catfish 1 300WESTERN KY (5/24/13) – When water temperatures warm into the 70s, it's catfish time across Kentucky.
 
"Late May and June is the prime time for catching catfish from reservoirs, small lakes, rivers and farm ponds," said Gerry Buynak, assistant director of fisheries at the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. "The spawn is underway and with the onset of warmer weather, catfish settle into daily patterns. They begin to feed aggressively at dawn and dusk and throughout the night."
 
The top three catfish species sought by anglers in Kentucky include the channel catfish, the blue catfish and the flathead catfish:
 
The channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) is the most widely distributed catfish species in Kentucky. It thrives in ponds and small lakes. It has a bluish-silver back, white belly and silvery sides with small, irregular dark spots. Adults are commonly 12 to 20 inches long.
 
catfish2 300"Each year almost 200,000 channel catfish are stocked in Kentucky waters," said Buynak. "At the end of May, we'll be putting channel catfish in 27 of our FINs (Fishing in Neighborhoods) lakes."
 
To catch channel catfish, an angler must fish on the bottom. That's because channel catfish are scavengers, using their super-sensitive whiskers to detect the odors of food on the bottom.
 
Use the basic slip sinker rig - a No. 2 hook, leader, barrel swivel and egg sinker - for bottom fishing. Night crawlers, shrimp, chicken liver or scented dough are excellent channel catfish baits.
 
The blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus) thrives in big rivers such as the lower Ohio and Mississippi rivers, as well as their major tributaries. Blue catfish are also found in Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake. In the last decade blue catfish have been successfully established in several small lakes and four major reservoirs -- Taylorsville Lake, Barren River Lake, Dewey Lake and Fishtrap Lake.
 
The blue catfish is similar in appearance to the channel catfish. The most obvious difference is that the blue catfish has a straight anal fin. The blue catfish is bluish-gray with silvery sides and a white belly. The tail is deeply forked.
 
To target blue catfish in small lakes, use a bobber to keep the bait suspended about 6-8 feet below the surface. The best bait for blue catfish is cut bait, such as the viscera and gills of gizzard shad, chunks of bluegill, or pieces of minnow.
 
The flathead catfish (Pylodictis olivaris) is primarily found in large rivers and reservoirs.
 
It is brown to reddish-brown to yellowish with dark blotches on the top and sides, with a yellowish to white belly. It has a wide, flat head, a triangular-shaped tail and a protruding lower jaw.
 
Flatheads commonly reach 36 inches and can live for 20 years. Adults are solitary and inhabit deep, sluggish pools during the day. They move into rocky shallows at night, often locating around cover. They eat live fish such as creek chubs, shiners, shad and sunfish.
 
Anglers should use a slip sinker rig with a small foam float attached to the leader. Hook the baitfish through the tail to keep it from snagging on the bottom.
 
Catfish in Kentucky are big, abundant and found throughout the state. Now is time to start fishing for them.

catfish3 300

WK Outdoors
Information provided by Seth Stewart (Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife)
Visit the WK Outdoors website at www.wkoutdoors.com

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

In Other News...

Hopkins Ham Radio Operators Link to World

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (7/4/15) — Today’s communication methods are nothing new to seasoned ham radio operators, who have… Read More

July 4 Saturday on the Square Features Patriotic Light Show

GREENVILLE, Ky. (7/5/15) — The July 4 Saturdays on the Square was attended by approximately 1,500 people, who were… Read More

Most Read This Week

July 02, 2015 15177

Emergency Response Team on Scene of Standoff on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
July 02, 2015 7671

Police: Stand Off Suspect in Critical Condition

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
June 29, 2015 4490

Accused Synthetic Marijuana Traffickers Appear in…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
July 03, 2015 3644

KMA Reminds Motorists of New Kentucky Red Light…

by David Holt
June 30, 2015 3584

Earlington Man Faces Multiple Charges after…

by SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

June 24, 2015 45681

Western Kentucky, Southern Indiana's Largest…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
July 02, 2015 15177

Emergency Response Team on Scene of Standoff on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

July 05, 2015 1314

More Dental Patients Using ER in Kentucky

by Al Cross
July 05, 2015 1162

Hopkins County Traffic Advisory

by Keith Todd
July 05, 2015 1020

4th Fest Ends with ‘a Bang’ of Music, Fireworks

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
July 04, 2015 974

Recycling Equals Fun During iRecycling Regatta

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
July 05, 2015 678

Study: One Dose of HPV Vaccine Effective

by Melissa Patrick
July 05, 2015 670

Legislator's Log - Week of July 5, 2015

by Brent Yonts
July 05, 2015 609

July 4 Saturday on the Square Features Patriotic…

by Mike Groves, SurfKY News
July 05, 2015 606

Hopkins Ham Radio Operators Link to World

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
July 05, 2015 492

Mementos at Traveling Wall to be Collected by…

by Lisa Aug