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Identifying Fish That Sting and Can Maybe Kill You

Few people realize it, but venomous fish like this gafftopsail catfish outnumber venomous snakes by a substantial margin. Anglers need to know which fish to watch out for. (Keith Sutton photo)
Few people realize it, but venomous fish like this gafftopsail catfish outnumber venomous snakes by a substantial margin. Anglers need to know which fish to watch out for. (Keith Sutton photo)

Handle these common fish with extreme care and learn how to avoid and treat fish stings

If you find me close to water, chances are I’ll be catfishing. I love catching these whiskered warriors and rarely miss an opportunity to fish for them.

So I found myself casting for gafftopsail catfish on one of my first trips to the Gulf of Mexico.

My host for that trip suggested I try for “sailcats,” as he called them. “A big one might weigh 5 pounds,” he said. “They’re plentiful here. You can probably catch a dozen off the dock while I load the boat.”

What my friend failed to tell me was that sailcats sting.

When I hooked the first one, it gave a good fight before I swung it on the dock. I swung it too hard, though, and one of the fish’s needle-sharp pectoral-fin spines stabbed me in the thigh.

I didn’t think much about it at first. I’d been spined by plenty of freshwater cats, and other than some minor pain, those wounds caused no problems.

READ THE FULL STORY ON WORLD FISHING NETWORK

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