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Clip their Spines!

Discussion in 'Catfish Discussion' started by dinkbuster1, Jul 2, 2007.

  1. 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!
     
  2. pendog66

    pendog66 It swims its bait

    i heard this too but always too. but my bite ratio is the same whether i clip them or not. I would expect that cliped horns would be better in a lake since the fish would be sitting and its a different atmosphere. While in the river the bait is the there the fish takes it no questions asked
     

  3. bigdogsteve-o

    bigdogsteve-o The Catfishing God

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    I agree with Nate. In lakes I will clip thm,but in the river they are used to eating them with the barbs on so I leave them on. Usually when the shovelheads pick up the bullheads in the river they do not let go.
     
  4. Predator225

    Predator225 Predator225

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    As far as you hooking into some big fish but not hooking them, maybe your hook was going back into the bullhead? I have reeled in bullheads before that had the hook go back INTO them from a different angle. So, to see if it made a difference, i started hooking bullheads by their anla fin as opposed to on top near the tail. havent had a problem since.

    As far as the spines go, i have never trimmed them; but, i trim the tail and make a little cut in the meat in front of the tail, just to get some blood flowing. seems to have worked so far, so im not gonna fix something that isnt broken, for me that is.
     
  5. Dink, it certainly makes sense that if a flathead saw a distressed bullhead ( chained to a weight) and didnt have a dorsal fin, that he certainly would not pass it up. Now for some simmilar notes on the subject. Great Blue Herons have had many studies done on there eating of fish habits and trout are their number 1 option when they are available. (and then Brown trout are the preference when they have a choice of trout IE. at a hatchery) as well as Largemouth they also prefer trout ( Lake Castiac and Ohio state record Bass both are from lakes that have huge populations of trout as the main forage species), guess what, no scales or spiny fins to deal with and they slide right down so I cant blame a predator who likes a smooth meal vs one that takes a lot of work to get down and make hurt itself in the turning and swallowing process.
    Good topic Mike!

    Salmonid
     
  6. dip

    dip dip

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    i always chop 'em off just because its less painful to grab'em outta da tank
     
  7. bigdogsteve-o

    bigdogsteve-o The Catfishing God

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    I heard that. reaching into a bucket that is full you will no doubt get horned.
     
  8. pendog66

    pendog66 It swims its bait


    i think its easier to keep them on, i use to snap the horns off and i kinda think its worse because the horns arent as long and now theres just a jagged edge. Soooo

    Jagged edged horn + wiggly yellow belly = :eek: :mad: :(
     
  9. FINMAN

    FINMAN Old Junior Member

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    LOL Well put!
     
  10. dip

    dip dip

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    nah, i just use the needle nose plars(sic) and clamp on spike and twist forwad, busts spikes off clean.
     
  11. i am sure they really dont care clipped or not, its food to them. after reading the article i am sure that they get spit back out and cause more fouled hooksets than other fish just due to the fact that they can lock them spines in place. when you handle other fish like 'gills, carp, white bass, etc, you can take your hand or fingers and "lay down" their fins going from the head to the tail. thats no doubt why nature designed them to swallow them head first. now with channels and bullheads thats different. they can lock their spines and they cant be moved at all until they feel like it, or you break them.