Blind flathead catfish

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by catfishrus, Aug 14, 2006.

  1. catfishrus

    catfishrus New Member

    north carolina
    guys i heard of a 32lb flathead getting caught out of santee within the last year that was blind or maybe not blind because the fish had no eyes or eye sockets. ive heard of some getting caught that only had one eye for one reason or the other but never heard of this. i just dont see how a flathead with no eyes could manage to live to get that big. the fish was released. has anyone ever heard or seen this before?
  2. RiverKing

    RiverKing Active Member

    Yellow Spr
    Ive never heard of it, but it is pretty interesting...I know they rely more on smell and sound that they do on sight, at least thats what ive always heard, so maybe that has something to do with it

  3. IL Hunter

    IL Hunter New Member

    Normal, IL
    I guess it could be possible Maybe he tasted his way around. I really have no idea. Catfish do have good sensory organs though.
  4. whiteriverbigcats

    whiteriverbigcats New Member

    Never heard or seen it.. but what a way to survive... sure hope they put it back.... im sure it had it area down....
  5. bigcat_chaser

    bigcat_chaser New Member

    Cincy, Ohio
    It would be interesting to see guess it could happen
  6. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Guthrie, Oklaho
    I have read somewhere that a catfishes eyesight is about the sixth most important sense they have to find food. Their sense of smell is first, then the receptors in their skins, their wiskers, etc. They don't rely on eyesight that much. Not like us, are they?
  7. bigblaze

    bigblaze New Member

    Just a thought...think of the "barbels" or whiskers.

    The cats have 4 pairs of barbels around the mouth. The barbels are like organs and contain thousands of taste buds that help it find food in the dark or muddy waters.

    The cats scaleless skin is also covered with taste buds. A six" cat can have more than a quarter million taste buds....

    A swimming tongue if you will...

    The pores in front of the head have millions of little hairs that pick up vibrations also helping it locate prey in the dark or muddy waters...

    Also like sharks the cats use electrosensing. Electrosensing pits are found along the lateral lines and the small pores on it's head. These organs can help cats detect prey using electrical fields in living organisms....

    I think a cat could easily live to be 32lbs and beyond without eyes.
  8. fat_fish55

    fat_fish55 New Member

    yea my thoughts are that if you are a fish in 30 feet of muddy mississippi water you cant see too much anyway
    who knows though
  9. bluesbrother

    bluesbrother New Member

    thats weird my brother caught one with no eyes or sockets on a trotline and it was skinny
  10. FlatheadMan

    FlatheadMan New Member

    Just seen a show on outdoor channel and they were talking about this they said they did studies were fish were blind folded with some device and then obsevered and after they adapted lost no motor skills or functions at all they claim that the sensory organs under there jaw allows them to take a type of photo image of there suroundings with out really seeing it through there eyes.
  11. laidbck111

    laidbck111 New Member

    I know that there are blind catfish that live their entire lives in caves and can get up to 40 pounds, Discovery Channel. So they are completly blind and have even found a few that don't even have eye's.
  12. amatuer cat catcher

    amatuer cat catcher New Member

    yea i agree with blaze thats like us not being able to smell we could be fine without it
  13. BassMassey

    BassMassey Well-Known Member

    from all my readings and understandings BigBlaze summed it up about the best you can..............

    and what's the deal with not being able to go through the member list anymore? that's how i used to check my post and to see who replied....???
  14. Ace

    Ace New Member

    Gastonia N
    My friend killed a wild hog that did not have any ears or holes in his head where the ears should be.He had it mounted It looks funny.I have some pics of it around here some where.When I find them I will post them.I never saw a fish with out eyes.


  15. ivan09193

    ivan09193 New Member

    I would definitely agree that eyesight is not the most important sense for catfishes. With the amount of tastebuds they have and their lateral line for sensing vibrations in the water, it seems very possible that they could survive without eyes at all.

    I'm sure that such catfish would not be transient animals, preferring to stay in one river hole or one creek mouth for most of their lives. It would help them remember things like "Oh, that rock that I bumped into last week was right there. I should remember to avoid it this time."
  16. teaysvalleyguy

    teaysvalleyguy New Member

    GC, OHIO
    Have caught many channels that were blind, no eyes. Just bad hookups and rough spawning I guess. They will be OK.
  17. Love Them Cats

    Love Them Cats New Member

    Vinita, Oklahoma
    I have caught many fish that looked like they were blind, solid white eyes or glassy looking eyes. I don't know if they were blind, but they looked like they were.

    I think fish are just like people, they adapt to their surroundings?

    Look at how many people are blind?
    If they are born that way, that's all they know and they learn to go by feel.
    People that are able to see, then go blind, they adapt to it so they can survive.
    I think fish are the same way, they learn to deal with it and do the best they can to survive.

  18. shellerflat

    shellerflat New Member

    north carolina
    The most important sense for hunting the flathead catfish has is its ability to sense the vibration of its prey. All of the flatheads that I have caught worth any size at all have all hit on bream that were kicking hard enough to bounce a rod tip. It would be interesting to see a photo of that fish though. I wonder how it survived its first couple years with no eyes.
  19. turtle1173

    turtle1173 Member

    Mayfield, KY
    Well, that is interesting. Me and Three Rivers got a 32 lb Blue last week (OK, he actually caught it). The fish had no eye or socket on one side. On the other side he had a bad eye that wasn't of any use. This was on the Mississippi river in probably 45 feet of water.

    What really makes the story funny is that he snagged it right behind the dorsal fin, LOL. I told Danny that Cats probably didn't use their eyes much in the MS River but this one sure could of used some extra help, LOL :lol: At least he got close to the bait without eyes. As many taste buds as Cats have all over their bodies, he may of been rubbing his back up against the skipjack to get a better taste of it!
  20. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    South Carolina
    I think the cool thing is the example this gives us and forces us to really thjink. We (people) are so very visual that we tend to think erverything sees the world the same way. Dogs sniff their way through life. Dolphins have echolocation. Electric eels actually put out an electric field around their bodies and can sense and movement or change within the field. Many (or maybe all?) sharks can sense the very weak electic fields given off by living cells.

    Obviously a flathead can get along just fine without its eyes - that one did. So they must be using their senses of smell, taste, rhearing, touch (as in feeling vibrations). It would be pretty cool to somehow test each one and see how important they are. I suspect that some function better at a distance and others kick in at close range.