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badfish

Channel or Flathead?

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badfish

I caught this fish the other night and wasn't sure if it was a flathead or a channel. It was one of the big fish of the night and it looked different then the other channels(in terms of color, size and shape) so thats what got me wondering, it weighed 6lbs. It was caught in the clearwater area. thanks for any help

100_0509.jpg

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PierBridge

Nice Channel Cat!

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badfish

Yeah I didn't think it was a flathead but it looked different from the other channels...probably just cuz it was bigger. Thanks for clarifying that for me.

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PierBridge

Channell Cats have a wide color range, I have seen them very light to very dark in color including Purple, Green, Brown and Silver.

Nice one!

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Ralph Wiggum

Yes, 100% channel cat. A flathead in that stretch of water is pretty much unheard of.

When in doubt, check the tail. Channels have a deeply forked tail, flatheads have a pretty much square tail.

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hanson

Not to mention that Flatheads grow significantly larger like this guy! grin.gif

hansonmonsterflatwf5.jpg

I'm not kidding, that fish was 20+lbs. I'm just not long arming him! LOL! grin.gif

They don't look as big when you hold them close to your body.

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Grant

Such a cute little thing! (the fish, not Hanson!) grin.gif

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Shack

If you are one of the very lucky to even see a flat caught up here, they look like the one Hanson is holding up. I have seen only a couple over the many years I have fished this area and they were small. Just like the flats range in color (green to yellow),

channels do to.

I only thing I have found is channels will change in body shape. I have seen some sick/bulging type to green smooth sleek looking. I am not sure what causes this. Of all the flat pics I have seen and fish I have caught, flats body stays the same threw out. Channels on the other hand sure come up weird at times .

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smallie_hawgin

Channels always have forked tails while Flats will have rounded to more square tails or caudal fin..

The different growth characteristics is due to sex dimorphism... Males get the big bulgy or bulbous look after a few years of spawning activity. Females generally look "sleek" compared to males, although they get quite a bit fatter.

Has not been a flatty caught above Coon rapids on the Miss anyway....

Hope this helps.

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Mark Christianson

You smokin crack again SH??? grin.gif

Who the heck knows what diabolicalmorpheusism even means?

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badfish

I see. Well I've learned a lot with this post so far, thanks for everyones info. One more question though...I've noticed on a lot of the bigger cats almost all of them have a sore right in the middle of there head, what causes that? I assume its from poking there heads under rocks looking for crayfish, Am I right? or is there some other reason for it?

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Shack

Smallie,

I value your opinion!

I do not have any evidence of flats on Miss. North, but I know what I saw. They were caught at night and I will not rule out a miss construed female channel! The one that was caught several years back at St Cloud dam is still embedded in my minds eye! It was a flat!

I would be interested in your trot line report, when you get it done!

Would DNR ever stock flats up this way or is this a lost cause? Why would a flat not survive in this area of the river? As time creeps on and no digital image of a flat from up here, my thoughts of ever seeing another one caught up here are fading away. I have targeted them with certain type of bait with no luck.

Also how did channels get up above CR dam. PLus, have you ever heard of one caught at Anoka dam. I have heard stoies of 40lbs and 50lbs fish caught down their. They could be bogus, but they sure we not channels.

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Shack

I noticed this sore as well over the years. It looks like a bullet wound. I figured this has something to do with spawning also.

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EBass

I hope they (DNR) doesn't put Flats in the upper Miss - they'll eat the smallies shocked.gif

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Shack

Bass/smash!

There are plenty to go around. They need a little thining anyways. Think of the monsters that would grow after the flats thined them out grin.gif

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JBMasterAngler

I've heard that if flatheads are introduced to waters where only channels were originally native to, that they can do great harm to the population of channels. Plus I don't think there's too much demand for flatheads in the upper mississippi. I like the river the way it is, but if I absolutely HAD to pick a new fish to introduce it'd be sturgeon over flatheads anyway.

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