Whole Mussels in Catfish stomaches

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by WylieCat, May 31, 2006.

  1. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,175
    State:
    NC
    My mom wanted to cook some catfish so I brought here home four 3-4 pound blues from the lake today. After filleting them I slit their stomachs open to see where they have been feeding on. Each of them had 5-6 whole mussels in their digestive tract.

    Do the catfish digest the entire mussel shell or are the shells regurgitated at some point?
     
  2. I kind of wondered myself. I've caught several blues that rattled when you shook them :lol: . I hope they get spit them out otherwise it might not be pleasant the other way around:eek:oooh: .
     

  3. Dragger

    Dragger New Member

    Messages:
    538
    State:
    North Carolina
    Warrior, Actually they do expell them through the read-end, but not in the usual way, they actually push their bowells inside-out to rid the shells,it is a slow process and it takes a little while for them to do this. I have caugh blues when this process was almost finished,and their rectume was very swollen from it . it will be very red , you may think something is wrong with the fish....... hope this helps....steve
     
  4. vlparrish

    vlparrish New Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    State:
    Bedford, Kentucky
    I regularly catch blues with mussels in their digestive track. Mostly zebra mussels which are small. Sometimes they have had them in there for a while and they have turned to mush. I'm pretty sure the acid in their stomach will disolve the shells, even on the large mussels. Vern
     
  5. catseeman

    catseeman New Member

    Messages:
    1,189
    State:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    They may need the calcium from the shells in their diet.
     
  6. CATCANDO

    CATCANDO New Member

    Messages:
    28
    State:
    Missouri
    I filled my livewell this week with blues and when I drained it it was full of the shells. There were probably 40-50 shells in there the biggest one was 1/2 inch. I guess blues must like them I wonder if I should use them for bait??
     
  7. Acording to reading that I've done back when mussels were harvested for their shells old river catters would use soured mussel meat to bait up trotlines, hoop nets and baskets. I imagine it would be a deadly bait for blues if it were legal. In most states native mussels are protected with many of them falling under federal statutes. Here in Alabama only the asiatic clam corbicula can be used for bait and then may only be gathered by hand or small dip net. This is the small round one that is common and I've used them very successfully on bream of all types but the mussel is so small that it is only a bream sized portion.
    As to how they pass the shell I don't even want to think about it. To blues it must be like eating my chili. Tastes great but it comes back to get you in the end :eek:oooh:
     
  8. Taliesin

    Taliesin New Member

    Messages:
    680
    State:
    Missouri
    There are several regulations about using mussels for bait in Missouri, but if you follow them it can be done. There is a lake just a short drive from my house that I haven't had much luck at (used shad, chubs, 'gills, stinkbait, liver, 'crawlers). Only catfish (non-bullhead) I caught was a 6# channel on mussel one night.
     
  9. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    I've known people who had very good success drift fishing over mussell beds, even though they weren't baiting with mussells.
     
  10. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    To set the record straight the blues eat mussels,clam etc and the digestive juices in their stomachs disolves the membrane holding the shell closed,at which time those juices dissolve the meat also. they then pass the shell out the rear end by distending their bowels as DRAGGER describes.It is a slow process and doesn't seem to bother the fish any.Mussel meat and clam meat is an excellent bait.In the summer time when the water temp gets hot many of the clams and mussels die and float free.You can see them in the diversion canal at Santee.Pry the shell open and add the meat to your bait.During the winter the Blues at Santee feed often on the clam beds because they can gorge with a minimium of effort all winter.:smile2:
     
  11. michiganwhitetailRLM

    michiganwhitetailRLM New Member

    Messages:
    252
    State:
    MI
    just When I Thought Ive Heard It All! I Live In Southeastern Michigan. The Last Couple Of Years Weve Been Swarmed With Zebra Mussel. Ive Yet To See Them Inside The Fish. Maybe The Slow Start This Year For Us Could Be Because There Feeding On These Things. Boc Is So Cool, I Learn Something New Everytime I Log On!! Rick
     
  12. David Knotts

    David Knotts New Member

    Messages:
    2,569
    State:
    Bossier City, La
    I aint never caught a cat with a mussel in it, but I did catch one one time with a turtle in it, the turtle was about5 inches long, the cat was about 5 pounds. You never know whats inside of an ole cat.lol
     
  13. curdog

    curdog New Member

    Messages:
    896
    State:
    Sheridan, Arkansas
    I guess a catfish will eat just about anything. When I clean catfish I look in there stomachs to see what thay been eating. I havn't found any mussels yet.
    A friend of mine caught one on a piece of roast beef sandwich.
     
  14. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,175
    State:
    NC
    I drained the live well yesterday and found three mussel shells in it. LOL! But I still don't know which end they came out of!!!