Holding a flathead catfish?

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by LadyValea1, Jan 11, 2007.

  1. LadyValea1

    LadyValea1 New Member

    Messages:
    149
    State:
    Fort Worth, Tex
    well..I was watching this show called "The Bite" and when they catch large grouppers they would hold them by the gill area? and then I see some people holding large flatties by the gill? Is this a safe way to hold the fish? I thought it would damage the fish? and is it safe ie. spines spikes? in the gill area? no bloody fingers?

    or how do you hold a fish by the gills?
     
  2. TDawgNOk

    TDawgNOk Gathering Monitor (Instigator)

    Messages:
    3,365
    State:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Tina,

    Any time you mess with the gills of a fish, you are basically suffocating it to death. If you are gonna eat it, by all means, hold them by the gills. If you are going to release it, please don't.
     

  3. slimepig

    slimepig New Member

    Messages:
    666
    State:
    Kerrville Texas
    a large flat i just grab inside their lower jaw with 4 fingers. smaller cats i use my index and pinky fingers and grab the side fins from under the belly.
     
  4. trnsmsn

    trnsmsn New Member

    Messages:
    1,214
    State:
    Missouri Originally Now I
    I hold'em by the lips, if you don't wish to do so, use a "lipper gripper". Damage to the gill area is a sure death:wink:
     
  5. thegavel

    thegavel New Member

    Messages:
    1,317
    State:
    West Des Moines, Iowa
    Please do not try to hold a channel cat by the lips.... it makes a mess... trust me I learned the hard way by accident a few times!
     
  6. F150Catfish

    F150Catfish New Member

    Messages:
    369
    State:
    Wisconsin
    I do holding flathead by lip...
     
  7. Pylodictis Olivaris

    Pylodictis Olivaris New Member

    Messages:
    257
    State:
    Iowa
    They have already got that big ol' mouth and lower lip.... might as well use it as a "handle".
     
  8. catmanofohio

    catmanofohio New Member

    Messages:
    639
    State:
    Aberdeen (Southern Ohio)
    i hold all cats by the lips.. until i take the hook out. then its usually underneath them, around the girth and hold under their "horns" and never pick them up by the gills or the horns.. DEATH! if u do.. i learned that from a guy when i went to pick up a 70+ flat outta his... well yeah Pay-Pond* it was a good friend of ours and he didnt get mad just warned me about doing that..
     
  9. LadyValea1

    LadyValea1 New Member

    Messages:
    149
    State:
    Fort Worth, Tex
    what do you mean by Horns?

    I mean ....on the fishing show...they hold the big groupers by the gills and support the tail end with the other hand.. and then they release the big fish...
     
  10. bilyjojimbob

    bilyjojimbob New Member

    Messages:
    227
    State:
    North Carolina
    always by the lips. thats the way i was taught. espacially if your going to release the fish. you catching and releasing him or her should not affect them at all. if so, you shouldnt release it.
     
  11. Pennsylvaniacatchaser

    Pennsylvaniacatchaser Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,359
    State:
    Sarver, Pa
    Hi Tina! - I always hold Flatheads by the lower jaw. On smaller size fish i put my thumb in the mouth and rest of fingers on the outside. On larger size Flatties I use both hands and put all 8 fingers in the mouth and the 2 thumbs on the outside. Now them Flatties will clamp down on your fingers sometimes so you may want to put on a pair of gloves first. With Channel Cats they always clamp down on your fingers so definetly use gloves or one of them boga grips.
     
  12. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    Val, when they say horns they mean the spines on the dorsal and pectoral fins. If you have handled a catfish or two you know what they mean.lol
    I hold all my flatheads by the lower jaw. You do have to be careful though, because if you don't hold on tight and they can jerk their heads and cut your fingers with the back plate on the lower jaw, its sharp as glass. When you grip one in this manner keep a strong fist. Flatheads do not bite hard at all, even 50 or 60 pounders. They might bite down on your hand but it doesn't hurt, its just pressure. A 10lb channel cat will bite harder than a 50lb flathead.
     
  13. MattShannon

    MattShannon New Member

    Messages:
    829
    State:
    WV
    In addition with the bigger flatheads, the spines grow over; therefore, they won't prick you. They're used as defense when they're small, and grow over when they don't need them anymore. I haven't caught a real big channel yet, so I'm not sure if it's the same for them too.
     
  14. catmanofohio

    catmanofohio New Member

    Messages:
    639
    State:
    Aberdeen (Southern Ohio)
    in my opinion... blues bite is the worst out of the catfish.. esp the small blues.. (i have yet to catch one over 10 lbs) so i wouldnt know... but thats just my opinion.. then channels, then the flatties..
     
  15. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    Well, I guess I'll be the first to admit that I sometimes hold a fish by the gills: NOT BY THE GILL FILAMENTS, but by the hard edge of the gill cover, and I bet that's what you see people doing with the grouper.

    Basically, the sensitive part of the gills is the frilly red gill filaments where the gas exchange occurs - these are very delicate and full of blood. The lower edge of the gill cover is quite strong and if a person is very careful to hold just to the edge and not get their fingers into the filaments (or the gill rakers - the hard bony edges of the gill filaments - OUCH!) and not hold them that way for long, then no harm is done to the fish.

    There's a lot of if's and and's there, aren't there? I think a lot of pepple are told not to hold a fish anywhere near the gills just to make sure they don't do it wrong. Plus, some fish (striped bass, snook, etc) have very sharp edges to the gill cover that will cut you.
     
  16. CJ21

    CJ21 New Member

    Messages:
    4,303
    State:
    Montgomery, Alabama
    Please dont hold them by the gills, hold them by the side or by the lip.