Clip their Spines!

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by dinkbuster1, Jul 2, 2007.

  1. dinkbuster1

    dinkbuster1 New Member

    Messages:
    2,272
    State:
    Ohio
    read an In-fisherman article this weekend that got me to thinking..... the article was about a study conducted by Virginia university about wheather the "spines" on a bullhead or channel cat would affect how predators would feed on them. they put two pairs of small 4-8 inch channel cats in a several large aquariums with largemouth bass. two were clipped of their spines, two were left alone. apparently when the cats were attacked the channels with the spines extended them and locked them in place, therefore causing them to lodge in the bass's mouth and would eventually get spit back out. 88% of the "spined" cats were spit out and survived where 74% of the "clipped" ones got eaten (btw, i have seen bullheads lock them to the point where you would have to break them to get them back!). VERY INTIRESTING! i sometimes clip mine, sometimes not. never really paid close attention to my hookup ratios but last year i remember a friend and i fishing with bullheads one night and hooked into several really big fish but i just couldnt seem to get a good enough hookset to keep them on. i would always bring the bait back in even though i set the hook almost hard enough to break the line (30lb test!). it blew our minds. after reading this article i am pretty sure them bullheads were extending their spines (had this problem with using channels for bait as well) and preventing a good hookset. the reason i have always heard for clipping them was "the flathead will not eat them if they feel the spines". i have caught flatties before on non-clipped ones so i know that isnt true, but from now on i will ALWAYS clip them!
     
  2. metalman

    metalman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,447
    State:
    IN
    Name:
    Winston
    I always clip them as soon as I catch them before they even go into the bait tank. I've been doing it since getting finned by a feisty bait in the middle of the night...W
     

  3. psychomekanik

    psychomekanik New Member

    Messages:
    2,534
    State:
    Illinois
    good advice, perhaps. but, remember this. a cut or injury from a clipped spine is 10 times worse than that of one not clipped. i had one roll in my hand with a clipped spine. it cut my palm and the clipped spine must hold more of whatever poison they generate in thier spines. my hand swelled up like a softball, and i felt sick at my stomach for quite some time. clip before or not, be careful. that jagged bone will hurt you worse than you can imagine...
     
  4. river scum

    river scum New Member

    Messages:
    3,474
    State:
    hooterville indiana
    dink,if i used bullheads im sure i would clip them also. good post and observation bud!
     
  5. teaysvalleyguy

    teaysvalleyguy New Member

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    9,751
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    GC, OHIO
    Great post Dink, thanks for sharing.
     
  6. metalman

    metalman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,447
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    IN
    Name:
    Winston
    Good advice there Mark...W
     
  7. Pirate Jerry

    Pirate Jerry New Member

    Messages:
    613
    State:
    Yulee Florida
    I use small sea cats for bait and have also noticed the difference between using clipped and non-clipped cats for bait. In salt water I get a lot more hits with the clipped ones. I once fished two identical rigs about 15 feet apart with the only difference being one had clipped bait and the other had full spines and during that trip I got about 30% more pick-ups on the baits that were clipped. I cut the dorsal and the pecs both...:0a26:
     
  8. massa_jorge

    massa_jorge New Member

    Messages:
    2,137
    State:
    TEXAS
    i have caught fish on clipped and unclipped about the same. just out of habit i clip all of the bullheads i use for bait. remember bullheads don't have poison in their spines, it's the bacteria in their slime coat that makes the wound hurt so bad!
     
  9. The J-Man!

    The J-Man! New Member

    Messages:
    321
    State:
    St.Paul, MN
    I have never clipped the spines on bullheads and I use them for bait all the time. I don't know if my hook sets would be more successful, but I and many of my friends have caught many big flatheads without clipping the bait's spines. Just my 2 cents.:big_smile:
     
  10. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat New Member

    Messages:
    4,875
    State:
    Missouri
    Acccording to MDC, and most biologists, most catfish do have venom glands in their fins. This includes the big 3, bullheads, and madtoms among others. They also SPECULATE that the venom is temperature activated, and cold water makes it worse. That immediate throbbing pain, followed by localized swelling is the result of invenomation. Bacterial infection would take a matter of hours to set in.
     
  11. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    Right you are Kat-

    The "venom" is stored in little cells along the bone, and when you get stuck, the cells tear open and release the poison (same way stingray spines work). That may be why a cut off spine wound hurts even worse, those cells are already all tore open.

    The heat thing makes sense, too. The venom from a stingray can be deactivated by heat. I have been stuck a couple of times, and it works - I ran my hand under water so hot that I could not stand it, and it got rid of all of the sting. Catfish venom isn't near as painful as stingray, so unless you get a real bad stick, it might not be worth going for the hot water treatment.
     
  12. massa_jorge

    massa_jorge New Member

    Messages:
    2,137
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    TEXAS
    i always read that stone cats and madtoms had the poison, but not bullheads and the big 3.
     
  13. river scum

    river scum New Member

    Messages:
    3,474
    State:
    hooterville indiana
    kat in hat, do you remember a link to this tidbit of info, please?
     
  14. Pastor E

    Pastor E New Member

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    3,194
    State:
    Beebe AR
    I know one thing they hurt:cry:
     
  15. Sparky Larson

    Sparky Larson New Member

    Messages:
    539
    State:
    Marlette Michigan
    For what it is worth, I just Googled up this myth, by typing in catfish - poison.
    You all might want to read the myths about Catfish.
    Sparky
     
  16. jeremiad

    jeremiad Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,207
    State:
    Virginia
    Sorry, Sparky...I tried this and now I am more confused than I was before! :eek:oooh: Some say "yes," and others "no."

    Maybe this is one for the MythBusters!
     
  17. riverdawg-1

    riverdawg-1 New Member

    Messages:
    738
    State:
    salem, va
    good post I'll try clipping the fins next time i use bulls.
     
  18. Mickey

    Mickey New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,592
    State:
    Illinois
    Mike good information. Thanks for sharing.:smile2:
     
  19. tnkatman

    tnkatman New Member

    Messages:
    846
    State:
    Bluff City, TN
    Thanks for sharing.
     
  20. LafayetteRiverRunner

    LafayetteRiverRunner New Member

    Messages:
    32
    State:
    Indiana
    Remember if you get spined to rub the belly of a cat on the wound. It will reduce the swelling and pain. It works and is not a wifes tale. It has something to do with the bactiria on thier skin