When handling Channel catfish beware of the sharp spines on the pectoral and dorsal fins. This species has a strong skull and can be tolerant of air exposure. To maximise their eating qualities they can be humanely killed by a firm knock to the head before placing them in an ice slurry after bleeding. Iki jime can be attempted if the angler has access to a suitably robust iki jime spike.
- Depending on the environment in which they are caught, this species can be bluish olive, gray or black on the upper part of the body. Their colour becomes white below with small numbers of scattered black spots on the flanks.
- They can be distinguished from other North American catfish by their deeply forked tail.
- Native to freshwater lakes and rivers of North America, including Canada and the eastern and northern United States and northern Mexico.
- This species has been stocked into a large number of rivers, reservoirs and ponds outside their natural range in North America, as well as being introduced into many countries in Europe, and Asia including Japan, Malaysia and the Phillippines.
Fish Size Common Length:
30-60 cm, maximum size around 130 cm and 26 kg in weight.