How do cats catch their prey?

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by Larry Beever, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. Larry Beever

    Larry Beever New Member

    Indianapolis Indiana
    Is it by stealth and speed? Or do they move into schools of fish that are unwary of the
    cats intentions allowing him to pick them off
    at will? Does anyone know the facts on this?
  2. Kutter

    Kutter New Member

    Arnold, MO
    Very good question! Wish I knew the answer myself. As far as I have read, they are ambush predators. That would rule out the trying to blend in with a school of baitfish and eating at will. I have also read that they rely mostly on opportunistic situations and take full advantage of baitfish mistakes or weaknesses. Guess most predators are like that though. That is why we clip a bit of tail fin off and/or scrape a few scales off our baitfish. It sends out oils and vibrations to alert catfish of a wounded fish.

  3. jagdoctor1

    jagdoctor1 New Member

    That about sums it up. I can tell you this. Some say they are opportunistic feeders and this is true. However these fish Do Hunt. If you sit still in one spot and it takes all night to catch 3 fish, that tells me they are moving along. Not to mention I've personally seen them cruising the tules and chasing bluegill. I believe it is a fair combination. If they are hungry they probably camp the closest baitfish hangout and wait for one to come into range. If they are really hungry they are going out to find a baitfish that is going to be in range. You need to decide which they are doing at the time you are fishing, and adjust your style to it accordingly.
    You can either hit a bunch of flathead hangouts all night or you can camp a spot you are sure they are going to come looking for dinner.
    P.S. I think it is a good question and more people should post there opinions!
  4. tyrupp

    tyrupp New Member

    I believe they do both,early in the year stealth or ambush what ever you call it,around here in Kansas from about mid march to about mid may.From then on till late september I think speed,I've seen them flat run down bait fish in shallow water,pure speed
  5. metalman

    metalman Well-Known Member

    "How do cats catch their prey?"

    I'm pretty sure they don't use their hands:smile2::wink:

    They are both opportunists and active predators. They have both stealth and speed in abundance and as mentioned can run down just about any fish that comes too close or that they can get close to..W

    JERMSQUIRM New Member

    flatheads from what ive heard on specials and from the guides and such lots of times lay behind boulders and when a werry fish swims by there engulfed. and at night they move around and ambush prey. flatheads from what ive heard and what its worth have the flat tail thats built for power bursts. to blast prey and smash it. then after its stunned they can swollow head first. but there are always circumstances where it will be different.

    channels are more speed fish. hence the forked tail and streamline shape. flatheads lay a lot. channels move most of the time. and the swift forked tail is why when drifting they almost steal your pole and sometimes do. they can chase that bait while your floating. and they speed grab the bait and almost rip the pole off the boat.

    for whats it worth thats what ive accumulated from videos and reading books and articles.:cool2:
  7. Boomer

    Boomer New Member

    Interesting question.......

    I fish below an outlet in a boat there is one deep hole there, I position the boat above it and let my bait drift down, the big blues stay in that hole and I think the purpose is to ambush bait fish from below.....

    I think flats do the same, they will get into heavy brush or timber and ambush crappie and perch.

    I think the smaller catfish arent that way, I think they just take what they can get where ever they find it.
  8. jolie

    jolie New Member

    now here is an interesting study for an interesting question

    it suggests that catfish are more like hounddogs, doggedly following the chemical, electrically, and vibration "tracks" of a fish. I envision the catfish then like a roving hounddog, testing the water for smells, or vibrations of a dieing bait-fish.

    I have seen suckers, slowly moving upstream rooting in the gravel. Perhaps catfish, slowly rove upstream , or work the edge of deep spots- testing the 'current' for prey.

    Neither sitting in the drift waiting for prey, nor hanging outside of schools of baitfish matches my limited experience. If dying fish is what the channels are after; and they are looking for some kind of plume of blood,etc. moderate currents and eddies (which is where I'm catching them).
  9. Larry Beever

    Larry Beever New Member

    Indianapolis Indiana
    I'm on webtv and I think for that reason I'm
    unable to post thanks. I used to be able to
    but after recent changes to this site I no
    longer can.
    After reading the replys so far I really think
    that there are many senarios and different
    tactic that are used. Certainly not just one
    single technique. For a fish that has thrived
    for so long and has become so aboundant I'm
    sure they have several tricks up their sleves
    no matter how the stage is set.
    I'd sure like to know what anyone else has
    observed. Glad I finally asked about this.
    You guys are the greatest!