How to pick up a trophy flathead catfish for a picture.

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by flathunter, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    drpepper gave me the idea for a new thread, something I had not thought much about, but something I was carefull of.

    If you dont intend to release the fish, then read no farther.

    I am not an expert in fish biology, but I have handled quite a nice flatheads over the years.

    I know it works, on most of the fish I release because I have caught the same big fish several times.

    Again this if for big fish.

    Please dont pick them up by the gills, they are probably good as dead if you do this.

    What I do is put one hand in the lower mouth and partially raise the fish up, then I slide my other hand under it's belly and hold it up with both hands supporting it's weight.

    Like in my avitar...I have held a few big fish with both hands in the lower mouth, but dont like to do it this way, on fish above 40-lbs.

    I feel that they would survive, but I had a friend do this once, and you could hear the bone breaking in the jaw.

    Just a tip, and something I do without thinking much about it, but I would never pick a big fish up by the gills.
     
  2. LOWCOUNTRY CATMAN

    LOWCOUNTRY CATMAN New Member

    Messages:
    517
    State:
    sc
    Definately a good thread here Flatfish.In saltwater fishing they always discuss how to handle redfish when holding and releasing.This is very informative and important to handle the big fish with care.Reps to you for this one,thanks.
     

  3. stumpjumper

    stumpjumper New Member

    Messages:
    1,492
    State:
    Dallas, GA
    Great idea Jack. You are absolutely right about the gills. Thanks for sharing
     
  4. Rich.Carpenter

    Rich.Carpenter New Member

    Messages:
    135
    State:
    Indiana
    I've personally never caught a cat big enough that I couldn't grab around it with two hands. So, I'll go ahead and ask the newbie question. Everyone feel free to laugh and poke fun. I've heard of people getting "chomped on" by catfish. Do they actually not bite with any force, or is the problem simply eliminated by hanging onto the lower jaw?
     
  5. Shimano_cat

    Shimano_cat New Member

    Messages:
    261
    State:
    North Caro
    Great post, I think this goes for the blues and any other big catfish. I've always held the fish by the lower jaw and supported it underneath. The Blue in my Avitar looks pretty comfy!
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2009
  6. lforet2002

    lforet2002 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,534
    State:
    Tennessee
    I hold my big fish like in my avatar..Arm under belly and grab the pectoral fin then other arm over to support the tail.
     
  7. Jollymon

    Jollymon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,623
    State:
    Wilm .N.C
    Jack that is not something i had thought about ,but then i have only caught 1 big one yet ,but i am glad u posted that info .I will know the best way to lift a big'un when, an if ,that time comes :wink::smile2:
     
  8. Flamekeeper

    Flamekeeper New Member

    Messages:
    2,314
    State:
    Louisville, Ken
    :smile2::smile2::smile2: Somebody LIED!:eek:oooh:
    DON'T DO IT!,,,DON'T DO IT!!


    I've had more HIDE stripped off my hands by them BIG Flatheads and Blues to make a fine set of Boots.:smile2: and all I was left with was fresh white, fatty meat tissue and Blood pouring off my hands too CHUM WITH!.:eek:oooh: :crazy:

    They will chomp/Lock down on your forearm/hand and turn and Jerk Like a Pit Bull hanging from a knot on rope,:crazy::eek:oooh: your lucky to have any finger-prints on your palms when they get do with ya!:eek:oooh::crazy:
     
  9. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio


    I remember a few years ago when I reached down in the water and got a good grip on the jaw of a 40-lb flathead.

    The fish decided to roll at that time, and I actually thought that I broke my wrist!

    I could not let go fast enought.

    I am now a whimp, and use a net.
     
  10. Rich.Carpenter

    Rich.Carpenter New Member

    Messages:
    135
    State:
    Indiana
    Lol! Gotta hand it to ya, Kenny. Normally when someone might kid me that hard, I at least walk away with the answer to my dumb question. You've still got me guessing. :confused2::smile2:

    Who's next? :smile2:
     
  11. Rich.Carpenter

    Rich.Carpenter New Member

    Messages:
    135
    State:
    Indiana
    I don't see a net in your avatar pic. Awesome fish, by the way. :big_smile:
     
  12. trctrdr

    trctrdr New Member

    Messages:
    81
    State:
    Ohio
    Thanks for the info, I have had ten pound channels bite down pretty hard on my hand so when the time comes (if I ever catch a really big un) I think I'll use the net.
     
  13. Mickey

    Mickey New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,592
    State:
    Illinois
    Good info Jack. thanks for sharing with the brotherhood. I would apply that to blues and large channels also.
     
  14. Flamekeeper

    Flamekeeper New Member

    Messages:
    2,314
    State:
    Louisville, Ken
    I am not Kidd'en at all!!,Bro..:eek:oooh: Them babies can bite hard,,It ain't the bite that gets ya ,Its the twisting and turning and jerking around they do, and them rolls of shark like hooked teeth will just tear you up.:crazy: I will not lie to you(even though I am a fisherman) :crazy::crazy:
     
  15. Shimano_cat

    Shimano_cat New Member

    Messages:
    261
    State:
    North Caro
    I'm somewhat of a whimp as well--LOL. I use the net to land them, then put on the mechanix gloves to handle them once I get them in the boat.
     
  16. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    Thats a very good way to hold them.
     
  17. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    Messages:
    3,070
    State:
    Kentucky
    Good thread Jack....very good advice!:big_smile:
     
  18. Rich.Carpenter

    Rich.Carpenter New Member

    Messages:
    135
    State:
    Indiana
    How do you keep from getting the ol' Steve Irwin treatment - a spike to the chest?
     
  19. RPnKC

    RPnKC New Member

    Messages:
    399
    State:
    Kansas
    When you hold them against your chest, you're heartbeat calms them down....like a mother holding her baby.:wink:
     
  20. Iowa_Josh

    Iowa_Josh New Member

    Messages:
    1,463
    State:
    Central Iowa
    You guys are killin the thread. I assume it matters how you catch the fish. If it's on a limb line it isn't gonna be tired out like it would be on a rod/reel.

    How I visualize the proper grab is two hands on/in the top of the mouth to get them out of the water, on the bank or in the boat. They haven't bitten me when I've done this but I haven't done it 100 times so chime in. Then, when you do a photo, hold them two arms under like a greased pig.

    If you hold em up by the gills, everyone knows you are a noob who doesn't know much about catfish. Jack has exposed you all.


    Channel cats have more crushing power than flatheads do. Usually they can concentrate it all on a thumb so it is more effective. You can bring a glove along to wear.

    Thanks to Jack for bringing this up. It's been bothering me seeing all of the pictures of fish hanging by the gills. If you're going to CPR them, do everything you can to help them live.