Thursday, September 2, 2010

Big Whiskers

(Above: Not too shabby catfish. Look at the whiskers on this fish!)



Once upon a blue moon or maybe once a year I leave my humble abode in search of catfish. So many of my fishing tendencies are not easily explained and my seldom yet random catfish quests are a good example of that.

My tactics are not traditional catfish methods either. Rather than stinky catfish baits I simply slow troll a skirted jig with a pork trailer. Sometimes I will spray the jig setup with scented spray but the bottle of “juice” got busted up on one of the last trips. (Yes, I am rough on gear). Not having the juice might have made the difference between one 7-pounder as opposed to maybe a few bigger ones. Hopefully the larger cats have not been removed and I will get another shot next year perhaps.

This fish bounced around a bit on the scale ranging from 7lbs 8oz to 7lbs 3 oz. Of course the camera shutter captures the lowest weight taking my shameless bragging down a skosh. Admittedly the scale is often a buzzkill for me as fish generally look a good deal better than they actually weigh. After so much time spent on the weighing I chose not to get a length.

(Above: The fish is hooked under the gill plate with the point resting safely away from the gills. The screen causes a great deal of reflection so these weigh in shots could be real hit and miss.)

Catfish can be good for a lake in many regards. They take organic matter from the bottom, which helps keep harmful bacteria from getting worse. They can also be population regulators and help other species from overcrowding. Catfish can also harm certain populations as they can scour eggs from a nest in minutes wiping out an entire clutch of brood fish. Catfish will also eat live prey as often as they do anything else making them truly omnivores of the sport fish world. They play an important role in the ecosystem and deserve a lot more respect than what they receive in Colorado by most sport-fishing enthusiasts. The sheer size potential of these whisker-fish is what makes me set aside at least a few days out of the year to battle with these big meows.

My name is Matt and I’m a fishaholic.

13 comments:

Shoreman said...

Another guy with a handy dandy Berkley digital Scale. I think they are calibrated low. "I know that trout was 5 lbs, although the scale only said 3. I'm sure the cat went at least 7lb 8oz. LOL

Mark

Pat Cohen (smalliestalker) said...

nice cat dude...I hooked a bullhead yesterday while carping with the fly rod

Dog Hair in my Coffee said...

Oh and don't forget... they taste really good fried. (I just can't "get" the concept of fishing for SPORT yet. I'm TRYING, Matt, but fish just taste so darn good, all I can think of, looking at that is, "ummm, fried catfish pieces for dinner...don't I wish!" And you weighed him, and threw him back. I think I might feel the same if a very rich person just threw 100 dollar bills out the window, for the "fun" of it.) I'll keep working at this new perception of fishing as sport, but I'm not sure I'm gonna get there. Maybe I should just become a vegetarian?
Well, whatever you caught it for, it's a beauty!

kmurray said...

Great catches! Makes me hungry for catfish fingers though... really hungry!

Coloradocasters said...

Mark...I am sure of that! Scales dissapoint me more than the tight-lipped fish.

DHIMC: just the fact you consider this is huge in my book. Not all fish need to be released at all times. But more released fish is good. My goal is to get the scales balanced a bit more between the take and put back.

The more I get involved with water management and aquatic biology, the more I see the odds so heavily stacked against BIG FISH potential.

troutrageous1 said...

Nice catch. It's rare to see nice cats on the blogs I frequent. A pleasant surprise. Congrats.

Wolfy said...

Good cat. It DOES look bigger than the scale indicates - heavier in the midsection.

I'm not a big fan of Berkley scales

SweetiePea said...

All I can say is here kitty, kitty, kitty. :-D

Ol' Eagle Eyes said...

Hi Matt - Like the other folks have said already, "That is one fine set of whiskers there."

I don't know about the scales doing the fish justice, but, your final video shot holding that guy sure helps us get a perspective of a very good fish.

sage said...

I haven't fished for catfish in years--use to catch them in the rivers of eastern NC. Nice fish!

BeMistified said...

Awesome cat fish. Meow!

9999Cu2y said...

that minnow/fry, i think it's a Mosquito fish and they get their name from their main food source: mosquito larvae

9999Cu2y said...

that fry/minnow, i think it's a mosquito fish and they get their name from their main diet which is very obvious, mosquito larvae.