Aren’t Catfish Bottom Feeders?

Discussion in 'General Conversation' started by TA2D, Sep 9, 2006.

  1. TA2D

    TA2D New Member

    Could I have some brothers and sisters proofread this, I am working on a Narrative essay for my college English class, any help would be great!

    Aren’t Catfish Bottom Feeders?

    The lowly catfish, the bane of many a “sport-fishing” angler, why would any respectable person want to catch one of those bottom feeders? This statement is only partially true about the catfishes that we have in North America. Most catfish start out life eating small crustaceans and other invertebrates, but that does not last long. Of the three major species of catfish in North America; the blue, flathead and channel catfish, the channel cat could be considered a “bottom feeder”, the other two species become highly proficient predators, as can be seen by the immense size that they can attain. The world record for a blue catfish is just over 124 pounds, and for a flathead 123 pounds even. There have been reports of bigger fish, but they are from a bygone time when the rivers were not channeled and the fishing pressure was not hard as it was in the mid 20th century.
    My story begins with my love of fishing starting when I was very young maybe five or six years old. My parents gave me a love for the outdoors when I was younger, and I still have that fire burning deep inside me. When I was younger I would fish for what ever I could catch, be it creek chubs, a type of minnow that gets fairly large, to carp and bluegill. Some of the summer vacations that I got to go on when I was younger also helped to spur my love of fishing; trips to Michigan, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire to name a few. It wasn’t until I got out or the Marine Corps that I began to fish for catfish with a passion.
    I can recall some people would ask “why do you fish for a worthless bottom feeder like the catfish, when there are more sporting varieties of fish out there?” My response has always been “when was the last time you heard of a bass, walleye or pike that topped 20 pounds or more from Nebraska?” Granted those species can get over 20 pounds, but not in the numbers that catfish do. I think back on some of the fond memories that I have had fishing for catfish and recall one in particular. I had just got off working a 12 hour night shift, it was about seven o’clock in the morning, and I had just arrived at one of my favorite fishing spots, when I came across an old timer by the name of Harold, before I even got out of my trusty fishing vehicle my Jeep Grand Cherokee, we had struck up a conversation. I asked him “you fish here much?” he replied “I like to come here when the water comes up, ‘cause the big boys come upstream.”
    “Really the big ones come up this far?”
    “Hell yeah they do, just look in the back of my truck!”
    I stepped out of my Jeep and took a peek in the bed of his pickup, and he had one of the biggest catfish I have ever seen in the bed of his truck, it must have went 50 pounds or more. “You didn’t catch that monster from this little river did you?”
    “I pulled him up about 15 minutes ago.”
    That day I started a great friendship that will never end, I didn’t catch anything of much size that day, but I met a new friend that shares the same interests that I do. There may be a huge generational gap between us of about 45 years, but that all disappears when you are sitting on the river bank doing something that you both enjoy.
    There are others on the flipside of that, I like to call them “Bassers”, these are the people that seem to think that the only fish that is worth anything it the largemouth bass, a fun fish to catch but in my opinion it can get rather mundane and boring fishing for them. I have come across more than my fair share of the bassers that frown upon the “lowly catfish”. There is one man that I overheard talking to a fellow co-worker. “Yeah I went fishing this weekend, but all I could catch were these damn catfish!” he stated with disgust “so I am pretty sure that the coons had a good meal last night”.
    After hearing this, I tried to explain to him that the catfish is a great sporting fish, and makes great table fare. He responded, “There is no way that a catfish can put up a better fight than a bass!”
    I then asked him when was the last time he caught a bass over 10 pounds (they do get larger than that but not in the Mid-West, the Nebraska State record is just over 10 pounds), he tried to tell me that bass do not get that big around here. I agreed with him and then I showed him a picture of a 40 pound catfish that I had caught recently. His eyes were as big as saucers, and he was speechless for a second, then he asked some questions about the fish and more questions about catfish in general. That day, I think that I may have eduacated someone, just a little bit about not being so close minded about the natural world around you.



  2. Kyle

    Kyle New Member

    Kansas City - Olathe
    Great essay, thanks for shareing that man!

  3. flathead willie

    flathead willie Well-Known Member

    Great essay! I give it an A-. (Only because you didn't mention the lowly Bullhead that got me started catfishing!) LOL
  4. Stumpknocker2

    Stumpknocker2 New Member

    NW FL
    That is good. Reps to ya.
  5. Amigo108

    Amigo108 New Member

    Columbia, Maryland
    Cat's become more predatory as they get bigger.

    And they are great eating, bottom fish or not. A lot better than trout, panfish, bass, or about any other fish I can think of. Second in flavor is bass IMO.
  6. gadzooks

    gadzooks New Member

    Kingwood, Tx (Houston)
    Good read, but you need to spell check if that's for school. I noticed you misspelled "educated" toward the bottom of the article. I didn't fine tooth it, but I did see one or two grammatical errors. Don't mean to be picky, but you did say its for a college class and we do want you to make a good grade.
  7. copycat

    copycat New Member

    New Jersey
    Aaron, you did a real good job writting that!
  8. LiquidSteel

    LiquidSteel New Member

    La Vista N
    Reps to ya Aaron! You and I both know the cats here in Nebraska may not be as big as the other cats here in America, but they most certainly are larger than any other fish in the area. Great post!

    P.S. I never met a catfisherman/catfisherwoman I didn't like. And not all bass fisherman are bad, but I've ran across a few that, well, thats another thread starter someday.
  9. gcarlin

    gcarlin New Member

    Richmond ,Indiana
    A Very Good Post Brother, Hope You Get An "a"
  10. Cornhusker

    Cornhusker New Member

    Lancaster, Ohio
    Aaron, a very enjoyable read. Thank You.
    I'm not sure what you are going for here but I might make one comment. You start with

    "Aren’t Catfish Bottom Feeders?"

    and then give very little time in your article regarding that topic. You might want to give your piece a different name. Something more in line with what you actually wrote about. Maybe something like "Aren’t Catfish one of the best Sport Fish?"

    It was good reading, keep it up.
  11. gadzooks

    gadzooks New Member

    Kingwood, Tx (Houston)
    PM sent with suggestions for changes. Cornhusker also makes a good point.