and the sheer numbers of big cats is truly remarkable! It's not uncommon to catch 5-15 cats a night between 30-40 inches! "


    Screw getting deffensive...........all I want to know is when are you taking me out fishing...LOL Thanks for the great pics, and welcome aboard. I know Canada has some great pristine waters , but, I know little to nothing about your catfish population. Please share with us some of the lakes and riverswith good cat populations, and, keep the pictures coming. I fish New York waters, Primarily channels and whites. We don't get the slob blues and flatheadsof other states. Our channels are not exceptionally large here either. (A channel of 20lbs would be a true trophy) Our state record is in the low 30's range. What is the largest channel you've caught or seen caught up there?


    Richard
     
  20. CaptainBrad

    CaptainBrad Active Member

    Messages:
    640
    State:
    North Dakota
    For a fish to get that old and big mercury levels could be very high but who would want to eat such an awesome critter.

    The Red River (South of Winnipeg) has some of the highest quality water in the region. They say it is the silt that captures the contaminants and pulls them in. It is very low in sufides and other bad things. One way we know this is the white mayfly hatches. They require pristine water conditions to have a successful hatch. Winnipeg and north is a crap shoot for clean water due to sewage accidents and spills.

    Either way I will be in Lockport and Winnipeg in just 3 days!