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Two years ago i caught this Catfish in the south Red River near the Floodway. No doubt it is a Channel Catfish but i have never seen or heard of them being completely blacked out. I am curious if anyone knows what causes this or if it is even unusual to begin with. I haven't seen a Catfish like this since..
 

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Chrisdowntofish catfish, like all fish, have different color variants and know one really knows why. I have had many long discussions with biologists and catfish researchers who have been studying our catfish for the last 2 years and although they have a wealth of info and have ideas and theories even they don't know for certain the answer to a lot of these questions.

We do see this every year though. Some Channel Catfish and it seems like primarily the males will turn dark blue / black during the spawn period. I would say that fish was caught during the spawn. In fact a few years back the spawn was delayed by extreme high water and the cats in the lockport/selkirk portion were spawning 2 months late in Sept, so that could line up with when you caught that fish.

I have caught dark colored fish in other seasonal periods but it is very common when they are in that 2-3 week spawn period.
 
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