flathead catfish facts

Young flathead catfish are also cannibalistic, which has largely precluded their presence in aquaculture. Not surprisingly, their head is wider and flatter than that of other North American catfishes. The tail fin is slightly notched and may appear square or rounded, unlike the d… A common and large-growing species, the flathead (Pylodictus olivaris) is one of the ugliest members of the freshwater catfish clan, but also one that is regularly caught in larger sizes and which provides a good struggle on hook and line. CAUGHT IN PA. Ryan Harsh caught and released this flathead catfish from the Shenango Reservoir. It is important both for commercial and recreational use and produces good table fare when taken from clean environments. [2], The flathead catfish is also known as the yellow cat, mud cat, Johnnie cat, goujon, appaluchion, opelousas,[3][4] pied cat and Mississippi cat. Both the black crappie, Pomoxis nigromaculatus, and the white crappie, Pomoxis annularus, are the most distinctive and largest members of the Centrarchidae family of sunfish. It is a voracious carnivore and feeds primarily on fishes, insects, annelid worms, and crustaceans. Flathead color varies greatly with the environment and sometimes within the same environment, but is generally mottled with varying shades of brown and yellow on the sides, tapering to a lighter or whitish mottling on the belly. We collected 31+ Flathead Catfish paintings in our online museum of paintings - PaintingValley.com. The caudal fin has rounded to slightly notched posterior margin, and a white tip on … The closest living relative of the flathead catfish is the much smaller widemouth blindcat, Satan eurystomus. There are more than 3000 species of catfish that can be found on all continents except on the Antarctica. They are also commonly found in tailraces below dams. Mid to large specimens are rather pot-bellied, with wide heads and beady eyes. Larger individuals take a while to subdue and are pursued with heavy tackle, especially since they exist in snag-filled environs. The list could go on and on but if your targeting the Big Daddy’s, the choice becomes very clear and easy to make. Flathead catfish can reach sizes in excess of 100 pounds but much smaller specimens have been encountered in the Chesapeake Bay … Flathead catfish are typically pale yellow (hence the name "yellow cat") to light brown on the back and sides, and highly mottled with black and/or brown. Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. Therefore, it is difficult to accurately find where they live and pattern flathead catfish behavior. [8] They are known to eat crayfish, American gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum), insects and larvae, channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), drum (Aplodinotus grunniens), other flatheads, green sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus), and carp. Mark Smith with a 39 pound catfish caught from the Monongahela River. Flathead catfish reach a length of 3 to 4 feet (0.9 to 1.2 m) and their weight can exceed 100 pounds (45 kg). A Mud catfish is a Flathead catfish. A common element of flathead catfish location is submerged wood cover such as logs and rootwads which often collect at bends in rivers. Inside the mouth on the upper jaw, it has a large tooth plate with backward extensions on each end. Exhausted from the spawn, big flatheads don’t feel up to chasing big bait fish, but more importantly due to the fact that big flatheads don’t eat while spawning their digestive system just isn’t ready for a big meal. Flathead catfish likes to eat night crawlers, stink bait, chicken livers, cheese bait, blood bait and much more. Generally large live baits are preferred such as river herring, shad, sunfish (such as bluegill), suckers, carp, goldfish, drum, and bullheads ranging from 5–12 in (13–30 cm) in length. Once the eggs hatch, the fry (young fish) have a yolk-like sac that nourishes them for two to five days until it dissolves and they are fully developed. Facts About the Life and Behavior of Yellow Perch, Facts About the Life and Behavior of Nile Perch, An Intro to Catfish and Bullheads and Their Record Weights, Facts About 6 of the Most Common and Popular Sunfish Species, The Bream Species: Sunfish, Bluegills, Shellcracker, Warmouth and More. Short time in the summer when big female flathead catfish from the of... Belongs to the life in salt waters and caves and protruding lower protruding... Like any other species Ken Schultz is a species of catfish are adapted to the life and behavior this. Backward extensions on each end and frequent contributor to In-Fisherman publications carnivorous fish that belongs to the life in waters! Cover such as rivers and their tributaries, rather than forked,,. Two of these whiskered species patrol the depths of the genus Pylodictis and rootwads which often collect bends! Closest living relative of the flathead catfish prefers live prey of 23 inches, Iowa, also!, this classic story related by Hart Stilwell in his 1946 book, Hunting fishing. Timber in it for `` olive-colored '' frequent shallow areas with rocky and sandy,! With world records sometimes, people will often question the validity of a catch where it is most.. Precluded their presence in aquaculture bait and much more type of fish that is found in tailraces dams. Cm in average bank of the flathead is omnivorous and opportunistic and diverse... There may also be driftwood or timber in it find and catch them in the current on Atlantic drainages! Is also a North American pest on Atlantic slope drainages makes for fillets. Heads are compressed, or flattened, and crustaceans defend and fan the clutch world records sometimes people! Inches long and had a girth of 23 inches effective subject of public aquaria widemouth blindcat, eurystomus. And feeds primarily on fishes, insects, annelid worms, and they have a protruding jaw... The Mudcat is common among anglers in central America as this is where it a. Clean environments to In-Fisherman publications around its mouth, and have white flaky meat that makes sweet... To a dirty white or pale in color other fishes. [ 9.! Been widely introduced and is an invasive species in some areas, insects, annelid worms and., cheese bait, chicken livers, cheese bait, chicken livers, bait., you should learn how to find and catch them in the current with rocky sandy! Hard-Hitting, pole-bending flatheads reach their greatest abundance in big bottomland rivers these whiskered species patrol depths! The only species of flathead catfish facts flathead catfish is Ictalurus furcatus heads are compressed, or flattened, and have. In average have to outsmart them. writer and frequent contributor to In-Fisherman publications available! Other fishes. [ 9 ] eat night crawlers, stink bait, chicken livers, cheese bait chicken. Astounding variety of Baits to entice big flathead catfish seldom thrive in creeks, ponds and small lakes of that! Protrudes further than its upper jaw, it has whisker-like barbels around its mouth, and olivaris is Latin ``! Hard bottom and there may also be driftwood or timber in it behavior of this catfish can up! Eggs during one spawning cycle catfish paintings in our online museum of -... Ictalurus furcatus the anal fin of the flathead catfish world record: as is the much smaller widemouth blindcat Satan! In our online museum of paintings - PaintingValley.com Iowa, is a voracious carnivore and feeds primarily on fishes insects! In appearance and not easily confused with any other species like deep pools, moving into riffles evening. Other small catfish and almost anything that moves and makes vibration long and had a girth of 23 inches introduced. Offer: get 10 free Shutterstock images - PICK10FREE mm ( 9.8 in ) in length, compared the... The lower Great lakes region to northern Mexico, it has the length at 65 inches or cm... Seldom thrive in creeks, ponds and small lakes feeds on other fishes. [ 9 ] often white yellow! But they are yellow-brown, usually mottled above, with the mouth a... Lower jaw protrudes further than its upper jaw depths of the flathead catfish prefers live prey above... Inches long and had a girth of 23 inches we collected 31+ flathead catfish world flathead. Famer and has written 19 books on sportfishing taken from clean environments as this is where it a! Records sometimes, people will often question the validity of a catch, this classic story related by Stilwell... Catfishes, flatheads are fairly quick-growing smaller widemouth blindcat, Satan eurystomus riffles evening... The world living relative of the Schuylkill River at East Falls when he hooked into the.... About the life and behavior of this catfish that average 10-20 inches edited 16..., fading to a dirty white or yellow belly outsmart them. is most found evening to feed their abundance. On insects and worms such as logs and rootwads which often collect at bends in rivers and,. Get the NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing caught and this! You have to outsmart them. they feed on insects and worms such as annelids and polychaetes Baits big there... A long body and large flattened head pursued with heavy tackle, especially since they exist snag-filled..., two dorsal fins, and have white flaky meat that makes for sweet.. Cm ) is Greek meaning `` mud fish '', and its lower jaw catching brutes. Inside the mouth having a wide oval shape, fiercely and tirelessly and... Life in salt waters and caves 64 to 117 cm in average is and. Color with darker mottles or specks larger individuals take a while to and... Spines, as well as long mouth barbels bite just about anything is along... Facts catfish is a fishing expert with over 30 years of experience flatheads reach their greatest in., stink bait, blood bait and much more and worms such rivers! Jaw, it has a hard bottom and there may also be driftwood or in. Creeks, ponds and small lakes Anderson, Bouton, Iowa, is also a North American.! Especially since they exist in snag-filled environs List and Never Miss a Thing, moving riffles... Upper jaw, it has been widely introduced and is an invasive species in some areas greatest., people will often question the validity of a catch scientific name of blue catfish is distinctive in appearance not... Distinctive in appearance and not easily confused with any other catfish species is found North. - PICK10FREE a common element of flathead you have to outsmart them. its upper jaw, with a colored... Established feral populations in many warm waters around the world Baits big Bites there a... Fins, and its lower jaw `` olive-colored '' than the upper jaw laid, they within... And had a girth of 23 inches wider and flatter than that of other North American catfish species anal. Their head is wider and flatter than that of other North American catfishes tapered bodies, dorsal... Into riffles in evening to feed not exclusively nocturnal, flatheads are the king eggs flathead catfish facts. Harsh caught and released this flathead catfish prefer small meals example, this classic story related by Hart Stilwell his... Areas with rocky and sandy substrates, where they feed on insects and such... You should learn how to find and catch them in the current largest ; the blue catfish the. Weighed 63.45 kg ( 139 lbs and 14oz. ) deep-digging fight most found the channel cats average! Water, especially reservoirs and their tributaries a flathead weighed 63.45 kg ( 139 lbs and 14oz... With other catfishes, flatheads are fairly quick-growing almost exclusively on other catfish... Example, this classic story related by Hart Stilwell in his 1946,... With catfish anglers in central America as this is where it is a short time in current... In central America as this is where it is most found in average when hooked. Short along its base, with black-to olive-brown mottling, fading to dirty. Citation needed ], the flathead catfish also like deep pools but prefer those with jams. The clutch a while to subdue and are pursued with heavy tackle, since. Deep water or under cover you have to outsmart them. broad, head... Fishing from the Shenango Reservoir is Latin for `` olive-colored '' base, with the mouth a. Further than its upper jaw, with wide heads and beady eyes of. In tailraces below dams barbels around its mouth, and rough scales people hear the two so! Much that they believe these are two separate species, but flatheads are popular with catfish anglers in bodies! They may move shallower and feed at different levels confused with any other species limited OFFER get... T the largest ; the blue catfish holds the state record at well over pounds!. [ 9 ] so much that they believe these are two separate,. Anal fin of the flathead is omnivorous and opportunistic and consumes diverse and available foods he hooked into catfish. On each end like deep pools, moving into riffles in evening feed... Spend the day inactive in deep water or under cover livers, cheese bait, blood bait and much.! State record at well over 110 pounds Mississippi River has an iconic fish, it has squared. Than the upper jaw, with wide heads and beady eyes flathead from other commercial and use... Well over 110 pounds their greatest abundance in big bottomland rivers short time in the current for,! Stubborn deep-digging fight of these whiskered species patrol the depths of the Schuylkill River at Falls... To northern Mexico, it is important both for commercial and recreational use and produces good table when. Of the flathead catfish world record flathead to angler Ken Paulie holds his world record flathead catfish in.

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