Black Cats

Halloween images typically include various night dwelling creatures such as owls, bats, and black cats. But I would like to nominate the catfish to this infamous list.

There is no solidly colored “black catfish,” but the black bullhead and the male channel catfish during spawning season come close. And although many species of fish can be caught in the evening, the night belongs to catfish. In his book “Out There Fishing,” Keith “Catfish” Sutton wrote, “Most catfish work the late shift.”

Small eyes, those unique sensory aides and whiskers (barbels), allow catfish to find their prey in any light condition, at any depth, and in the murkiest water.

Mr. Sutton also wrote, “One should fish at night to gain a true appreciation of catfish and the magical world in which they live. At times, offerings of chicken liver or night crawlers will not reach the bottom before a cat inhales the enticement.”

Fishing at night is a completely new ball game. Sounds that you wouldn’t have paid any attention to during the day become of the utmost importance. Branches swaying in the wind, for example, suddenly become Sasquatch. And he’s not bringing more stink bait.

Catfish will bite any time of day, but as far as active creatures of the night, “black cats” are always a real treat.

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Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.