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  Home | Gulf Fish DatabaseWednesday, July 27, 2016  

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This book is a given for recreational and commercial fishermen as well as anyone who loves the outdoors! Since most anglers identify their fish by reviewing illustrations rather than using scientific keys, the authors have succeeded in making fishing easier by providing superb illustrations and detailed diagnostics for fish identification. A valuable, one-stop reference tool for everyday anglers, fisheries experts, biologists, and outdoors writers, this guide includes intensively researched information on 207 species of saltwater fish, essential data on each species’ habitat, identification, typical size, and food value. By Jerald Horst & Mike Lane, illustrated by Duane Raver. 207 species.

Catfish, Gafftopsail
Bagre marinus

Illustrations by: Duane Raver     Click image for large version.
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Family:  Sea Catfishes  (Ariidae)
Catfish, Gafftopsail resources :  
Rodnreel.com photos of the Catfish, Gafftopsail
Rodnreel.com reports about the Catfish, Gafftopsail
Other internet photos of the Catfish, Gafftopsail
Louisiana state records for the Catfish, Gafftopsail
Weight vs. length chart for Catfish, Gafftopsail
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Other Names :Sailcat, Sea Cat, Gafftop, Slime Cat, Gafftopsail Catfish
Range & Habitat :Gulfwide in shallow and moderate depth nearshore waters, and in marine and brackish estuaries. It often penetrates fresh water during the warmer months. During the winter months they move from estuarine to warm marine waters.
Identification & Biology :This fish is silvery-gray above and white below. No scales are found on the skin. Two barbels are located under the chin, unlike the four found on hardhead catfish, and two more very long barbels are at the corners of the mouth. The dorsal and pectoral fins have long filaments on them. It has hard, sharp, venomous spines in its dorsal and pectoral fins and should be handled with care. Gafftopsail catfish not only feed on the bottom, but throughout the water column, even at the surface, where they predaceously pursue small schooling fishes.

They eat a wide variety of foods, especially blue crabs. Spawning seems to take place in May, with the male holding up to 55 eggs in his mouth until they hatch, and then holding the young fish for several weeks thereafter. Gafftopsail catfish are covered with copious amounts of mucous and when hooked, will leave a generous amount on the fishing line above the hook.
Size :Common at 1-3 pounds, but can reach 8 pounds.
Food Value :Fair, but can have a slightly pronounced ‘fishy’ taste.
Description by: Jerald Horst, Associate Professor, Fisheries - LSU AgCenter

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