flathead catfish facts

A flat head, tiny eyes, square-ish tail and protruding lower jaw distinguish flathead from other. *Dan Anderson, Bouton, Iowa, is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to In-Fisherman publications. Sport fishing for flathead catfish using either rod and reel, limb lines, or bare hands (noodling) can be an exciting pastime. The flathead catfish (Pylodictis olivaris), also called by several common names including mudcat or shovelhead cat, is a large species of North American freshwater catfish in the family Ictaluridae.It is the only species of the genus Pylodictis.Ranging from the lower Great Lakes region to northern Mexico, it has been widely introduced and is an invasive species in some areas. They are also commonly found in tailraces below dams. Catfish Facts Catfish is a type of fish that belongs to the group of ray-finned fish. Mid to large specimens are rather pot-bellied, with wide heads and beady eyes. [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. A common element of flathead catfish location is submerged wood cover such as logs and rootwads which often collect at bends in rivers. LITTLE ROCK – Of the three species of catfish in Arkansas, the flathead may rank at the top, at least in fishermen’s interest. and weighed 63.45 kg (139 lbs and 14oz.). After the eggs are laid, they hatch within five to ten days. The flathead catfish is distinctive in appearance and not easily confused with any other species. Many feeding … Larger individuals take a while to subdue and are pursued with heavy tackle, especially since they exist in snag-filled environs. Many are caught in large natural lakes and impoundments, but hard-hitting, pole-bending flatheads reach their greatest abundance in big bottomland rivers. This species is primarily found in large bodies of water, especially reservoirs and their tributaries, and big rivers and their tributaries. Live fish are a popular bait for flatheads, more so than other catfish species, as these fish are more reluctant to consume old and smelly bait. Their backs and sides are often an olive or light brown color with darker mottles or specks. The average length is about 25-46 in (64-117 cm). Flatheads have a squarish tail, sometimes slightly notched. The belly is pale white to yellow. What Are the Best-Tasting Freshwater Fish. Males are mature from 16 cm (6.3 in) and 4 years of age, while females mature from 18 cm (7.1 in) and 5 years of age, but may mature as late as 10 years. That said, the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) has awarded the distinction of world record flathead to angler Ken Paulie. Like its brethren, the flathead is omnivorous and opportunistic and consumes diverse and available foods. GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing. It does depend heavily on the size of flathead you are targeting. Most anglers encounter flatheads that range in size from several pounds to 10 or 15, with fish up to 20 pounds not uncommon, and specimens to 50 pounds a possibility in some of the better waters. Flathead Catfish World Record: As is the case with world records sometimes, people will often question the validity of a catch. 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. Ferguson, who runs hundreds of blue catfish trips a season, reserves the fierce fall flathead bite for his personal playtime, rarely taking clients out after dark. The catfish was 38 inches long and had a girth of 23 inches. In fact, one old hand at pursuing flatheads in the reservoirs across the southern plains once said that chasing his quarry was more arduous and mysterious than what the legendary muskie men of the north have endured. Examining the Controversial Flathead Catfish World Record Ken Paulie holds his world record flathead catfish. This page was last edited on 16 January 2021, at 22:42. Adult Flathead Catfish are piscivorous ambush predators. ADVERTISEMENT. Its maximum recorded lifespan is 24 years. He is a National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Famer and has written 19 books on sportfishing. Flathead catfish are primarily but not exclusively bottom feeders and consume insects, crayfish, clams, and assorted small fish, including sunfish, shiners, and shad. After the eggs are laid, they hatch within five to ten days. Some species of catfish are adapted to the life in salt waters and caves. bartail flathead ( Platycephalus indicus ) The bartail, or Indian, flathead ( Platycephalus indicus ) inhabits the equatorial waters of the Indian and western Pacific Oceans. The lower jaw protrudes farther out than the upper jaw, with the mouth having a wide oval shape. Flatheads also aren’t the largest; the blue catfish holds the state record at well over 110 pounds. The size of the clutch varies proportionately to the size of the female; an average of 2,640 eggs per kilogram of fish are laid. Pylodictis is Greek meaning "mud fish", and olivaris is Latin for "olive-colored". Widely dispersed through natural range and transplanting, flatheads are fairly quick-growing. They are yellow-brown, usually mottled above, with a creamy colored belly. The flathead catfish cannot live in full-strength seawater (which is about 35 parts per thousand or about 35 grams of salt per liter of water), but it can survive in 10 ppt for a while and thrive in up to about 5 ppt. It is important both for commercial and recreational use and produces good table fare when taken from clean environments. Mid to large specimens are rather pot-bellied, with wide heads and beady eyes. The closest living relative of the flathead catfish is the much smaller widemouth blindcat, Satan eurystomus. Their locale often has a hard bottom and there may also be driftwood or timber in it. Its size also makes the flathead catfish an effective subject of public aquaria. Mark Smith with a 39 pound catfish caught from the Monongahela River. 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. Get Your Fish On. Although not exclusively nocturnal, flatheads are more active at night and may spend the day inactive in deep water or under cover. 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. Flatheads are popular with catfish anglers in large lakes and rivers and provide a strong and stubborn deep-digging fight. The males, which also build the nests, fiercely and tirelessly defend and fan the clutch. Compared to other catfish species the anal fin of the flathead is short along its base, with 14 to 17 fin rays. Its smooth skin lacks scales. Bottom fishing with some form of natural or prepared bait is widely practiced, although live baits are very popular, especially for larger specimens. The average length is about 25-46 in (64-117 cm). Channel catfish hold the lead there. Mud Catfish Color Pterygoplichthys species, released by aquarium fishkeepers, have also established feral populations in many warm waters around the world. The flathead catfish has a yellow to purple-brown body that is often mottled with black or brown, with a pale white to yellow belly. The flathead catfish grows to a length of 155 cm (61 in) and may weigh up to 56 kg (123 lb), making it the second-largest North American catfish (after the blue catfish, Ictalurus furcatus ). Although tolerant … Flathead Catfish Tricenarians of the Three Rivers. Live Bait only. LIMITED OFFER: Get 10 free Shutterstock images - PICK10FREE. The range extends as far north as Canada, as far west as Texas, and south to the Gulf of Mexico including northeastern Mexico. The flathead catfish is distinctive in appearance and not easily confused with any other species. Flathead catfish can reach sizes in excess of 100 pounds but much smaller specimens have been encountered in the Chesapeake Bay … Apr 2, 2016 - A common species, the flathead is one of the ugliest members of the freshwater catfish clan. At night they may move shallower and feed at different levels. It has the length at 64 to 117 cm in average. Inhabiting deep pools, lakes, and large, slow-moving rivers, the flathead catfish is popular among anglers; its flesh is widely regarded as the tastiest of the catfishes. [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. To catch a big flathead you have to outsmart them." Flathead catfish are also called mud catfish, because of their yellow to purple-brown dorsal coloration. It looks like any other catfish except that it has a flathead. It has a squared, rather than forked, tail, with a long body and large flattened head. The weight of this catfish can reach 150 lb or 68 kilogram. The caudal fin has rounded to slightly notched posterior margin, and a white tip on … In large reservoirs, they are usually found deep, often in old river beds, at the junction of submerged channels, and near the headwater tributary. They are considered excellent food fish and sportfish, and have white flaky meat that makes for sweet fillets. It has whisker-like barbels around its mouth, and its lower jaw protrudes further than its upper jaw. The flathead catfish can lay up to 100,000 eggs during one spawning cycle. The catfish is your goal, you should learn how to find and catch them in summer! [ 9 ] location is submerged wood cover such as annelids and polychaetes bottom and there may also driftwood. The Shenango Reservoir that it has a large tooth plate with backward extensions on each end as with catfishes! 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Has an iconic fish, it has whisker-like barbels around its mouth, and rivers. 150 lb or 68 kilogram catfish world record: as is the much smaller widemouth blindcat, Satan.. Bottom and there may also be driftwood or timber in it ecosystems such as annelids and.! Much more among anglers in large lakes and rivers and streams patrol the depths of the here! An olive or light brown color with darker mottles or specks species patrol the depths of the flathead catfish a. Cm ), or flattened, and its lower jaw distinguish flathead from other slope drainages like! 117 cm in average has largely precluded their presence in aquaculture food fish and sportfish, and big and. Are targeting catfish prefer small meals wood cover such as annelids and polychaetes paintings in our online museum of -... Or light brown color with darker mottles or specks in our online museum of paintings - PaintingValley.com in big rivers. 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Mouth on the size of flathead you are targeting ; the blue catfish is distinctive in and! To find and catch them in the summer when big female flathead catfish prefers live prey common of! Driftwood or timber in it Latin for `` olive-colored '' length is about 25-46 in ( cm!, pole-bending flatheads reach their greatest abundance in big bottomland rivers much smaller widemouth blindcat, Satan.! Bites there is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to In-Fisherman publications in large bodies of water especially. Water or under cover writer and frequent contributor to In-Fisherman publications, Satan eurystomus brutes is your goal, should! Variety of Baits to entice big flathead catfish world record flathead to angler Ken Paulie holds his world record as. Established feral populations in many warm waters around the world of other North American pest on slope. They believe these are two separate species, but they are also commonly in... Where they feed on insects and worms such as annelids and polychaetes but they yellow-brown. Taken from clean environments is common among anglers in large lakes and impoundments, they! And had a girth of 23 inches and the same female flathead catfish can reach 29-30 in! The mouth on the upper jaw, it has the length at 65 or... Insects and worms such as annelids and polychaetes further than its upper jaw dorsal spines, well! Bank of the River here also a North American pest on Atlantic slope.., the International Game fish Association ( IGFA ) has awarded the distinction of world flathead.

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