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#218001 - 05/20/10 03:20 PM Big Blue Catfish
tjstubbs Offline
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Registered: 10/23/07
Posts: 101
Loc: Starkville, Mississippi
I caught this big blue catfish last night at a pond I am helping a guy manage here in Mississippi. The scale bounced between 29 and 32 pounds. 22 years ago 15 blue catfish, each about a pound each were stocked into this pond....Now look what happend!


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Fisheries Biologist
Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks

"Success is often overlooked because it dresses up in overalls and disguises itself as work."

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#218005 - 05/20/10 03:34 PM Re: Big Blue Catfish [Re: tjstubbs]
Bullhead Offline

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Registered: 03/16/09
Posts: 804
Loc: Cornhusker state
Interesting. How large is the pond and do you catch blues regularly?
I stocked 200 blues in my pond last fall but have yet to catch any.

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#218007 - 05/20/10 03:41 PM Re: Big Blue Catfish [Re: Bullhead]
teehjaeh57 Offline
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They are beautiful fish. Nice post TJ
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#218008 - 05/20/10 03:42 PM Re: Big Blue Catfish [Re: Bullhead]
tjstubbs Offline
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Registered: 10/23/07
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Loc: Starkville, Mississippi
The pond is around 5 acres. Average depth is maybe 5 feet, with the deepest being 13. I did catch another one that was only about 9 pounds, which tells me they either reproduced, which is unlikely, or this big one just eats a lot. He said he catches 1 or 2 year on accident bass fishing. The 2 he got last year were around 20 pounds. His kids love the idea of a giant fish being in the pond, so he releases all of them.

Thanks TJ
_________________________
Fisheries Biologist
Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks

"Success is often overlooked because it dresses up in overalls and disguises itself as work."

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#218011 - 05/20/10 04:02 PM Re: Big Blue Catfish [Re: tjstubbs]
Sunil Offline
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#218012 - 05/20/10 04:02 PM Re: Big Blue Catfish [Re: Sunil]
Sunil Offline
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Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."


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#218014 - 05/20/10 04:04 PM Re: Big Blue Catfish [Re: Sunil]
tjstubbs Offline
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Loc: Starkville, Mississippi
Thanks Sunil, I didnt know how to do that. haha
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Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks

"Success is often overlooked because it dresses up in overalls and disguises itself as work."

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#218015 - 05/20/10 04:04 PM Re: Big Blue Catfish [Re: Sunil]
teehjaeh57 Offline
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Can you relate to us the affect these ultra predators are having on the remaining population of fish? I've wanted to stock CB [channel/blue] hybrids in my pond but was worried about their voracious appetities crushing my other species' populations.
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#218016 - 05/20/10 04:05 PM Re: Big Blue Catfish [Re: Sunil]
Omaha Offline
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Man I bet that was fun wrangling in! Did you catch it on accident fishing for bass too?
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#218017 - 05/20/10 04:05 PM Re: Big Blue Catfish [Re: Sunil]
Sunil Offline
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_________________________
Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."


Top
#218018 - 05/20/10 04:07 PM Re: Big Blue Catfish [Re: Sunil]
Sunil Offline
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If you right click on the picture, then select properties, you have to cut & paste that into a reply and put [img] immediately before it and [/img] immediately after it.
_________________________
Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."


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#218019 - 05/20/10 04:10 PM Re: Big Blue Catfish [Re: Sunil]
Omaha Offline
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Originally Posted By: Sunil
If you right click on the picture, then select properties, you have to cut & paste that into a reply and put [img] immediately before it and [/img] immediately after it.


Does this only work for IE? I use Firefox and this isn't an option for me? confused
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#218020 - 05/20/10 04:16 PM Re: Big Blue Catfish [Re: Omaha]
Omaha Offline
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Sorry if that's ^ a hijack. blush

To get back on blue cats are they less prone to becoming hook shy than CC since you said you release, but continue to catch, them?
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#218023 - 05/20/10 04:32 PM Re: Big Blue Catfish [Re: teehjaeh57]
Bullhead Offline

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Registered: 03/16/09
Posts: 804
Loc: Cornhusker state
Originally Posted By: teehjaeh57
Can you relate to us the affect these ultra predators are having on the remaining population of fish? I've wanted to stock CB [channel/blue] hybrids in my pond but was worried about their voracious appetities crushing my other species' populations.

TJ, Should you ever decide to place an order for the hybrids let me know.

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#218025 - 05/20/10 04:42 PM Re: Big Blue Catfish [Re: Bullhead]
teehjaeh57 Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
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Loc: Lincoln, NE
BH

I need to determine if they're going to crush my YP and SMB populations first. Bob did a story about BC virtually cleaning out a lake of LMB and became the dominant predator. I need to think this over...I will definitely be in touch RE these hybrids. I think I found a source way down south that sells them.
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#218026 - 05/20/10 04:42 PM Re: Big Blue Catfish [Re: Bullhead]
tjstubbs Offline
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Loc: Starkville, Mississippi
Thats a good question TJ. As of right now the pond owner is happy, yet questioning the future. Since I have been here (1 year). Him and I have been keeping some hook and line sampling data. We have yet to catch a LMB under 14 inches. The Wr on these fish is great, Upper 90's average. There are also BLG, and Golden Shiners present. The BLG are stunted at 5-7 inches, which is what he wanted as he wanted a primarily LMB fishery. The only problem is, he is seeing less and less bass, and they are all between 3-5 pounds. With the exception of an 11 pounder last summer (09). He says this is a definite decrease in numbers from previous years. Once again, according to the landowner, who only catches acouple of these blues a year. Says that they have really been packing on the weight the last 5 years or so. The fisheries researcher in me wants to cut open some blue stomachs to see if there is smaller LMB in them, which is what I suspect is happening. The BLG populations seem to be the same, and the golden shiners are thriving. So to answer your question, I think if he were to of put in more blue cats, he would be having bigger problems. I also suspect that this will continue, and could crash the bass pop. Has anyone else experienced anything like this with blue cats?
_________________________
Fisheries Biologist
Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks

"Success is often overlooked because it dresses up in overalls and disguises itself as work."

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#218027 - 05/20/10 04:47 PM Re: Big Blue Catfish [Re: tjstubbs]
tjstubbs Offline
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Registered: 10/23/07
Posts: 101
Loc: Starkville, Mississippi
Omaha, I was actually fishing for catfish. i had a hefty piece of calf liver on a circle hook sitting on the bottom. It was awesome!
_________________________
Fisheries Biologist
Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks

"Success is often overlooked because it dresses up in overalls and disguises itself as work."

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#218031 - 05/20/10 05:51 PM Re: Big Blue Catfish [Re: tjstubbs]
jeffhasapond Offline
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Registered: 07/28/06
Posts: 7613
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Dang that is a big fish.

That guy looks like he could swallow a 3 pound LMB whole. (the fish not tjstubbs).
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#218034 - 05/20/10 05:59 PM Re: Big Blue Catfish [Re: jeffhasapond]
ewest Offline
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Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19773
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Ask Marty about big cats in ponds. IMO the reason he sees less big LMB 4+ lbs is that is what the big BC are eating. Not sure the BC could eat a 10 LMB. Check the gape size of the BC. That is the only limiting factor to its feeding.

BC also eat big BG so that may be why you don't see many over 7 inches.


Edited by ewest (05/20/10 06:01 PM)
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#218035 - 05/20/10 06:00 PM Re: Big Blue Catfish [Re: tjstubbs]
teehjaeh57 Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 8006
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Originally Posted By: tjstubbs
Thats a good question TJ. As of right now the pond owner is happy, yet questioning the future. Since I have been here (1 year). Him and I have been keeping some hook and line sampling data. We have yet to catch a LMB under 14 inches. The Wr on these fish is great, Upper 90's average. There are also BLG, and Golden Shiners present. The BLG are stunted at 5-7 inches, which is what he wanted as he wanted a primarily LMB fishery. The only problem is, he is seeing less and less bass, and they are all between 3-5 pounds. With the exception of an 11 pounder last summer (09). He says this is a definite decrease in numbers from previous years. Once again, according to the landowner, who only catches acouple of these blues a year. Says that they have really been packing on the weight the last 5 years or so. The fisheries researcher in me wants to cut open some blue stomachs to see if there is smaller LMB in them, which is what I suspect is happening. The BLG populations seem to be the same, and the golden shiners are thriving. So to answer your question, I think if he were to of put in more blue cats, he would be having bigger problems. I also suspect that this will continue, and could crash the bass pop. Has anyone else experienced anything like this with blue cats?


Bob wrote an article about this in a back issue of Pond Boss Magazine. Blue cats pretty much took over the fishery, and while the BC fishing was crazy, the rest of the fishery suffered, especially the LMB.
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Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau





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#218046 - 05/20/10 08:11 PM Re: Big Blue Catfish [Re: teehjaeh57]
Bill Cody Offline
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Based on the photos, I estimate the gape of the 30 lb BC (in dorsal view pic) is very close to the same as the width of tjstubbs' neck. The two largest barbels of BC sit at each corner of the mouth. Get someone to measure the width of tj's neck.


Edited by Bill Cody (05/20/10 10:20 PM)
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#218088 - 05/20/10 11:52 PM Re: Big Blue Catfish [Re: Bill Cody]
tjstubbs Offline
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Registered: 10/23/07
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Loc: Starkville, Mississippi
Good observation Bill. My neck width is right around 6.5 inches and I wear 17.5 inch neck collars on my dress shirt...So that blue could definitly do some damage on the bass populations.
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"Success is often overlooked because it dresses up in overalls and disguises itself as work."

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