Lake Barkley & Kentucky Lake Fish Species - Channel Catfish
KY State Record- 32 lbs.
TN State Record- 41 lbs.
The channel catfish is a strong and tasty game fish that is becoming more and more popular with anglers. It is commonly found in large rivers and will eat just about anything that comes in front of its nose.
Common Names: spotted cat, blue channel cat, river catfish
Feeds primarily at night using taste buds in the sensitive barbels and throughout the skin to locate prey. Although they normally feed on the bottom, channels also will feed at the surface and at mid-depth. Major foods are aquatic insects, crayfish, mollusks, crustaceans and fishes. Small channels consume invertebrates, but larger ones may eat fish. Contrary to popular belief, carrion is not their normal food.
SPORTING QUALITIES - Most channels are caught by bottom fishing with baits such as dried chicken blood, chicken livers or gizzards, and nightcrawlers. They prefer dead or prepared stinkbaits to live bait, but at times will take live minnows and lures such as spinners and jigs. Strong fighters with good endurance, they are frequently caught on trotlines. Since channel catfish can also be taken by commercial fishermen, except where stocked by the Commission, they are not legally classified as sportfish. However, specific regulations apply and they are eligible for the "Big Catch" program.
EATING QUALITIES - Considered one of the best-eating freshwater fish. The meat is white, tender and sweet when taken from clean water. Florida aquaculturists and commercial anglers provide these fish to markets and seafood restaurants throughout the stateFun facts
Catfish can't "sting" you. But these fish have a sharp spine in the top and side fins. If you're not careful, you can accidentally poke your hand on these spines. The world record, 58 pounds, was taken in South Carolina.