read an In-fisherman article this weekend that got me to thinking..... the article was about a study conducted by Virginia university about wheather the "spines" on a bullhead or channel cat would affect how predators would feed on them. they put two pairs of small 4-8 inch channel cats in a several large aquariums with largemouth bass. two were clipped of their spines, two were left alone. apparently when the cats were attacked the channels with the spines extended them and locked them in place, therefore causing them to lodge in the bass's mouth and would eventually get spit back out. 88% of the "spined" cats were spit out and survived where 74% of the "clipped" ones got eaten. VERY INTIRESTING! i sometimes clip mine, sometimes not. never really paid close attention to my hookup ratios but last year i remember a friend and i fishing with bullheads one night and hooked into several really big fish but i just couldnt seem to get a good enough hookset to keep them on. i would always bring the bait back in even though i set the hook almost hard enough to break the line (30lb test!). it blew our minds. after reading this article i am pretty sure them bullheads were extending their spines (had this problem with using channels for bait as well) and preventing a good hookset. the reason i have always heard for clipping them was "the flathead will not eat them if they feel the spines". i have caught flatties before on non-clipped ones so i know that isnt true, but from now on i will ALWAYS clip them!