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

© 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.

springhour

In Other News...

Owensboro Officials Urge Public to Stay off Ponds, Lakes, Retention Basins

OWENSBORO, Ky. (3/4/15) — Owensboro officials remind the public that at no time is there any activity allowed in or on… Read More

Brescia's Morris Named KIAC Player of the Year, Gibson Named KIAC Coach of the Year

OWENSBORO, Ky. (3/4/15) — The KIAC coaches selected Brescia University junior Austin Morris as the KIAC Player of the… Read More

Most Read This Week

March 02, 2015 9240

Madisonville Teen Faces Numerous Drug Charges

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
February 25, 2015 8510

Multi-Agency Investigation Nets Large-Scale Meth…

in Top News For All Sites by Trooper Stu Recke
February 25, 2015 6360

New Asian Restaurant Coming to Madisonville

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
March 03, 2015 5400

Three Arrested during Traffic Stop

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
February 25, 2015 4299

Local Man Makes Unique Display from Area’s…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
March 02, 2015 3619

HCSO, MPD Join to Bust Alleged Drug Trafficking…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office

Most Read This Month

February 12, 2015

UPDATE: Name of Pennyrile Fatality Officially…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
February 09, 2015

Police Pursue Man after Fight at Taco Bell

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center

Stories Trending Today

March 03, 2015 2347

Superintendent: Spring Break Won't be Touched…

in Hopkins News by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
March 04, 2015 1152

Highway Crews Dealing with Landsides in…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Keith Todd
March 04, 2015 1117

KSP Warns of Old Scam Resurfacing in the Post 2…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper S. C. Recke
March 04, 2015 826

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - March 4, 2015

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
March 04, 2015 793

Adamson Chosen as Madisonville MSU Campus’…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
March 04, 2015 727

Muhlenberg County Educator Inducted into Kentucky…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by WKU News
March 04, 2015 726

Mental Health Services Expanded at Western…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Steve Beshear
March 04, 2015 703

New Downtown Plaza to Provide Platform for…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
March 04, 2015 678

KYEM Monitoring Another Storm System Headed for…

in General News For All Sites by Monica French
March 04, 2015 590

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - March 4, 2015

in Video by Crime Stoppers