Spring Catfish Spawn Connection
By: Dr. Hal Schramm
Understanding biology will help your catfish pursuits be successful
In many waters, the spring catfish spawning period appears to be a dividing line in catfishing. Prespawn spring catfish fishing can be spectacular, followed by a downturn during and shortly after the spawn, with good fishing again when the fish settle into their summer patterns. What do we know about the catfish spawn behavior that can help explain this seasonal progression? More importantly, what does the biology tell us that will help your catfish pursuits be successful?
The Biological Basics
As so commonly happens when I go to the biological literature to answer “how to catch ’em” or “why” questions, I come up with a few aces and a lot of spaces. The reason: Biologists seek information essential to effectively manage the fish or, in the case of catfish, to spawn and rear them in captivity on fish farms. Thus, from the anglers’ perspective, biologists have some answers, but not all. This is certainly the case with the “big three,” channels, blues and flatheads. Indeed, much of what we know about the big three is tied to the important aquaculture industry for channel catfish, so this is where we start.
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