The largest catfish in the southeastern states of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina is the blue catfish. A close second as far as size is concerned is the flathead catfish. Anglers target the blue cat primarily because of the challenge presented when battling a monster to the boat. The combination of size and strength will not only bend the rod in half but send the angler to the gunnel of the boat. Just what exactly is a blue catfish?
Where Are Blue Catfish Found
The blue catfish is native to the Ohio, Mississippi, Missouri, and Rio Grande River systems. However, the catfish have been introduced to lakes and reservoirs throughout South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia.
As a result of the stocking programs, anglers have the opportunity to tussle with the largest catfish in North America.
Are Blue Catfish Venomous
When handle a blue cat, caution must be taken. Blue catfish emit a venomous sting into unsuspecting culprits via the dorsal and pectoral fin spines.
The most common place where anglers are stung is the hands. Hands are most frequently stung due to mishandling catfish.
How To Avoid Being Stung By A Catfish
To prevent a venomous sting, utilize a glove or rag when handling catfish. Remember, the spines can still puncture the hands through a glove or rag, hold the fish behind the fins. Grasping the fish behind the fins in combination with protective equipment will keep you safe.
Why Are Blue Catfish A Problem
Unfortunately, blue’s primarily a problem in the Chesapeake Bay area. The fish are only detrimental in the northern regions where they were introduced in the 1970’s.
Fortunately in the southeast, the blue cat is not an issue. Keep in mind that up north, blue cats were introduced to the Chesapeake Bay tributaries but have extended their range and as a result, have become a nuisance.
How Big Do Blue Catfish Grow
The blue cat averages two feet in length but can exceed five feet. In regards to weight, the blue cat exceeds one hundred pounds, but the average blue cat is much smaller in size.
Age is in conjunction with size. The blue cat lives up to 25 years old. Therefore, the fish has a substantial amount of time to grow.
What Is A Blue Catfish’s Habitat
Although the blue cat can adapt to many habitats, the fish prefers deep sandy bottoms with a swift current. However, they can also survive in waters with increased levels of salinity.
Your best chance and catching a good quality blue that is great on the table is in local rivers or reservoirs with water flow.
Are Blue Catfish Good Eating
Yes, blue catfish are good to eat. The fillets range from thick to thin, depending on the size of the fish. Channel cat’s and blue are the most common farm rased of the catfish species, but taste alters between fresh and farm raised.
A farm-raised fish will have a far more mild and sweet flavor when compared to a wild catfish. Blue cat’s fillets are firm, flaky when cooked but may exude a muddy taste depending on the habitat in which they were caught.
Wild catfish living in clear, swift-moving bodies of water will have a more pleasant taste than those on a mucky lake bed with little flow.
What Is The Best Bait For Blue Catfish
The most productive bait to catch blue catfish is on shad. Avoid freezing shad before fishing because it will lose the fresh scent that catfish are most attracted to.
Fresh shad is like candy to a blue cat. Whether it is live or dead, drop the bait on a circle hook and a weight to the bottom. Remain patient for the catfish to bite the bait.
Has The Time Come To Go Fishing For Blue Catfish
Wether you’re a resident or visitor, head out fishing by boat, dock, or shoreline for blue catfish. These bruisers are sure to put up a fantastic fight in addition to putting a fabulous meal on the table. Always remember to obtain a freshwater fishing license in which state you will be fishing.