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Saltwater Catfish

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Physical Description:

These fish have a blue gray topside and white underbelly and look exactly like their freshwater cousins. They reach two to three pounds in weight, but fish of about one pound are more common.

Range:

Catfish are found from Texas to Virginia and even farther north on almost any kind of inland water, even in offshore water in depths up to about thirty feet.

Sharp Spines:

There is some powerful pain associated with its fins. Even a small prick by one of them can cause some real discomfort. And a full-fledged stick in the hand can cause swelling, pain, and even nausea in some people.

Edibility:

Some anglers eat these catfish and actually prefer them over other species. The Gaff Topsail version of this fish is said to be very tasty, but I have never attempted to eat even that one.

Catching Them:

These guys can be caught bottom fishing on almost any bait in almost any area. Like their freshwater cousins, they are scavengers feeding along the bottom. They will sometimes hit an artificial bait.

Saltwater Catfish - A Profile:

These catfish are found from Texas to Virginia and even further north on almost any kind of inland water, even in offshore water in depths up to about thirty feet. They are exactly like their freshwater cousins. In fact, if they are lying side by side, it is virtually impossible to distinguish one from the other.

There is one difference that anyone who has handled them can tell you about. The saltwater variety has some powerful pain associated with its fins. Even a small prick by one of them can cause some real discomfort. And a full-fledged stick in the hand can cause swelling, pain, and even nausea in some people.

I am sure that there are some of you out there that do eat them, but most people throw them back. The Gaff Topsail version of this fish is said to be very tasty, but I have never attempted to eat even that one. So, what is the point of all this talk about the lowly hardhead catfish?

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