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rockingroy

Catfish Spawning

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What time of year do catfish spawn? I'm new to catfishing and caught one the other day with a very large belly. I was just wondering if this could have been a female full of eggs?

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Spawning is more temperature driven than a specific date. We need water temps of 75 degrees or higher to trigger the spawn. Typical spawning months in Minnesota - Wisconsin are June to early August. With this cool spring here in Minnesota we have a ways to go for the spawn. If that cat had a large belly she probably just had a good meal. They will take some BIG fish for supper.

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If that cat had a large belly she probably just had a good meal.

Yeppers!! She was just eating real well. We're quite aways off from both the Channel & Flathead cat spawns.

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They are all eating well now with this high water. From what I can tell, it success might be a matter of timing. I've seen spots hot at one point and a few hours later dead. They don't have look for forage constantly. Then when it is time to feed they feed in groups corralling some of the schools of minnows.

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All the channels I have caught lately have been stuffed. Surprised a few of them even thought they had room for my bait.

I would guess the spawn to be mid july this year.

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All the channels I have caught lately have been stuffed. Surprised a few of them even thought they had room for my bait.

I would guess the spawn to be mid july this year.

I don't think that the spawn is entirely driven by temp. I think that daylight has a effect as well. The fish will trigger by the combination. Consistant warm temps can trigger an early spawn. But the fish need the fry to reach a certain size and can't wait till the end of the summer for warm water temps.

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Very good point Larry. Keep in mind too that flats and channels do not always spawn at the same time. All the fish of the same species will not all spawn at the same time either. We have all caught some of them post spawn male channels way into august. Don't worry too much about the spawn as there are usually at least a few kitties willing to bite.

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All the channels I have caught lately have been stuffed. Surprised a few of them even thought they had room for my bait.

I would guess the spawn to be mid july this year.

Look at this porker Tyler caught last week. This fish was probably only 20 ish inches but had the girth of a mid 20's fish.

ty_cat1.jpg

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I've told the story before, but we kept some small cats to eat a long, long time ago. They were stuffed. We expects minnows, crayfish and insects to be in their bellies. They were full of cottonwood seeds (including the white 'cotton'). That was quite surprising. Before anyone asks, no, it's impossible to thread cottonwood seeds on a hook. smile

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72 to 75 deg!

I am waiting!

Maybe not!!!!!!

I have to get down town this weekend with the boat! grin At least give it the madden voyage.

The one thing I have learned with my time on the water, is to wait, or you are just spending gas. But, if you wait to long it is all over.

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Thanks guys, I like to keep a couple to eat once and a while but I wasn't going to keep one that was about to spawn. We got two that afternoon, 21' and 23', but we were making mud out of our wet backyard so we quit. Putting the dock in Thursday if the river has gone down enough so I'll try again then.

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Fridley, my hometown. Must be rough fishing from your backyard for cats. When I grew up in Fridley, where I lived the best I could do is watch a movie for free sitting in a field next to the 100 Twin. :|

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Cats do so very well in such a wide geographic range because they can adjust to conditions and spawn when they feel it the best bet going.

Water levels, temp, and flow has a major effect on when they spawn. If they feel it's as good as it's going to get, even in the low 50's, they get to it. They also adapt fast to spawning habitat changes, they use cattail clusters, holes, stumps, tires, cans, undercut banks, cars, ....whatever they find to get there love crib on.

They have a wide temp range to work with (51 - 70's)) and in our central region may spawn as early as May, and as late as July. The most common time frame for Channels is the 3rd week in June.

I have kept records back some 25 years, and on average, the 2nd to 3rd weeks in June will find males on the nest....and fish'n tough as heck.

The nest sitting lasts 11 to 14 days +/-. You find females and juveniles back on the chow quickest. Males come off the nest looking like they been through a tough deal, skinny, scared up from nesting territorial battles, and hungry.

Male channel cats are dedicated Daddies, and stay tight to the nest without feeding so they need to make up for lost body weight post spawn.

From that point on tell ice-up, it's eat'n as usual for Mr & Miss whiskers.

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