Do certain baits work better for blue catfish than flatheads and channels?

Do certain baits work better for blue catfish than flatheads and channels?

When discussing the three largest cat species in North America, they are generally grouped into two factions, namely, Channel and Blue cats in one group, and Flatheads, in their own. The reason, is because of the similarities shared between the first two species, in contrast to the third one.Specifically, Channel cats and Blue cats both prefer cleaner water, if possible, in comparison to the Flatties, which love their slower, muddier rivers. Channel cats and Blues also tend to share the same geography, living predominantly in somewhat cooler, more northerly climes, whereas the Flatheads like warmer water, in general, and populate the Mississippi River basin, in particular, all the way south the the Gulf of Mexico (but not in the Gulf of Mexico). Flatheads also have a hunting instinct, feeding most often on live prey fish, an instinct far less developed in Blues and Channel cats, which prefer free-floating dead baits, most often, although either group will cross over, at least sometimes, in this department. So, with this grouping in mind, if you’re after Blues, the first idea is, go fishing where the Blues are, in cooler, cleaner, fast-flowing and deep waters, such as big Northern reservoirs and rivers. Now, to refine things further, one major dividing line between Channels and Blues, is that big Blue cats eat a diet almost exclusively composed of dead fish, whereas Channel cats, especially smaller ones, are far less picky. The smaller Blues are more likely to share this lack of concern for bait types, but the bigger fish constrain themselves to dead fish, virtually entirely. Accordingly, large pieces of smelly, dead fish on the hook, such as shad, or smelts (maybe four to six inches long), if presented properly, in the right waters, by drift fishing, or with the use of a slipweight rig, are almost irresistible to a big Blue.


Dan Eggertsen is a fellow catfish fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on catfish fishing since 2004.

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