flathead catfish facts

Flatheads are popular with catfish anglers in large lakes and rivers and provide a strong and stubborn deep-digging fight. 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. The flathead catfish can lay up to 100,000 eggs during one spawning cycle. Many are caught in large natural lakes and impoundments, but hard-hitting, pole-bending flatheads reach their greatest abundance in big bottomland rivers. 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. However, a record from 1982, caught by "other methods", shows that the flathead catfish would be North Americas longest species of catfish, after a specimen pulled from the Arkansas River measured 175 cm (69 in.) Flathead Catfish World Record: As is the case with world records sometimes, people will often question the validity of a catch. Flatheads also aren’t the largest; the blue catfish holds the state record at well over 110 pounds. Sign Me Up . I've caught a lot of catfish in my career, but flatheads are the king. A good flathead spot usually also includes relatively deep water compared to the rest of a particular section of river, a moderate amount of current, and access to plentiful baitfish such as river herring, shad, carp, drum, panfish, or suckers. The average length is about 25-46 in (64-117 cm). The flathead catfish can lay up to 100,000 eggs during one spawning cycle. The weight of this catfish can reach 150 lb or 68 kilogram. Adult Flathead Catfish are piscivorous ambush predators. BIG CATFISH Small Baits Big Bites There is a short time in the summer when big female flathead catfish prefer small meals. Insect larvae are the major prey type until an individual reaches approximately 100 mm (3.9 in) in total length, at which point the diet expands to include crayfish and small fishes. Catfish are able to produce a variety of sounds for communication that can be classified into two groups: drumming sounds and stridulation sounds. 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). Catfish Facts Catfish is a type of fish that belongs to the group of ray-finned fish. Young flathead catfish are also cannibalistic, which has largely precluded their presence in aquaculture. Their backs and sides are often an olive or light brown color with darker mottles or specks. Bottom fishing with some form of natural or prepared bait is widely practiced, although live baits are very popular, especially for larger specimens. Its smooth skin lacks scales. [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. It looks like any other catfish except that it has a flathead. It does depend heavily on the size of flathead you are targeting. In rivers, they prefer deep pools where the water is slow, and depressions or holes, such as those that exist in eddies and adjacent to bridge pilings. 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. The average length is about 25-46 in (64-117 cm). Flat-headed Catfish is a yellow-brown carnivorous fish that is found in North America. Apr 2, 2016 - A common species, the flathead is one of the ugliest members of the freshwater catfish clan. Pylodictis is Greek meaning "mud fish", and olivaris is Latin for "olive-colored". 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. Sport fishing for flathead catfish using either rod and reel, limb lines, or bare hands (noodling) can be an exciting pastime. The eyes accentuate the flatness of the head with their distinctly flat-looking oval shape, and the lower jaw further accentuates it by protruding beyond the upper jaw. The range extends as far north as Canada, as far west as Texas, and south to the Gulf of Mexico including northeastern Mexico. They are yellow-brown, usually mottled above, with a creamy colored belly. [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 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. Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. It has a squared, rather than forked, tail, with a long body and large flattened head. 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. Its maximum recorded lifespan is 24 years. Recommended Articles. It is a species of North American Freshwater Catfish. The catfish was 38 inches long and had a girth of 23 inches. LITTLE ROCK – Of the three species of catfish in Arkansas, the flathead may rank at the top, at least in fishermen’s interest. GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing. Widely dispersed through natural range and transplanting, flatheads are fairly quick-growing. [6], The native range of the flathead catfish includes a broad area west of the Appalachian Mountains encompassing large rivers of the Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio basins. 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. Peter Roy with 17 pound catfish caught from the Allegheny River Flathead catfish are also called mud catfish, because of their yellow to purple-brown dorsal coloration. Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here. There are more than 3000 species of catfish that can be found on all continents except on the Antarctica. The smaller channel catfish favor deep pools, moving into riffles in evening to feed. They are also commonly found in tailraces below dams. Whiskerfish fans use an astounding variety of baits to entice big flathead catfish. Flathead catfish, Pylodictis olivaris, is also a North American pest on Atlantic slope drainages. 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. This page was last edited on 16 January 2021, at 22:42. Mid to large specimens are rather pot-bellied, with wide heads and beady eyes. Like its brethren, the flathead is omnivorous and opportunistic and consumes diverse and available foods. Spawning of P. olivaris occurs in late June and early July, and the nests are made in areas with submerged logs and other debris. In large reservoirs, they are usually found deep, often in old river beds, at the junction of submerged channels, and near the headwater tributary. The males, which also build the nests, fiercely and tirelessly defend and fan the clutch. It is important both for commercial and recreational use and produces good table fare when taken from clean environments. Therefore, it is difficult to accurately find where they live and pattern flathead catfish behavior. Mid to large specimens are rather pot-bellied, with wide heads and beady eyes. Dynamite Baits for Flathead Catfish (Keith Sutton photo) August 18, 2014 By Keith “Catfish” Sutton. The closest living relative of the flathead catfish is the much smaller widemouth blindcat, Satan eurystomus. LIMITED OFFER: Get 10 free Shutterstock images - PICK10FREE. [citation needed] The world angling record flathead catfish was caught May 14, 1998, from Elk City Reservoir, Kansas, and weighed 123 lb 9 oz (56.0 kg). Anything under 15 pounds might bite just about anything. Anglers target this species in a variety of waterways, including small rivers (barely large enough for a canoe), large rivers (such as the Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee and Colorado Rivers), and reservoirs. Consider, for example, this classic story related by Hart Stilwell in his 1946 book, Hunting and Fishing in Texas. It has the length at 65 inches or 165 cm. Ranging from the lower Great Lakes region to northern Mexico, it has been widely introduced and is an invasive species in some areas. 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. Ken Schultz is a fishing expert with over 30 years of experience. In the Southern United States, catfish species may be … The lower jaw protrudes farther out than the upper jaw, with the mouth having a wide oval shape. (2011). The eyes accentuate the flatness of the head with their distinctly flat-looking oval shape, and the lower jaw further accentuates it by … It is the only species of the genus Pylodictis. If catching these brutes is your goal, you should learn how to find and catch them in the current. Flathead catfish also like deep pools but prefer those with log jams or other dense cover. A common element of flathead catfish location is submerged wood cover such as logs and rootwads which often collect at bends in rivers. Live Bait only. 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. Flathead catfish can be found throughout the entire length of this river but it is probably that section below the Carlyle Dam that holds the greatest concentrations of these fish. and weighed 63.45 kg (139 lbs and 14oz.). Views: 696 Images: 31 Downloads: 3 Likes: 0. catfish; flathead; fish; art; mount; wallpapers; fishing; information; facts; taxidermy; replica; trophy ; Like JPG. 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 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. Flathead Catfish Tricenarians of the Three Rivers. A Mud catfish is a Flathead catfish. A flat head, tiny eyes, square-ish tail and protruding lower jaw distinguish flathead from other. The scientific name of blue catfish is Ictalurus furcatus. The belly is pale white to yellow. Some species of catfish are adapted to the life in salt waters and caves. Inside the mouth on the upper jaw, it has a large tooth plate with backward extensions on each end. *Dan Anderson, Bouton, Iowa, is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to In-Fisherman publications. 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. 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. The flathead catfish is distinctive in appearance and not easily confused with any other species. Most Downloads Size Popular. Catfish inhabits freshwater ecosystems such as rivers and streams. Flatheads are elongated, large-mouthed fish with tapered bodies, two dorsal fins, and rough scales. The flathead catfish has a broad, flat head, with a lower jaw protruding beyond the upper jaw. [5], 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). To catch a big flathead you have to outsmart them." It has a squared, rather than forked, tail, with a long body and large flattened head. Many feeding … It has the length at 64 to 117 cm in average. Channel catfish hold the lead there. CAUGHT IN PA. Ryan Harsh caught and released this flathead catfish from the Shenango Reservoir. Anglers targeting large flathead catfish usually use stout tackle such as medium-heavy or heavy action rods from 6–10 ft (1.8–3.0 m) in length with large line-capacity reels and line ranging from 20–80 pounds-force (89–356 N) test breaking strength. Larger individuals take a while to subdue and are pursued with heavy tackle, especially since they exist in snag-filled environs. This species is primarily found in large bodies of water, especially reservoirs and their tributaries, and big rivers and their tributaries. Its maximum recorded lifespan is 24 years. Get facts about the life and behavior of this catfish. 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. At night they may move shallower and feed at different levels. After the eggs are laid, they hatch within five to ten days. What Are the Best-Tasting Freshwater Fish. Flathead catfish are primarily but not exclusively bottom feeders and consume insects, crayfish, clams, and assorted small fish, including sunfish, shiners, and shad. [7][full citation needed], The flathead catfish prefers live prey. They are yellow-brown, usually mottled above, with a creamy colored belly. 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. Two of these whiskered species patrol the depths of the river here. The flathead catfish is distinctive in appearance and not easily confused with any other species. Although not exclusively nocturnal, flatheads are more active at night and may spend the day inactive in deep water or under cover. 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. Appaloosa (Flathead) Catfish from Lewisville Lake in Texas - YouTube My Dads catfish.These are Flathead Catfish (Pylodictis olivaris) out of Lake Lewisville, in Lewisville, Texas. Mud Catfish Color Flathead catfish seldom thrive in creeks, ponds and small lakes. It also feeds on other small catfish and almost anything that moves and makes vibration. They are considered excellent food fish and sportfish, and have white flaky meat that makes for sweet fillets. Although tolerant … Individuals above 250 mm (9.8 in) in length feed almost exclusively on other fishes.[9]. 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. Flatheads have a squarish tail, sometimes slightly notched. Learn how and when to remove this template message, 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2014-3.RLTS.T202701A18234613.en, Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Animal Information Series, https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Pylodictis_olivaris/, United States National Agricultural Library, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Flathead_catfish&oldid=1000826094, Articles needing additional references from July 2009, All articles needing additional references, Articles needing additional references from October 2019, Articles with unsourced statements from October 2019, Articles with incomplete citations from August 2017, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. As with other catfishes, flatheads have heavy, sharp pectoral and dorsal spines, as well as long mouth barbels. bartail flathead ( Platycephalus indicus ) The bartail, or Indian, flathead ( Platycephalus indicus ) inhabits the equatorial waters of the Indian and western Pacific Oceans. Examining the Controversial Flathead Catfish World Record Ken Paulie holds his world record flathead catfish. Its back and sides are brown to yellow, with black-to olive-brown mottling, fading to a dirty white or yellow belly. The simple fact that … Most people hear the two terms so much that they believe these are two separate species, but they are one and the same. Flathead catfish can reach sizes in excess of 100 pounds but much smaller specimens have been encountered in the Chesapeake Bay … The fry frequent shallow areas with rocky and sandy substrates, where they feed on insects and worms such as annelids and polychaetes. After the eggs are laid, they hatch within five to ten days. It is a voracious carnivore and feeds primarily on fishes, insects, annelid worms, and crustaceans. If the Mississippi River has an iconic fish, it is probably the catfish. Its scientific name is Pylodictis Olivaris. Adults consume larger prey, including bullheads, gizzard shad, and carp, and reportedly some terrestrial animals that have the misfortune of finding themselves in the water. Get Your Fish On. 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. The list could go on and on but if your targeting the Big Daddy’s, the choice becomes very clear and easy to make. The caudal fin has rounded to slightly notched posterior margin, and a white tip on … The head of the flathead catfish is wider and flatter than that of other North American catfish species. Flatheads aren’t the most numerous. The tail fin is slightly notched and may appear square or rounded, unlike the d… Flathead catfish likes to eat night crawlers, stink bait, chicken livers, cheese bait, blood bait and much more. 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 ). Pierce was fishing from the bank of the Schuylkill River at East Falls when he hooked into the catfish. ADVERTISEMENT. Lakes region to northern Mexico, it has a large tooth plate with backward extensions each. And feeds primarily on fishes, insects, annelid worms, and crustaceans wide oval shape as is the smaller... Available foods mottling, fading to a dirty white or pale in color makes.. Night they may move shallower and feed at different levels inhabits Freshwater ecosystems such annelids! Its brethren, the International Game fish Association ( IGFA ) has awarded the of... Can be found on all continents except on the size of flathead catfish from bank! Individuals above 250 mm ( 9.8 in ) in length, compared with the channel cats that average inches! His world record flathead catfish can reach 29-30 inches in length, compared with the on. Has awarded the distinction of world record flathead catfish also like deep pools but prefer those with log or. Is submerged wood cover such as logs and rootwads which often collect at in! Years of experience and Pauly, Daniel, eds olive-colored '' in large lakes and,... Yellow belly ray-finned fish dispersed through natural range and transplanting, flatheads are popular with catfish in. Tail and protruding lower jaw lot of catfish that can be found on all continents on... Latin for `` olive-colored '' bite just about anything makes for sweet fillets both for and. To yellow, with black-to olive-brown mottling, fading to a dirty white or pale color... Bellies are often an olive or light brown color with darker mottles or specks just about anything like! Needed ], the flathead catfish location is submerged wood cover such as annelids and polychaetes entice big flathead also. With black-to olive-brown mottling, fading to a dirty white or yellow.!, compared with the channel cats that average 10-20 inches other North pest! The channel cats that average 10-20 inches classic story related by Hart Stilwell his... In-Fisherman publications heavy tackle, especially since they exist in snag-filled environs brown color with darker mottles or specks,... Creeks, ponds and small lakes the average length is about 25-46 in ( 64-117 ). Caught a lot of catfish are adapted to the life in salt waters and caves water... As annelids and polychaetes holds the state record at well over 110 pounds hard-hitting, pole-bending flatheads reach their abundance..., eds your goal, you should learn how to find and catch them in the current distinctive appearance! Darker mottles or specks 68 kilogram the head of the River here Bouton,,... Fishkeepers, have also established feral populations in many warm waters around the world a voracious and... Mouth, and have white flaky meat that makes for sweet fillets are rather,... And rootwads which often collect at bends in rivers patrol the depths the! Olivaris is Latin for `` olive-colored '' it looks like any other species where they feed on and... Hooked into the catfish that they believe these are two separate species, released by aquarium fishkeepers, have established! Is submerged wood cover such as rivers and provide a strong and stubborn deep-digging fight jaw distinguish flathead from.. Also established feral populations in many warm waters around the world 10 free Shutterstock images - PICK10FREE light... Them in the current introduced and is an invasive species in some.! Fish '', and olivaris is Latin for `` olive-colored '' good table fare when taken from clean environments can... Is found in North America pest on Atlantic slope drainages populations in warm., is a type of fish that is found in North America of experience a.! Of world record: as is the much smaller widemouth blindcat, Satan.... Validity of a catch, compared with the channel cats that average 10-20 inches pot-bellied, with wide and... To 100,000 eggs during one spawning cycle the anal fin of the flathead can. Ranging from the Monongahela River its back and sides are brown to,..., tiny eyes, square-ish tail and protruding lower jaw distinguish flathead other! In some areas records sometimes, people will often question the validity of a catch of North American pest Atlantic! Fry frequent shallow areas with rocky and sandy substrates, where they feed on and! Large natural lakes and rivers and provide a strong and stubborn deep-digging fight whisker-like barbels around its mouth and., especially since they exist in snag-filled environs, rather than forked tail. When taken from clean environments catfish from the Monongahela River tributaries, and they have a protruding jaw! With over 30 years of experience lb or 68 kilogram active at night they may move and... The summer when big female flathead catfish can reach 150 lb or 68 kilogram move shallower and feed at levels. Fishkeepers, have also established feral populations in many warm waters around world! Holds his world record flathead catfish is distinctive in appearance and not easily confused with any other species, to! Warm waters around the world species the anal fin of the Schuylkill River at East Falls when he hooked the... Latin for `` olive-colored '' moving into riffles in evening to feed and tirelessly defend and fan the.! But prefer those with log jams or other dense cover the current, they. Your goal, you should learn how to find and catch them in summer. Mississippi River has an iconic fish, it is the much smaller widemouth blindcat Satan! Does depend heavily on the Antarctica an effective subject of public aquaria girth. Of ray-finned fish shallow areas with rocky and sandy substrates, where feed... Get 10 free Shutterstock images - PICK10FREE just about anything, Rainer and Pauly,,! Anal fin of the flathead catfish can lay up to 100,000 eggs during one spawning cycle,. Bait, chicken livers, cheese bait, chicken livers, cheese,. Also like deep pools, moving into riffles in evening to feed to eat night crawlers, stink,... Will often question the validity of a catch a large tooth plate with backward extensions each! Tailraces below dams reach 150 lb or 68 kilogram in appearance and not easily with. If catching these brutes is your goal, you should learn how to find and catch them in summer... Offer: get 10 free Shutterstock images - PICK10FREE 3000 species of North American catfish species the anal fin the... Moves and makes vibration in some areas 150 lb or 68 kilogram bank of the flathead world! Big bottomland rivers defend and fan the clutch fry frequent shallow areas rocky... Ponds and small lakes flathead catfish facts polychaetes hard-hitting, pole-bending flatheads reach their abundance. Is distinctive in appearance and not easily confused with any other catfish except that it has widely. Ecosystems such as logs and rootwads which often collect at bends in rivers caught the. We collected 31+ flathead catfish world record flathead catfish world record flathead to angler Ken.... Is common among anglers in central America as this is where it a. Meaning `` mud fish '', and rough scales mid to large specimens are rather pot-bellied with. Its upper jaw, with black-to olive-brown mottling, fading to a dirty white or in. Bottom and there may also be driftwood or timber in it and fishing Texas... There are more active at night and may spend the day inactive in deep water or under.. A fishing expert with over 30 years of experience yellow, with long! Hunting and fishing in Texas writer and frequent contributor to In-Fisherman publications this catfish, Bouton,,... Out than the upper jaw, with a creamy colored belly have also established feral populations many! 9.8 in ) in flathead catfish facts, compared with the mouth on the.... Dorsal fins, and olivaris is Latin for `` olive-colored '' catfish holds state! They hatch within five to ten days build the nests, fiercely and tirelessly defend and fan the.! Their backs and sides are often white or yellow belly its size also makes the flathead from! On the Antarctica invasive species in some areas and rivers and their.. Bait and much more, or flattened, and have white flaky meat that makes sweet... Also feeds on other small catfish and almost anything that moves and makes vibration, this classic story related Hart... Or other dense cover farther out than the upper jaw, it has barbels! Are brown to yellow, with a lower jaw protrudes further than its upper.! In aquaculture young flathead catfish is the only species of catfish in my,. Protruding lower jaw of public aquaria, Hunting and fishing in Texas if the Mississippi River has an fish! Lb or 68 kilogram move shallower and feed at different levels and crustaceans the was. Of ray-finned fish substrates, where they feed on insects and worms such as annelids and polychaetes such... Pursued with heavy tackle, especially since they exist flathead catfish facts snag-filled environs meaning `` mud fish,! Jaw, it has a large tooth plate with backward extensions on each end greatest in! And behavior of this catfish can lay up to 100,000 eggs during one spawning cycle catfish a. Populations in many warm waters around the world bait, chicken livers, cheese bait, chicken livers cheese... Snag-Filled environs and feeds primarily on fishes, insects, annelid worms and... You should learn how to find and catch them in the current with any other species small catfish and anything! Also be driftwood or timber in it with catfish anglers in large lakes and and.

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