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Flathead pictures?

Discussion in 'Catfish Discussion' started by Jackfish, Sep 15, 2004.

  1. Flathead pictures...

    I have noticed that almost all flathead pictures have angler holding the fish in a vertical hang. I've seen alot of these photo on this site, & my understanding is that most of these fish are released to grow bigger & uglier & hopefully be caught again.

    I have alot of background catching pike & only been fishing cats for a few years. With pike (& muskie) I know that the larger fish should not be held this way. This type of hold placed alot of stress on the fish - the larger the fish the more damage caused - could dislocate a jaw, cause stretching of various tissue, cause damage to the spine, allow organs to compress from gravity, etc... and is considered a serious threat to catch & release fishing, enough so that some magazines will discourage printing pictures of fish held this way. There is an article in the current issue of Esox Angler titled "handling techniques and survival of released muskellunge" that details the effects of improper handling.

    Is this a concern for flatheads? I have been taken the majority of my cat pictures using a horizontal bend, attempting to support he weight of the fish. Admittedly, this type of picture does not do the cats much justice, they do look much cooler in the vertical hang. I want to have a nice picture, but the whole point of catch & release is pointless if the fish dies after the fact from the stresses of being caught.

    On the other hand, I have never had ANY trouble releasing a cat, even on the occasions when I have used a vertical hang. I've never released a cat to see it surface later belly up, or not be willing to swim off. Larger pike or muskie usually seem hard to release, even when handled with kid gloves, (cradles, wet hands, no trebles, etc...)

    Anyone have input?
  2. I guess I can't be 100% sure, but I've never seen any sign of a flathead suffering any damage from being held vertical. Big flatheads tend to be a bit more resilient than many other fish.

  3. katfish

    katfish Cats are where it's at!

    We should always handle fish (we intend to release) carefully and release them gently.

    I would like to emphasize that catfish may be a little tougher than most gamefish.

    Take a look at these videos that I offer as proof ;)

    flathead videos

    I write many articles during winter and will have new capabilities this year to complete a section dealing with handling and care of fish that are to be released.


    MLAROSA Loving Life

    Awsome video's!!!!
  5. mrfishohio

    mrfishohio Recovering Fishaholic

    I don't think it hurts flatheads....I know several of the same big fish get caught over again. ;)
  6. Very good topic! I’ve also had questions about the best way to handle the BIG cats. Looking forward to reading your articles Katfish.
  7. catking

    catking Banned

    Hey JImmydaCat-Refresh my memory.Just how big was that flathead :confused: ............DA KING !!! :)
  8. Thanks for the input guys, this is something I have been wondering about - I'll look forward to those articles as well.
  9. mrfishohio

    mrfishohio Recovering Fishaholic

    KingKwik...the 2nd one was 41 or 42#...Dave caught it. Not sure if the 1st one is the same or not, it would say in my photo gallery(where both were linked from). I think it's the same fish, judging from the current.