The Channel Catfish is our most common large catfish. An average channel cat is about two pounds, but 10 pounders are common and the record for Minnesota is 39 pounds. Channel cats are fierce fighters, and more prone to hitting artificial lures than any of the other catfishes.
Barbels and Spiny Fins: Catfish have eight barbels around the mouth - which are used for tasting and smelling the water. These "whiskers" are harmless. However, they also have three sharp spines - one at the front of each pectoral and the dorsal fin. Watch out for those spines! The spines can deliver a painful sting - they are coated in an irritant toxin that can cause pain and swelling around the wound. Immersing the wound in water that is as hot as the wounded person can tolerate will detoxify the irritant and relieve the pain. As they get bigger, the spines lose their sharpness, so larger specimens are less of a threat.
Other Names: fiddler, spotted catfish