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repocrazy12

Caught a green catfish

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So last weekend I parked off of NN Hwy and waded down river a ways. I caught some very decent fish on the creek. BUT, I caught something I have never ever caught before on the Jacks Fork or any of the prongs leading into the Jacks Fork. I caught a green colored catfish that measured 12 inches long. I was told that it was a bullhead catfish and that they are all over the Jacks Fork but are hard to catch. Has anyone else caught one?

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Yes, they are actually very common on all the Ozark streams, but are seldom caught on lures.  There are two species, yellow and black (there's actually a third species, the brown bullhead, but I've never seen one on an Ozark stream).  Yellow bullheads are olive on the back and yellowish on the sides, black bullheads are dark green to almost black on the back, with olive sides.  I've never caught one on a lure, but when I was a kid we'd catch them by the bunches while fishing with dead minnows at night.  We were fishing for channel catfish, and we hated catching bullheads because they always swallowed the bait and getting a hook out of one was an exercise in pain.  Their fins would stick us, and they have jaws like a bear trap--you didn't want to stick your fingers in one's mouth.

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As a  kid fishing public ponds in St Louis ,  we caught our fair share of bullhead catfish, or as we called them, yellow belly cats.  99% of the time they would swallow the hook.   They were also to small to think about keeping, and gave no fight to mention.   I guess they were good for young people such as us.   Just became a pain after a while.   

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I never really thought of the jacks fork as a bullhead creek but I guess they live about everywhere. Caught a lot of them in ponds and creeks in north missouri. Had a huge one on a jug line that was about 18".

 

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