Female Flathead Catfish and Channel Catfish? Do you ever let them go!

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by Snagged2, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. Snagged2

    Snagged2 New Member

    Verde Valley AZ
    I am looking forward to the "busy" time of catfishing coming up soon,, And, I usually take a few "eating" sized fish for my own consumption,,

    However, this year, I've decided to release ALL females (channels and flatheads) that I can , (Not severly injured)
    I sure don't like butchering the ones carrying all those eggs... So, during the spawn around here,, and it seems quite long,, I plan on only harvesting a few smaller males..
    Anyone else do this??

    Usually, I will release larger fish also, anyway, male or female.

    Think it will make a difference, or matter?
  2. bigcatmaniac

    bigcatmaniac New Member

    California Miss
    I have had this conversation with fishery biologists and they have all told me that the big hogs that we are all out to catch are the older females. I too cpr my big ones but like to keep a few of the smaller ones to eat on through out the year. They also told me that the small fish that we catch that have eggs are generally young females that are in their first couple years of being in the breeding stock. I believe all this information because those guys typically know what they are talkin about. So happy fishin and lets hear some stories about the big ones swimmin away.

  3. shadchucker

    shadchucker New Member

    If they are bigger than my cast iron skilet I will usaually release them. Never really seperated the females from males, but after reading your post I'm reconsidering.
  4. Flamekeeper

    Flamekeeper New Member

    Louisville, Ken
    In the last 12 yrs or better, Out of hundreds I have not kept 1 Flathead that has not been gut hooked bad and bleeding. I just feel that they are neatest, meanest catfish that swims in our waters, that deserves too swim, so we might meet again.All that I catch will go back in..

    One thing to bring to mind is that you can catch a 10lb flat and only get 3 lbs of fillets off of him.They have such a long super wide head and broad rib cage and a belly full of gut's. Its really not any reason to keep them, because the channels and small blues can fill the freezer. IMHO.

    Channels been smoking hot around here, I've been told by freinds..I'm going tomorrow and see what I can come up with. 50lb flathead maybe??:eek:oooh::cool2: That will be nice for the frenzy board.:wink:
  5. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    In my area I would like to see a closed season on flatheads during the spawn, to leave these fish alone.

    The flathead spawn in my area is usually around mid june till mid july, give or take a week or so.
  6. daystarchis

    daystarchis New Member

    Clovis Cali
    I CPR all my fish over 10#.
  7. Dirtdobber

    Dirtdobber Guest Staff Member

    Vian Okla
    We catch enough small blues and channels to eat, so the rest go back unless they are hurt and won't make it. We catch a lot of sand bass, crappie and big perch to finish the freezer off. Also 2-3 big spoonbills.

    Got to save room for 2-3 deer for red meat.
  8. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    I release 100% of all Flatheads and I only keep a few fish per year under 8lbs. (Channels and Blues) unless they are hooked deep and bleeding....but that hasnt happened since switching to King Kahle hooks. I have plenty of fish in the freezer and will not keep anymore until this reserve is gone.:cool2:
  9. 223reload

    223reload New Member

    Yall get out your paddles and ballbats,I keep most every fish I catch,Regaurdless of sex or species,If I am fishing I am there to take fish home,I see no difference between any . I dont normally fish during the spawn tho and this is why.
  10. Trahviiz

    Trahviiz Member

    I don't keep any fatties at all, they're too hard to come by around here in most waters, and the ones where they're more easily caught, they aren't clean to eat.

    I do keep a few channels, mostly 1-3lbs. I can't manage to take a female because I get to thinking of all those eggs that'll be lost.
  11. Snagged2

    Snagged2 New Member

    Verde Valley AZ
    Yea, Hey Folks,
    I wasn't trying to pry open the CPR bucket,, It's pretty well been covered,,,:wink:
    Was just wondering what folks did during the spawn, with pregnant females carrying all those thousands of eggs!!:wink: If anything different,, during that time..
    I'm simply going to return the ones I land that are healthy....during spawn..
  12. slippedcork

    slippedcork New Member

    Marion Co Kentucky
    Your ok in my book, I am always on the hunt for a big one but usually keep the 5 to 10 lbers. Whatever the regulations are is OK with me.
  13. buddyodie

    buddyodie New Member

    I release during the spawn. The rest of the summer and fall I stock the freezer up with only what I know we will eat. The only time I keep fish after the freezer is stocked up is for a couple of elderly neighbors who are not able to get out and catch their own. A guy I work with on the other hand P-sses me off ! He keeps every fish he catches full of eggs or not, big ones small ones any thing he reels in he puts in the freezer. Now I don't have a problem with that, but what p-sses me off about it is he and his family might eat one fish meal a year and come next spring toss out pounds of fish, deer meat, squirrels, you name it. I keep alot of fish, but we eat alot of fish. I kill alot of squirrels, deer and rabbits because we EAT THEM ! Sorry just had to vent. Now to get back on the subject, Yes I believe you should release males and females during the spawn.
  14. river scum

    river scum New Member

    hooterville indiana
    i dont separate males/females i just release all cats over 6# or so. the ones under 6,well, hey i love fish. lol
  15. hct236

    hct236 Well-Known Member

    I turn back most of what I catch until after the spawn, but I don't eat alot of fish anyway, just like to take a few smaller ones for the skillet after they have had time to spawn.
  16. jason berry

    jason berry New Member

    I release all flats and always have, I have never eaten a flathead, I dont eat anything out of the Ohio River. The river in all counties is labeled a 4 or 5 which is the highest for pollution #5 states do not eat the fish ever, #4 states only eat fish once a month if your not at risk population meaning no kids, elderly people, or pregnant women can ever eat the fish. Bluegill and crappie were the only ones not listed. People need to read the new avisories in the fishing rules book this year I didnt know it had got that bad. I only eat fish out of ponds now.