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kjackson

What the heck did it?

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Spent some time at our place on the upper end this past week. And as I usually do, I put down a set line from the end of our dock as we still have quite a bit of water.  After doing better than I thought the first day, the second morning was a surprise. When I pulled the line, there was a really nice blue cat--but it was dead.  I've never had a catfish die on the line before...While that might be expected, this one was pretty well chewed on.  The gills had been chewed a bit as had the tail. But the head-scratcher for me was the belly.  It looked like it had been cut in three or four places, and the intestines were pulled out.  

I could see that a larger cat might have done that, but the cuts looked like they'd been made by a knife--very straight and not ragged at all.  

Are there pike or muskies in the lake?  That's kind of the damage I might expect from those toothy critters, but otherwise--what could do that?

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I would agree with the turtle. Used to have snappers and soft shell eat our stringered fish. Often just left the heads. Always clean cuts.

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Survey says...didn't think turtles were out this early, given the cold water, but that makes sense.  We do have a largish snapper living in the area.  Whatever hit the cat didn't really eat anything, just cut the abdomen.  The gill and tail chewing I attributed to the little channel cats (or the dink crappies which currently live under the dock).  Interesting... thanks.

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