Ictalurus furcatus

Common names: Arkansas blue, Arkansas hybrid, blue runner.

Preferred Habitat: Blue catfish prefer rivers and large creeks with moderate to swift current over rock, gravel or clean sandy bottoms. However, they have done well in large manmade impoundments.

Common Size: 18-44 inches and 1 to 40 pounds.

Approximate Maximum Size: about 100 pounds in recent years, although in the 1800’s a 300 pound fish was reported from the Missouri River

Food Habits: A nocturnal predator, the blue catfish feeds on fish, aquatic insects, clams and miscellaneous other animals which are encountered.

Spawning: Spawning occurs in the late spring or early summer in water temperatures of 70-75°F. Egg masses are deposited in cavities afforded by logs, brush or undercut riverbanks. Unlike other catfish, the male and female both assist in guarding the eggs and the young while they remain in the nest.

Miscellaneous: The blue catfish is the largest member of the North American catfish. Cut fish is the most commonly used local bait. Fresh fish is more productive than previously frozen fish. In addition to cut bait, trotline fishermen have been known to use shrimp, raisins, muscadine grapes, deer heart, soap, and cheese.