What Is A Fish Shocker?

What is a fish shocker, and are they legal for catfish?

A fish shocker, also called a fish stunner, is an electronic device that you use to send charges into the water.  This is called electrofishing, and it’s one way to catch catfish. 

It sounds a little weird at first, but let me give you the details… No, you’re not deep frying the entire lake with your fish shocker!  The fish shocker sends out a very small voltage that is not enough to kill anything.  What it does to the fish is that it creates a reaction by sending electricity through their bodies.  When they receive the shock, they get disoriented and usually end up swimming toward the surface, where you’re waiting for them with your net!

The fish shocker is a device used by biologists and ichthyologists to keep track of fish populations.  The kind they use is usually bigger, with a heavier voltage.  The kind used for fishing is a portable, hand held stunner with a smaller voltage.  It doesn’t give out enough juice to do anybody any harm, so it’s totally safe.

There are a variety of different models out there, including ones that connect to your boat’s battery so you don’t have to worry about powering it.  One word of warning on buying one, though.  All of these companies will tell you that it’s simple, you just stick it in the water and the fish come floating up to the surface, but it’s not actually like that.  You might want to talk to some  folks that have used one and see what they recommend before spending your money.

Fish shockers are not legal everywhere.  It differs from state to state.  In some states, it’s perfectly fine, but in others you’ll get into some pretty big trouble for using one.  Check with your state’s fish and game department before you go out zapping the lake with one.


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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