|Paulding County Outdoors|
|Wednesday, August 10, 2011 11:13 AM|
By Duane Bailey
Several years ago, I went fly fishing for smallmouth bass in the Maumee River. A streamer fly produced several bass, 11-12 inches in length. Not big, but still fun to catch. However, the largest fish of the day and a surprise was not a bass, but a channel catfish, weighing four pounds. On a fly rod and in the current, that fish put up quite the fight! Since then I’ve purposely used the fly rod to target channel catfish in both rivers and ponds. Why? They’re abundant, hard fighting, will take flies, and they’re mighty tasty.
Channel catfish have a widespread range in North America and can be found almost anywhere in Paulding County including the Maumee River, Auglaize River, Flat Rock Creek, the Paulding Reservoir, and many private ponds. Channel catfish are omnivores, so that means they’ll eat almost anything. Their favorite prey items include baitfish, insects, crayfish, worms and leeches. Mainly bottom feeders, they will also eat prey on the surface and anywhere else in between. Channel cats average around two to three pounds, and have an average length of 16 to 24 inches.