Channel catfish color

Discussion in 'Channel Catfish' started by Ed1, Mar 23, 2006.

  1. Ed1

    Ed1 New Member

    Messages:
    102
    State:
    Virginia
    There is a small lake near me on a wma that is at the top of a mountian that I fish from time to time. It has channelcats ,bass ,bluegill,crappie and pike in it. The wierd thing about this lake the channels that I catch out of there are a deep dark blue color compared to the channel cats that I catch out of the rivers and other lakes around. I would have to assume it has somthing to do with the water they live in maybe even due to the cooler water temps there. Has anyone else experinced this.
     
  2. wishiwasfishin

    wishiwasfishin New Member

    Messages:
    776
    State:
    kentucky
    yeah i figure that if a fish has deeper water to stay in then the less light is going to get to him or it could even be what the fish are eating i have caught a few cats later in the summer from a few deep holes and they almost have a black look to them.:rolleyes:
     

  3. Pennsylvaniacatchaser

    Pennsylvaniacatchaser Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,360
    State:
    Sarver, Pa
    Channel Cats can vary in color from bright silver to a very dark color depending on the water they came from. I used to fish a small pond that would get covered with algae in the summer and the Channel Cats were very dark in color.
     
  4. rebcatman

    rebcatman New Member

    Messages:
    555
    State:
    Manassas, Virginia
    Ed,

    I believe the water the fish comes from does have an impact on the color of the fish. Plus, if the fish are stocked, which in Virginia is pretty common in these types of lakes, they were raised in pretty clean water, might make for a more true color of the fish.

    BTW, are you talking about Phelps Pond? Come on down and hang out in the Virginia Room.
     
  5. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    State:
    Ohio
    I was just reading today that channels will turn darker during the spawn, that doesn't explain the rest of the year though. I have caught them that look blue and some almost purple. I have noticed that fish from muddy coffee colored water are lighter than those from crystal clear, like Bluegill, Bass, Crappie and Channels :confused: go figger.
     
  6. Cliffcat

    Cliffcat New Member

    Messages:
    82
    State:
    Missouri
    Being the curious person that I am, next time you catch one, count the number of rays on the anal fin (on the bottom side near the tail). 24-29 rays would verify that it is a channel, 30-35 rays means you're looking at a blue cat. The two species can look very similar at times. The folks that have previously commented are right, there can be alot of variability in the color as well.

    Ralph
     
  7. SeedTick

    SeedTick New Member

    Messages:
    1,414
    State:
    Conway Arkansas
    I think it has something to do with water depth too. This time of year the redears at the local lake move back into shallow water and start biting. When they first start they are kinda pale but it seems they get darker the longer they are in the shallow water. I may be completely wrong but I tell my fishing buddy that they get more sun in the shallow water, thus they are getting a tan? hehehe
    :rolleyes:
    ST
     
  8. Ed1

    Ed1 New Member

    Messages:
    102
    State:
    Virginia
    The lake I am talking about is called hidden valley lake( http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/fishing/waterbodies/display.asp?id=65 )and the deepest holes I have found are around 20 foot, most of the lake seems shallower. Water is seems to be a bit cooler than most water around here. It is just odd that this is the only water in my area that I have caught channelcats this dark.
     
  9. rebcatman

    rebcatman New Member

    Messages:
    555
    State:
    Manassas, Virginia
    Ed,

    Hidden lake is pretty nice looking. Do you have much success in catching numbers of catfish? I live in Northern VA, but would make the trip if it was worth it.
     
  10. delawareriver

    delawareriver Member

    Messages:
    813
    State:
    bath pa
    well just think when the catfish are small, they are always hidding from the larger predators. most likely the fish that best match the water color will survive alot longer and will have a better chance to pass on it traits as a oddly colored catfish wont do as well. this why you dont see many albino catfish unless someone realesed it into the pond such as fish keepers and the channel got to big for their tank.
     
  11. Ed1

    Ed1 New Member

    Messages:
    102
    State:
    Virginia
    rebcatman I have never caught large numbers of cats at one time up there but have caught several over time that would weight 8 to 10 pounds. It is nice and quite there is one of the main reason I go up there.
     
  12. rednecksportsman511

    rednecksportsman511 New Member

    Messages:
    270
    State:
    Birmingham, AL
    i see a large variation in color of channels. for the longest time, the cats i caught outta the lake i fish were a deep silver-blue, i always called 'em blues, but one day i found out they're channels. since then, ive caught many differently-colored channels out of the same lake. some have been greenish yellow, some grayish brown, and others deep silver-blue.
     
  13. rebcatman

    rebcatman New Member

    Messages:
    555
    State:
    Manassas, Virginia
    Ed,

    Thanks, I may give it a try one of these days.