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Blind Channel Cat

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I was shorefishing cut sucker on pool 2 this afternoon when my rod bent over and the clicker started screamin'. After a short tussle, I landed a decent size channel cat. When I pulled him out of the water, I saw that he was missing an eye. I flipped him around, and I saw he was missing the other eye too.

Anybody else run into something like this? I thought about it and figured he couldn't be hurting that bad, since they mostly rely on smell to find food. Plus, you probably can't see that far underwater in pool 2 anyway. Both his eyes were all scarred over so it wasn't something that happened recently and he was a healthy looking 10-12 pounder so he must still be eating regularly.

Unfortunately, I forgot my camera so I didn't get a picture.

I walked him out to knee deep water and sent him on his way back to the deep.

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Scarred eyes? I sure hope it wasn't some doofus who thought poking a fishes eyes out and sending him on his way was funny. At least he got special treatment from you walking him out and releasing him. I usually release them with care, but walking them into deeper water deserves extra kudos.

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It is actually quite common to catch a cat that's missing one eye, but not both.

Unfortunately, small cats + big circle hooks = hook in the eye.

Its very possible this happened to both eyes.

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I have seen this on other fish to especially in sunfish. mouth so close to the eyes and the way they smack the worm on the little hook thier it is right in the eye.

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I have caught several missing one eye before too, but never both.

The scarring looked alot like a burn, the first thing I thought was some __________ (insert your name of choice) put out lit cigarettes on its eyes. I felt bad for the guy, that's why I made sure he was heading in the right direction when I released him.

I am still kicking myself for forgetting the camera.

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