Catfish identifiCATion?

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by fattiresc, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. fattiresc

    fattiresc New Member

    Messages:
    30
    State:
    South Carolina
    I have been catching catfish for 15 years, granted not as big or as plentiful as most here. Catfishing started appealing to me by the style of fishing. I grew up bass fishing and started catfishing 15 years ago. Until recently, I have not been able to fish at the lake like I would have wanted. When my dad and I use to go every weekend growing up, it was for bass or bream. These days I am older and have bought my own boat. I am now targeting the fish I love and the fishing style I love, catfishing. But, I find myself having trouble identifying the fish I am catching. Can someone explain/post pictures that show the difference between a channel/blue/flathead? I am assuming the blue is the grayish looking one. I can't rememer ever catching one that is the grayish color. Most of the ones I have caught are greenish brown or brown. I think I have caught some flatheads because the heads are flatish. I just want to learn as much as I can about these fish and want to be ale to identify them as I catch them. And I know I am going to open a can of worms here, but which are the best to eat? And when you say they are the best to eat, do you mean fry. fillet, broil, or grill? I have never heard of anyone grilling catfish, but I have fried them before and enjoyed them much!!!

    Any help is appreciated, and thanks in advance. This website/message board is the best!

    Thanks.

    ~Jason
     
  2. RiverratSC

    RiverratSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,646
    State:
    Gaffney, SC
    What lakes are you fishing?
     

  3. fattiresc

    fattiresc New Member

    Messages:
    30
    State:
    South Carolina
    Lake Murray, looks like near you. Most I have caught have been in Lake Murray, Lake Norman (Charlotte), and local ponds.
     
  4. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    Channels and Blues will have a forked tail, flatheads will have a square tail, and the lower jaw on a flat sticks out more than the upper jaw.
     
  5. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    Also the fish in my avitar is a flathead.
     
  6. kscathunter

    kscathunter New Member

    Messages:
    2,367
    State:
    Louisburg,
    check out the library, there is pics and discriptions for all.
     
  7. Whistler

    Whistler Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,084
    State:
    TN
  8. Rat

    Rat New Member

    Messages:
    236
    State:
    Forrest Illinoi
    Fattiresc, Like was mentioned a channel and blue have a forked tail, and a flathead has a tail with no fork( like a bullhead ). The easiest way to tell the difference between a channel and a blue is to look at the anal fin. On a channel cat it is rounded, on a blue cat it is straight as a ruler.
    Some people have a problem telling the difference between a small flathead and a bullhead. Easiest way is to look at the toothpad on the roof of the mouth. On a flathead it'll have a point on each end that point's back towards the throat. On a bullhead, the ends of the toothpad are rounded.
    Rat
     
  9. RiverratSC

    RiverratSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,646
    State:
    Gaffney, SC
    Murray has loads of Channel cats and white cats and they are hard to tell apart some times. Blues and Flatheads are fewer in Murray although people do catch some just not many, yet. I fish Murray but not as much as I do Monticello and Wateree which are loaded with Blues, Channels and White cats.
     
  10. Leakyboat

    Leakyboat New Member

    Hey Jason,
    You can also go to your Fish and Game or Parks and Wildlife website, which ever your state has,they usually will have pictures of all the fish around your area.
    Ernie
     
  11. RiverratSC

    RiverratSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,646
    State:
    Gaffney, SC
    Our state doesn't have any pictures of the fish for our state. They used to have a poster but they don't have it anymore either.
     
  12. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,175
    State:
    NC
    Rat is right, the Channels are easily separated from the Blues by the anal fin. The Blues have a flat anal fin and the Channel is rounded. Channels and White Cats look similar, but you have to get down to count the anal fin. White Cats have 19-22 rays on the fin and Channel Cats have 24-29.

    The brown cats you have caught in the past may be Flatheads or Bullheads. They both have flat tail fins, unlike the Blues and Channels that have forked.

    They are fry up really nice!!
     
  13. brinley45cal

    brinley45cal Active Member

    Messages:
    2,606
    State:
    kentucky
    What do you guys mean by rays?and where exactly do you find them to count?I have all kinds of trouble trying to figure out a bullhead from a flathead, i cant tell the difference.
     
  14. fattiresc

    fattiresc New Member

    Messages:
    30
    State:
    South Carolina
    I love this site, all of you folks are so nice and informative. Thank you so much for the information. I am going to print out the ID chart and laminate it and put it on the boat and make notations of the spine count. Yall are so helpful.

    Thanks again.

    ~Jason
     
  15. wpsatisfide

    wpsatisfide New Member

    Messages:
    305
    State:
    Pawleys Island, SC
    All catfish are great to eat, and I have grilled, broiled, fried, sauteed, and anything else you can think of with catfish. They are much better if you bleed them out, and clean them as soon as possible.