Catfish size limits

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by neocats, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. neocats

    neocats New Member

    Messages:
    2,130
    State:
    Steubenvil
    I am seeing more and more states going to a length limit on catfish. Ohio has a 28" rule on Channels and 35" on Flatheads. You are only allowed to keep one a day over the limit.

    What makes me laugh is when I see guys getting excited about catching 10-15" channels and keeping every one?

    Sure they are great eaters but what effects the future population more, being able to keep all Channels that are 15-27" or the more rare 28" being limited to one a day.

    I think there should be a slot limit on Channel cats. Why not just being allowed to keep fish over 18" and place a daily bag limit of say 6. Most other sport fish have this type of regulation.
     
  2. catman4926

    catman4926 New Member

    Messages:
    1,602
    State:
    Texas
    I think everybody thinks that there a lot of catfish around , i know Texas is 25 per day I don't know about the cutoff I have been gone 5 yrs, I would think they would have something in place and also catfish is a game fish also.

    In Alabama they just passed the 34" rule one or the other blue or yellow
     

  3. Philiagorillia

    Philiagorillia New Member

    Messages:
    296
    State:
    Missouri
    Here in Mo it depends, statewide its 10 daily, but in some conservation lakes that are apart of a special catfish stocking program you can only keep 4 catfish total and a length limit on flatheads of 24 inches, no length on channels or blues.
     
  4. MSgtCatfish

    MSgtCatfish New Member

    Messages:
    216
    State:
    Alabama
    I agree there maybe should be a slot limit but I wouldn't dare have it where you could only keep 6 of the 10-15 inchers and unlimited on the bigger ones, especially for channel cats since the bigger ones are a little more rare than a blue or flathead of that size. The bigger the fish the more eggs it pops out and it also has some good genes in it that you hope will produce some monster offspring for the little ones now to chase when they come of age.

    How about a 5 bag limit of 14-24 inchers and none bigger can be kept for 2 years and then reevaluate? But maybe I am a little biased since I want catfish to get bigger and bigger and catch a wall hanger and to let my boys be able to land a bigger one than me LOL!

    Now of course each state would have to break there regulation down depending on catfish population and then break it down further for certain bodies of water that barely have any at all.

    It just seems if you can load up on as many of the small ones that you want, there want be many to get over 28 inches, so it would make since to bag limit those as well.

    I'm all for some coservation, no matter how small, but as usual, the states will probably wait to do something about it when it's almost to late. There motto is reactive instead of proactive.
     
  5. germanmudfish

    germanmudfish New Member

    Messages:
    492
    State:
    Gray, GA
    When I go fishing I know before I leave the house whether or not I will be keeping any for cooking the next day (the little Greek woman has given me this information). I also know how many I will need (do not always get them though). If it won't fit in the pan, it goes back. After I catch what I need, the rest go back.
     
  6. Boomer

    Boomer New Member

    Messages:
    1,037
    State:
    Oklahoma
    I kind of have mixed feelings on this subject. I am from Oklahoma, and I do keep a channel everyonce in awhile, if it is in the 5 lb range. I am not sure about the rest of the dedicated catfisherman here, but I usually target the bigger blues and flatheads.

    We have a large channel cat population, these fish are realitively easy to catch and there is no better way for the less experienced catfisherman to get a limit of these. By putting a slot limit on them, it will become less attractive to target these fish.
     
  7. dennis.p

    dennis.p Guest

    I can't see any real reason for having a slot limit on catfish, It seems a daily harvest limit is fine. I read in this post that Alabama has a 34in limit, that's ridiculous, I'm sure that the trotliners, limbliners, and jugliners, are catching numerous fish over 34 inches, and I seriously doubt that they are throwing them back into the water. I'm just guessing that these types of fishing are legal in Ala. I think people are confusing catfishing with bass fishing and think catfish should follow the same rules. Is there really such thing as a trophy catfish, do people have them mounted on their wall at home? The only way I've seen them mounted is their head on a fence post. Big catfish to me are just braggin' rites and when I get home they're gonna get cleaned just like a smaller catfish.
     
  8. MSgtCatfish

    MSgtCatfish New Member

    Messages:
    216
    State:
    Alabama
    As with any rule, law, or Master lock - they are there to keep the honest people honest. Of course there will be people who will not adhere to the law but that's the chance they take. There are a lot more states with the 34 inch rule, TN, SC and some have smaller 1 per day quotas.

    And I also think the majority of people out here who do trophy hunt for bragging rights, practice CPR and only keep the cats that are 10 pounds and under to eat.

    And you can get a wall mount/floor mount of a catfish if you so desire but just because it's not hanging on the wall doesn't mean it's not a trophy! Just because you sit in a garage doesn't mean you're a car!
     
  9. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

    Messages:
    1,618
    State:
    Checotah, Oklahoma
    And such is life, out here in Indian Territory.:wink:

    *sigh*
     
  10. ChannelCatBen

    ChannelCatBen New Member

    Messages:
    179
    State:
    Minnesota
    Here in Minnesota, the DNR follows a little stricter ethic than most states I've fished. That's putting it lightly.

    We are allowed a limit of 5 cats, channel or flathead combined (no blues in MN, sadly). Only one can be above 24". Only 2 can be flatheads.

    I think the state's channel cat population could easily handle a more liberal limit, say 10, since there aren't a lot of cat anglers here. I think the size restrictions are an okay deal, to an extent. I'd like to see the "one-over" size upped to, say, 30". But I'd be happy if, someday, they let us use more than one line.

    They call Minnesota the Land of 10,000 Laws. If you've ever seen the regulation book, you understand. It's pretty frustrating at times, but one thing I will say: I've caught more 10+ pound channel cats here than anywhere I've ever fished.

    Minnesota has a lot of money riding on a quality fishery, so they are a lot more proactive than reactive. If you are a CPR fisherman, you'd love it here. But if you're looking for dinner, you'd be frustrated.
     
  11. brinley45cal

    brinley45cal Active Member

    Messages:
    2,606
    State:
    kentucky
    Here in KY they have to be at least 12 inches and i think you can only keep 6 some places 4.
     
  12. ratkinson

    ratkinson New Member

    Messages:
    627
    State:
    NY
    I must say here in NY I rarely see someone who is targeting catfish specifically. Bullhead season being the exception, when the bullhead are running latterns can be seen in large clusters where ever there is water. I don't have a problem with slot limits or daily limits myself. I won't pretend I know what is best for the fish population as far as #'s that the limits should be. They are not heavily fished to my knowledge. Other thn the odd bird like me here and there with the catfish bug. I guess anything that would enhance the quantity/quality of catfishing, I'm all for. I'd like to see the studdies they do to come up with the regs, but, 90% of the time if the fish aren't injured I let them go on their merry way. Pretty much everywhere I fish the max they say you should eat is 1/2 an lb a month. If someone uses them for a staple in their family dinners I could see where it may upset them, and, perhaps a special permit to keep larger #'s should be available.

    Richard
     
  13. dennis.p

    dennis.p Guest

    I don't mean to offend anyone, it's just that I never really considered catfish a sport fish, pretty much just a fish for eating. I'm starting to realize that a lot of people on this site do fish for them for the sport and mainly target big catfish and that's cool, but just because they don't like other people keeping big fish they shouldn't try getting laws passed just for their benefit. The thing that I wonder about with slot limits, and max size limts, will this eventually lead to other limitations, such as fishing with rod and reel only. I just can't see any catfisherman being happy about a max size limit no matter what state.
     
  14. MSgtCatfish

    MSgtCatfish New Member

    Messages:
    216
    State:
    Alabama
    From talking with catmen and DNR personnel at Tennessee they implemented the 34 inch rule b/c people were coming down, mainly out of Ohio, and bush hooking/catching the crap out of catfish - big catfish, and taking them back up to Ohio and selling them to pay ponds for a dollar a pound. These boys would roll up with dump trucks with big tanks in them and literally fill it up with cats.

    SC, not sure (exactly why, but I would say money) why they implemented it but I know it was a good thing because less and less big fish are being caught there. Santee used to be the king of cats and so many people flocked there and Santee just got depleted of big fish over the years. I can't remember the exact amount but catfishing in SC used to bring in millions of dollars but as time marched on and bigger fished were wiped out compared to years ago, the state finally stepped in - once they saw revenues dropping around the catfish hot spots around the state, not so much for the catfish but the dollars they brought in.

    I am sure every state has it's reasons and I am all for some type of regulation on catfish. Just afford them some type of protection like other fish have so we don't drain the resource - be proactive instead of reactive.

    I'm not offended by you keeping big fish, I am sure a lot of people do, but I know a lot of people practice catfish CPR and a lot of those people are members on this forum. Through awareness, CPR has grown and a lot of people who target big cats or like to tournament fish for them have adopted it and taught it to others. If you have 10 people catfishing and only 1 keeps the big fish then I am sure that is better than what it used to be where probably 9 out of 10 would keep them. To each his own, all I or anyone else can do is try and spread the knowledge about CPR and hope that we maintain a healthy big cat population.

    And I would beg to differ and think a lot of catmen from around all the states would like to see max size limits imposed. It's not or would not affect people catching some catfish to eat at the house. And I'd like to think that people besides myself would like their kids and grandkids to be able to catch a trophy sized catfish down the road.
     
  15. Dreadnaught

    Dreadnaught New Member

    Messages:
    5,444
    State:
    Henderson,Ky
    I think you might be missing the point that is trying to be made here. It is to protect the big fish that are left. If you are releasing them Size limits shouldn't matter.
     
  16. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    I would be more than happy if my sate passed laws where you could only fish for catfish with rod and reel.

    I consider catfish the greatest sportfish swiming and they need to be protected from over harvest.
     
  17. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

    Messages:
    1,618
    State:
    Checotah, Oklahoma
    Yup. Let's be fishermen, not game hogs.
     
  18. ChannelCatBen

    ChannelCatBen New Member

    Messages:
    179
    State:
    Minnesota
    That's how I feel about walleye. :wink: Opinions may vary.
     
  19. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Having grown up in the 40s and 50s, I can tell you firsthand that once upon a time, people had the notion that bass were there to catch and eat. Anything over 10"-12" we kept and ate. When the bass were spawning, we cooked the roe with chicken eggs and ate that. I never knew anyone who actually had a mounted bass on their wall, but I knew several good bass fishermen who had the heads of big bass nailed up under the eaves of their garage (on the outside). Of course, the fish had been eaten, but the heads were kept as 'trophies'. And that was as close to trophy fishing for bass as I ever knew. As time went on, people did begin to fish for them as trophies, but they were kept and stuffed. Hang them on the wall? I know of one (rich) guy who had a gold plated stringer with 10 stuffed bass on it, each bass over 10# in weight. Not too surprising that he also had pottery and skulls looted from Indian graves displayed in his family room. It wasn't really until B.A.S.S. came along that the bass fishing explosion started, along with catch & release. Personally, I don't like what it's done to bass fishing, but it has helped the fishery by promoting catch & release. And yes, catch & release has made a big difference in the fishery. Despite the fact that there are probably 20-25 bass fishing hours spent now, compared to each hour back around 1950, there's at least as good a chance of catching a nice stringer of bass...maybe even a better chance.
    Catfish. Well, 10 years ago, the viewpoint was about the same as it was for bass back around 1950; catch all you can & eat them...or give them away...but don't throw them back. Now, I'm starting to see the beginnings of change. There are lots of folks who are promoting catch & release, especially the larger cats, because catfishing is definitely becoming more popular, and yes, people are beginning to target trophy cats. And yes, I've seen a few catfish mounts, but like most fish mounts today, they were made of fiberglass...no need to kill the fish. Politicians aren't known for being conservationists, or even for being particularly forward looking, but even the dumbest will eventually realize the amount of money that a good catfish fishery can bring into a state. And that's one of the two things that politicians do take notice of (money); the other is votes to get reelected to get more money. I predict that by 2025 we'll see catfish promoted and protected as much as bass are today, with about as many people fishing for catfish as for bass.
    Interesting note about fishery management here in Arkansas. Apparently the Arkansas River has so many channel catfish hatch out every year that there's a danger of them becoming stunted, providing tons of undersized fish rather than a good population of catchable sized fish, because our Fish & Game allows an extra limit of 10 channel catfish under 16" in length in addition to your regular limit of catfish, only on the Arkansas River. And on Lake Chicot, they're removed the limit completely on channel catfish to keep the population under control.
     
  20. dennis.p

    dennis.p Guest

    I see that most people don't have the same opinions that I do, and that's fine. As long as I'm following my states game laws I guess that's all that matters. I know that I personally don't catch enough catfish, big or small to effect the fish population, and I doubt that most other fishermen do either. If people are catching dumptruck loads of catfish or any other fish then that should obviously be stopped. I suppose that maybe some states need a max size limit imposed.

    I know that the catfishermen I know personally especially the ones from southeastern okla where I grew up would not be in favor of a max size limit.

    That's all I have to say on the subject, I don't want to get a post war started here.
    :big_smile: