Catching Saltwater Catfish

By: Daniel Eggertsen

Saltwater catfish look just like freshwater catfish with a white belly and their back and sides are a blue-gray color. However, there is one big difference that you will notice right away if you ever get stuck by one of its fins. Unlike most freshwater catfish you will find that even the slightest prick from a saltwater catfish can be very painful.

If you receive a full stick from one of these fins you can expect pain and swelling to happen right away. Many people even become a little sick to their stomachs when stuck by these fins. There have been many occasions where the person getting stuck by the fin of a saltwater catfish had to go to the hospital for treatment. Therefore, it is important that you always take precaution when handling these fish.

Many people fish for saltwater catfish because they love the taste of this species while others simply fish for the sport of catching them and then will throw them back in the water. They can put up a really big fight that makes catfishing a challenging adventure. Although there are some anglers that feel like they are just too much aggravation to bother with.

Best Places to Find Saltwater Catfish

There are several different types of saltwater catfish that can grow to various length and weights. However, there are two main types of saltwater catfish and they are called the hardhead catfish and the gafftopsail catfish. The average weight of these two saltwater catfish is one to two pounds but some can reach up to three or four pounds.

Both the hardhead and the gafftopsails catfish are abundant along the Atlantic coast from the most southern part of Mexico to as far north as Massachusetts. They can be found in just about any offshore waters that are approximately thirty feet deep and the Gulf of Mexico is definitely filled with this species of fish.

The hardhead catfish are most abundant near sandy bays, muddy waters and in the shallow of coastal waters. The gafftopsails catfish seem to prefer the deeper channels, bays and estuaries that have sandy bottoms with a high organic content. Many anglers have a lot of success fishing from piers, near shore lines and close to reeds because catfish tend to stay in this type of shaded areas.

Tips for Catching Saltwater Catfish

The following tips for catching saltwater catfish can be very useful. First, you need to know that catfish are considered scavengers and they feed along the bottom of the water. Therefore, most any technique that allows you to get near or on the bottom of the water can be very effective. They feed off most anything that is an easy target and that does not move.

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