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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 08:15pm - Mar 24,04
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Location: Chicago

Post Posted: 06:44pm - Jul 8,05 
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Day 1 - We got there around noon and were set up 1:30. Nothing much until about 9 when the rod starts tipping and we hook a 8 pound blue cat. Later that night, 3 more blues ranging from 5 to 9 pounds.

Day 2 - Much of the same. Early that morning, at about 6, the rod is almost bent to the water, so, I run over and reel in an 11 lb flathead. Surprisingly, around 2, another 5 lb blue took the suckers. The only other fish that day was another blue that took a sucker at around 11:30.

Day 3 - By far the least busy day of the trip. The only fish was the big fish of the trip caught by the grandpa. Around 3:00 am, the bell rings and stops. The, rings and stops again. After the 3rd ring, the fish was hooked and the non-stop ringing ran through the night skies. Grandpa ran over and hooked a big one. The fight was about 15 minutes and when the fish came to shore, it turned out to be a 21 lb flathead.

A nice trip with very few bugs and colder nights than last time. Sorry guys, no pictures, just great memories.

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 06:49pm - Feb 11,03
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Location: NW Suburbs boat: '61 Smoker Craft

Post Posted: 01:00pm - Jul 9,05 
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thanks for sharing....

So, do you think those are actual Blue Catfish or just male channel cats sporting their blue spawning colors?

I didn't think there were Blue Cats in the Rock...

Shawn

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Chitown-Angler
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Post Posted: 02:02pm - Jul 9,05 
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Like I said on another board, I am 1000% sure they were blues. They must have some up from the Mississippi because of the location of the mouth on the fish. The flathead and channel cats have similar position of the mouth on the head while the blue catfish's mouth is lower in the head.

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Joined: 12:45pm - Apr 12,03
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Post Posted: 06:05pm - Jul 9,05 
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Sorry Flat, I doubt they were blues.... The best indicator at least visually is the anal fin, not eye and mouth position. I really think there are a couple of state channel cat records that were actually blues mistaken for channels, so it's easy to mistake the two. But even on the Mississippi, you've got to go pretty far south to see blue cats. An odd stray could happen, but no way you're consistently catchin' that many blue cats up here in the Rock. More than likely male channels in the "blue phase".

Like I said, an odd stray could happen, but five blue cats where there aren't supposed to be any in a two day outing?

Vince

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 06:49pm - Feb 11,03
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Location: NW Suburbs boat: '61 Smoker Craft

Post Posted: 06:27pm - Jul 9,05 
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I read a story about a verified Blue Catfish taken in the Minnesota river, which was attributed to flooding of the Mississippi near some fish hatchery.

But, to come from the Miss. they would have to get past the dams at Rock Falls and Sterling. There was also a rumor about fish escaping from Powerton into the Illinois where I guess it's possible that they could use the Hennepin to get to the Rock below Sterling. That would be some fish story, and I don't know if the "escape from Powerton" actually occurred.

Shawn

ps For me, that Rock has proven a difficult nut to crack. You guys are doing something right to consistently catch decent fish...

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Chitown-Angler
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Post Posted: 08:11pm - Jul 9,05 
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Vince D. wrote:
Sorry Flat, I doubt they were blues.... The best indicator at least visually is the anal fin, not eye and mouth position. I really think there are a couple of state channel cat records that were actually blues mistaken for channels, so it's easy to mistake the two. But even on the Mississippi, you've got to go pretty far south to see blue cats. An odd stray could happen, but no way you're consistently catchin' that many blue cats up here in the Rock. More than likely male channels in the "blue phase".

Like I said, an odd stray could happen, but five blue cats where there aren't supposed to be any in a two day outing?

Vince

How would you decipher the two then? What would you look for in the anal fin?

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Post Posted: 09:01pm - Jul 9,05 
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Flat,

Here ya go. Channels are often mistaken for blues and vice versa. This explains some of the physical differences and how you can use the anal fin to distinguish between the two.

CHANNEL CAT IDENTIFICATION: The channel cat has a slender body with a deeply forked tail. The upper jaw is longer than the lower jaw and there are barbels around the mouth. The dorsal and pectoral spines are sharp and deeply serrated, and the anal fin is CURVED and has between 24 and 30 rays. The body is bluish silver on the sides and generally has dark spots. Some anglers mistakenly call channel catfish with few or no spots blue catfish.

BLUE CAT IDENTIFICATION: Heavy-bodied with a wide head and high spot forward of center near the head called the dorsal hump. Upper jaw projects well beyond the lower. Bluish-gray body above, fading to white on sides and belly. No spots and a deeply forked tail. Smaller blue cats are often confused with channel catfish. The best way to distinguish between the two is by the 30-35 rays on the blue cat’s anal fin with its STRAIGHT outer margin verses the channel cat’s 25 to 29 rays.

Hope this helps. No big deal, but it would be pretty big news in catfishing circles if there were numbers of blues up the Rock!

Vince


Last edited by Vince D. on 01:19am - Jul 11,05, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Posted: 10:59am - Jul 10,05 
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Vince D. wrote:
Flat,

Here ya go. Channels are often mistaken for blues and vice versa. This explains some of the physical differences and how you can use the anal fin to distinguish between the two.

CHANNEL CAT IDENTIFICATION: The channel cat has a slender body with a deeply forked tail. The upper jaw is longer than the lower jaw and there are barbels around the mouth. The dorsal and pectoral spines are sharp and deeply serrated, and the anal fin is CURVED and has between 24 and 30 rays. The body is bluish silver on the sides and generally has dark spots. Some anglers mistakenly call channel catfish with few or no spots blue catfish.

BLUE CAT IDENTIFICATION: Heavy-bodied with a wide head and high spot forward of center near the head called the dorsal hump. Upper jaw projects well beyond the lower. Bluish-gray body above, fading to white on sides and belly. No spots and a deeply forked tail. Smaller blue cats are often confused with channel catfish. The best way to distinguish between the two is by the 30-35 rays on the blue cat’s anal fin with its STRAIGHT outer margin verses the channel cat’s 25 to 29 rays.

Hope this help. No big deal, but it would be pretty big news in catfishing circles if there were numbers of blues up the Rock!

Vince

All that I bolded resembled the fish I caught. It's a toss up either way but the 2 people I fished with have both been fishing for almost/over 50 years and both think it is a blue catfish. Honestly, I could care less but I do agree, if they were blues, it would be a bit of a breakthrough.

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Post Posted: 02:58pm - Jul 10,05 
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flatheadfisherman,

Is this what you were catching on the rock? Image

or cats that looked like this?
Image

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Post Posted: 07:05pm - Jul 10,05 
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It's kinda hard to tell by the pictures because of the size variance but it is definitely more like the 2nd one....I think.

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Joined: 04:54pm - Feb 4,04
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Location: Midlothian, IL

Post Posted: 09:56am - Jul 11,05 
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Hey, those guys look familiar!

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