Telling a catfish's age

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by iceman, Jun 30, 2007.

  1. iceman

    iceman New Member

    Messages:
    164
    State:
    Walterboro S.C
    I have looked around the net to find out how fast catfish brow. didn't find much on it so i came here cause i know the people here are the smartest on the subject! Can anyone tell me how much different catfish grow? flatties, channels, and blues are the norm. any help would be apprecated.



    GARY:wink:
     
  2. CJ21

    CJ21 New Member

    Messages:
    4,303
    State:
    Montgomery, Alabama
    I am not sure how u would tell a catfish age.
     

  3. arkrivercatman

    arkrivercatman New Member

    Messages:
    4,472
    State:
    KS
    I once read a article on Flatheads and it stated that biologists tell a fish age a lot similar to how a tree is aged. They cut the the top(pectoral?)fin and look at the bottom of it counting the rings.Not sure on the rings/year ratio.
     
  4. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Check the number of candles on its birthday cake? Seriously, the method I've always heard of for checking the age of any fish is to count the rings in the otolith (ear) bone. Here's a link to learn about it in more detail:

    http://www.marinebiodiversity.ca/otolith/english/home.htm
     
  5. jason454ci

    jason454ci Active Member

    Messages:
    1,307
    State:
    Zanesville, Ohi
    There is only one true way to tell a catfish's age. That is the way Jerry mentioned, cutting the otolith. There is no real way to tell how much they grow. Different environments changes the growth rate. So there is really no way to compare size to age.
     
  6. Pfunk

    Pfunk New Member

    Messages:
    141
    State:
    Lake Fork - Texas
    Is there not a way to estimate how old a catfish is without cutting em up?
    I would think just the size alone would be enough to come up with a rough estimate. :confused2:
     
  7. tbull

    tbull New Member

    Messages:
    3,318
    State:
    SW Ohio
    Most of the time I see a 30 to 40 lb flat, I am hearing that fish is 20 to 30 years old???Maybe there is something to size, but I have to agree with previous poster that size will definalty be determined by enviornment..
     
  8. crmule

    crmule New Member

    Messages:
    145
    State:
    Orange City Florida
    I go by taste .The better they taste the younger they are.
    I don't even try any thing over 12" long too old.
    crmule
     
  9. cumberlandcat

    cumberlandcat New Member

    Messages:
    1,161
    State:
    Tennessee
    I have read that catfishes age very from body of water, climate and abundance of food. So I wouldn't think u could put an age of a fish by his or her size. If you think about a river system say up in Minnesota where I lived for a while the cats don't get very big for starters and the water never gets as warm as for say TN. And the food sources are different we had big schools of shad swimming around that they can munch on all the time, where in MN they don't have shad or huge abundances of bait like the south so they don't get as big due to amount of time they spend taking it easy when there is ice on and the food source is a bit smaller. At least this is what I think I may be wrong but its what I have been reading.
     
  10. CatAngler

    CatAngler New Member

    Messages:
    312
    State:
    Omaha NE
    It would be kind of cool if there was a rule of thumb a guy could go by to get close. But like previously stated, there's too many variables.



    J
     
  11. Quint

    Quint New Member

    Messages:
    293
    State:
    N.C.
    As jtrew stated the otolith bone is how catfish are aged. However the age of big fish can be very surprising, I know that a friend of mine fish a 92.28lb blue was aged by the otolith bone turned out to be between 10 and 11 years old. Some suggest growth rates are strongly related to genetics, like in humans and other living organisms. On bodies of water where catfish growth rates and age have been studied, one can take the info from the study along with the length and weight of their fish and compare to the average findings. And get an average age based on the study or studies, with out killing the fish. Waters where commercial catches have been studied provide the most accurate findings, based on the overall numbers and the numbers of different size fish sampled.
     
  12. baptistpreach

    baptistpreach New Member

    Messages:
    415
    State:
    Oklahoma!
    I'm shocked to hear this question!

    A true gentleman never asks!:roll_eyes:
     
  13. brinley45cal

    brinley45cal Active Member

    Messages:
    2,606
    State:
    kentucky
    well maybe if you asked nicely it would tell you.seems like a simple way to me lol.I know those channel cats can chatter pretty mean once you get them out of the water.:big_smile:
     
  14. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,175
    State:
    NC
    "...Can anyone tell me how much different catfish grow? ...'

    Short answer, NO.

    The long answer depends on the forage base, competition for food, water temperature, and several other factors.

    The broad range is 1-6 pounds per year, so using weight to guess age is useless.