Different Fishing Techniques for Different Fish

By: Daniel Eggertsen

There are three main species of catfish found in the rivers, lakes and streams of the United States - the channel catfish, the blue catfish, and the flathead catfish. For the most part, you go about catching them the same way, but there are some differences in technique between them. If you're going for a certain species of catfish, here are some tips on catching what you want.

Be Careful - Blues and Channel Cats Often Look Alike

Blue and channel catfish are often mistaken for one another. They do look surprisingly alike, and many beginner catfish anglers get them mixed up. The best way to tell the difference is by looking at the fins. Blues have anal fins at the very bottom of the spine that are long and pointy. Channels have more rounded fins in that area. Another way to tell what you've got is that blue catfish rarely have spots. If you see any spots at all, you know you've got a channel cat. Blues usually have bigger and more rounded heads as well. Once you've seen a few channel cats and blues, you'll be able to tell the difference by just looking at them.

Channel Cats

The tastiest catfish by far are channel cats. These fish are caught by private fishermen as well as big commercial enterprises because they are the best eating catfish.

You are most likely to find channel cats in big or medium sized rivers that don't have too much current, small ponds or lakes. Channel cats usually prefer warmer waters than the other species of catfish, especially for spawning. Channel cats usually hang out under logs and other obstructions in the water, and another good place to find them is in the spill out area of a dam.

The best time to catch channel cats is at night, during the summer when the waters are warm. Unlike other species of catfish, it is really tough to catch channels during their spawning season.

Channel cats will go after just about any bait you put out there, but they especially like live bait. Use nightcrawlers, bugs or other fish for best results. They are known to go for just about anything.

Blues

Blue cats are the big boys of the catfish kingdom. You can tell them because of their distinctive color, which is a kind of blue-grey, and also by the indicators mentioned above (the tail fins and overall shape). Blues roam just about any body of water you can imagine, they go out everywhere looking for food, and you can catch them when the water is freezing cold.

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