The Gafftopsail Sea Catfish

Discussion in 'Salt Water Fishing' started by Ace, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. Ace

    Ace New Member

    Messages:
    881
    State:
    Gastonia N
    The Gafftopsail Catfish are found from Mid-Atlantic to South America including the entire Gulf of Mexico.The Gafftopsail reach a size of 42 inches average weight 15lbs.They are found inshore to water 100 feet deep.These catfish incubate their eggs and young inside their mouths.They occur largely in water 15 feet to 75feet in depth in open water, bays,and sand flats in the summer. They feed on live prey.They will readily take a variety of bait and prefer to feed at night though will feed during daylight.How to catch these fish, simply cast a live minnow or pinfish on a carolina rig into the surf or bay at night.They are excellent fish to eat.The spines on the side dorsal fins are very sharp and slightly venomous as fresh water catfish.

    :006:

    :cat:
     
  2. Gator

    Gator New Member

    Messages:
    1,116
    State:
    Ludowici GA
    They are some fun to catch also.
     

  3. Dragger

    Dragger New Member

    Messages:
    538
    State:
    North Carolina
    hybrid........... thats what it looks to me , ( a blue/ flathead cross ) but i cant figure where the dorsil fin comes from. ill have to think about this one. a real good post Ace, keep the good stuff coming........:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
     
  4. Duane

    Duane New Member

    Messages:
    160
    State:
    Louisiana
    hey bud down here in Louisiana those things are as common as Budweiser beer ,some people dont eat them but let me tell you they are some of the best eatin fish out there granted the slime they carry gets everywhere .boat rod ,reel but once you fillet them they eat as good as any other cat but stay away from the hardheads another type of saltwater dcatfish there are only two saltwater species gafftopsail and hArdheads
     
  5. rebcatman

    rebcatman New Member

    Messages:
    555
    State:
    Manassas, Virginia
    We called 'em "sail cats" and caught plenty of them along with the normal looking saltwater catfish. They always seemed to bite best after a storm roughed up the water a bunch.
     
  6. bigfish

    bigfish New Member

    Messages:
    432
    State:
    Dunbar WV.
    thats a neat lookin catfish. the only problem i would have with them is they only get about 15#.
     
  7. Jamey

    Jamey New Member

    Messages:
    138
    State:
    Pegram, Tennessee
    If their average weight is 15 pounds, I guess I'm well below average. :sad:

    The last time I fished the gulf I caught a decent one (4-5lbs), but at the time, I lumped topsails and hardheads in the same category. Since that time, I've heard they're actually pretty tasty, so I plan on trying one the next time I hit the surf.

    To catch a 15 pounder though, would be the bee's knees!

    One more thing, watch those spines. The pain that comes afterwards is enough to make commercial fishermen faint.. :crying:
     
  8. cook

    cook New Member

    Messages:
    1,494
    State:
    Plattsburg,Mo.(near K.C.)
    Ditto,I've never even caught one 5#,and I caught plenty.Guess I got some big ones comming my way to make the average. :)
     
  9. Texas_Select

    Texas_Select New Member

    Messages:
    128
    State:
    TX
    Ace: Do they get that big in the NC surf?

    Texas state record is a little over 13 lbs set back in the early eighties I believe. We fish at the brazos river cut where it meets the gulf of mexico on bryan beach to catch some of the bigger gafftops in my area. We use squid or cutbait and fish deep. The average size in that cut is 6 lbs with a few between 7 and 9 pounds.

    Wish I could hook a 15lber here and get a new state record!!
     
  10. slimepig

    slimepig New Member

    Messages:
    666
    State:
    Kerrville Texas
    lol dont waste live bait on em. if they are in the area, youll catch all you want on dead shrimp.
     
  11. Ace

    Ace New Member

    Messages:
    881
    State:
    Gastonia N
    I am sorry Guys on the misinformation on the weight of the Gafftopasil catfish it should have been 1 to 5 lbs not 15 lbs I left the {to} off.
     
  12. scout

    scout Member

    Messages:
    766
    State:
    Louisiana
    We sometimes go catch some Gafftops at the mouth of the Gulf. They have a very cool skull bone. I take all the meat off that I can and boil off the rest. I for one do not like to eat them. The meat has a very strong flavor. I give the fillets to a friend who does enjoy them. I have included a few pics of what they look like. The fish in the ice chest also include channel cats and redfish.
     

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  13. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    I can vouch for the fact that they have some of the sharpest spines of any catfish I've seen. I managed to bury pectoral spine of a 1-1/2 lb as deep as it could go into my inner thigh, while fishing is rough surf, the boat took a sudden lurch..... Anyway, I couldn't get the leverage I needed to pull it out (after I verified that it didn't puncture any real important parts), and had to get my partner to pull it out of my leg. Very painful, to say the least.