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Types Of Catfish

A Helpful Guide to the Types of Catfish

Catfish are very common fish, bottom feeders that typically eat algae although the different types of catfish are unique to catch.  Many people love fried catfish, especially in the south.  While each of the types of catfish has bones, when cleaned properly, they make a nice meal.  We wanted to provide some information about the various catfish that most people fish for, which are included in this list.

Channel Catfish

The first of the types of catfish is known as the Channel Catfish, which is easy to distinguish among other types because of the unique spots.  The tail fin is deeply forked and the law sticks out further than the lower jaw.  This particular catfish can be more of an olive brown color or a slate blue with interesting black on the sides.

Typically, Channel Catfish live in large streams that have slow moving water and most common found in the southern part of Canada and throughout North America.  They prefer water temperature around 75 degrees and spawn in the late part of spring or into early summer months.  When fully grown, this fish can easily reach upwards of 12 inches long.

Blue Catfish

Next on our list for types of catfish is the Blue Catfish, which is blue in color and has a forked tail.  This fish is similar to the Channel Catfish in that it too has spots.  This type of catfish prefers to stay in large rivers and in the summer while looking for cool waters, they often swim upstream.  However, during the winter while they search for warm waters, they again move downstream.

When full grown, the Blue Catfish reaches 24 inches long with most achieving weight of 40 pounds although records show some Blue Catfish of 100 pounds and more.  This particular fish is usually found around the Mississippi River, as well as Ohio, Missouri, Texas, and even into Mexico.

Flathead Catfish

This species of catfish is a light yellow color with brown on the sides and back.  Unlike the other types of catfish, the Flathead Catfish gets its name because of its flattened head.  Even the tail is unique with a slight notch instead of being forked.  These types of catfish prefer to hide in caves, crevices, and logs with the adults being solitary fish although new spawns swim together for days.

The Flathead Catfish is usually found throughout the Missouri, Mississippi, and Ohio basins, although you can also find them into New Mexico, North Dakota, Texas, and even eastern regions of Mexico.  Finding these types of catfish reaching more than 50 pounds and even up to 100 pounds is common.

Yellow Bullhead

The last of the fish we want to mention for the types of catfish is the Yellow Bullhead.  This catfish is light yellow to an olive green color and many are mottled.  Instead of a forked or notched tail, it is typically rounded.  As bottom feeders, the Yellowhead Catfish likes deep water.  Typically, this fish is found all over the eastern and central part of the United States.

Texas is known for having some of the best types of catfish and while there are Yellowhead Catfish in that state, they are not as abundance as others.  Of all types of catfish, this is one of the smaller varieties but still a fun fish to catch and eat or simply catch and release.



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