Keeping catfish alive?

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by kycatman84, Apr 2, 2007.

  1. kycatman84

    kycatman84 New Member

    just wondering the best way to keep em alve to bring home to stock in a pond? do you put them in a cooler with a bubble box on? do you put them on a stringer? whats the best way to put them on a stringer, through the geils or shove it through there bottem lip? thanks...
  2. Dreadnaught

    Dreadnaught New Member

    Stringers are a No-No if you want to keep them alive. I would sugjest a large livewell or a very large cooler with a good airration system and, get them to the place as quick as possible to insure their survival!!!
    PS. Check the state regulations on transporting fish and/or stocking regulations!!!

  3. Biscuit

    Biscuit New Member

    i would usse a 120 quart cooler with maybe 2 bubble boxes, do not use stringer...
  4. neocats

    neocats New Member

    If you have no other option other than a stringer, make sure to run it through their bottom lip. Not the gills.
    Best ways is still large aerated box and transport as soon as possible. As mentioned before, this may be illegal in some places.
  5. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Good point Jeff. You can damage the gills if you run it through the gill slit. Push it through their jaw right behind the bottom lip. The hole will heal up and there is very little blood.

    Catfish are very tough fish. If you freshen the water up before you leave, and if your drive is not that far, they can live for hours.
  6. katman#1

    katman#1 New Member

    South Carolina
    a large cooler or a large livewell works but i remember along time ago my dad and uncle use to bring giant catfish from santee in a large cooler with no water they would be wrapped in wet clothes and took to the pond an held in the spillway to they recovered enough to swim off as far as i can remember they never lost one that pond still has 20-30lbs bluecats in it the drive was about a hour an a half to the pond​
  7. ravenloft420

    ravenloft420 New Member

    he is right catfish are "tough as the dickens" they are even hardier than carp from what I have seen. heck when I was a kid we caught a couple channels and threw them in a 5 gallon bucket. there tail were stickin out and kept thrashin so after about an hour and a half of driving I finally told my dad lets find the nearest bridge and let them go in the river. I felt sorry for them and he said ya I was thinking the same thing,we can just go get some fresh catfish nuggets from the store and fry them up. they were still very active when we let them go. if they have plenty of room to breathe im sure they could last even longer in decent health.
  8. superman

    superman New Member

    DeSoto MO
    everyone else has said most of what i would suggest the only thing i can add is to use a water treatment for fish tanks it helps by adding to ther slime coat wich is a big help for keeping them alive i do not go fishing with out it a friend of mine who does bass tournys suggested it to me and it really does help with keeping fish alive
  9. crusinman2002

    crusinman2002 New Member

    Mukwonago, Wisconsin
    so long as they can breath they will be alright... if u are doing stocking, i would start with some smaller fish as to not kill the rest of the fish in the pond, if u put a couple of giants in there, all the fish they feed on will be gone after a while, then u have another problem... if u start with some fish in the 2 to 3 pound range, then the pond and the fish will adapt to it over time, and the bluegill and sunfish, and minnows will all start producing larger numbers, but it won't work that way if u start off any bigger with the cats... another thing i would do is stock the pond with like 1000 minnows and give them a bit of time, and then u would be in real good shape as the cats will have plenty of food to eat. to save money, i would trap the minnows.
  10. onlyriverfish

    onlyriverfish Member

    John, They dont make them coolers big enough man:cool2:!

    Its a good question and topic.
    Couple of things though that I do use and one is my aluminum side box. Its 5ft long and about 16 inches wide and same deep. When needed I just unload the gear and fill. Worked a few times.

    Another is a "leaf basket" I found at the big box store. Comes about the size of a cereal box and opens to hold about 25 gallons.When ya need it just unpack and fit the metal ring around rim and fill. Not strong enough for a car or moving them in. Id like to find a bigger-stronger one that folds compact as the idea is a good one.

    The fish needs to have zero weight on its bellie by floating. Also time of year sure makes a diff. as heat of summer depleats oxygen and need to refresh often.
  11. CJ21

    CJ21 New Member

    Montgomery, Alabama
    Dont use Stringers they are for when u wont keep a few cats for dinner, Get u a big cooler to keep the cats alive. but u wont to use the water they came out of.
  12. madmatt010

    madmatt010 New Member

    ohio, dayton
    I used to take cats from the local pay lake and bring them back to my gravel pit to help control the bluegill population. i went and got a 275 gallon container got from a company that sold used skids and barrels. it is made out of a white plastic and has a metal skid with a 2in ball valve for easy draining. i cut the top off (keept it for a lid thu) and put a 1000 gph bilge pump and ran a spray bar across the top works great keep a bunch of fish in it. i had almost 25 channel cats in it
  13. Sparky Larson

    Sparky Larson New Member

    Marlette Michigan
    I see on this site some folks say don't use a stringer! ( I'm not sure why), but this is what I do. I catch alot of channels in a local river and put them in ponds near my home. When I catch them, I put them on a safety pin stringer by punching a hole in the lower jaw, making sure not to hit the tongue. When I get ready to go, I put them in a 52 qt. cooler with a 2 qt. plastic bottle of ice. I drive anywhere from 40min. to an hour, and have never lost a fish. I don't know if this is the right thing/way to do it, but it works for me.