Colour and Catfish

Can Catfish distinguish different colors?

There have been a few questions about cats, and their preferences for lures of different colours, or their ability to distinguish different colours. There is no body of scientific evidence to document the catfish’s response to colour, but there is a big pile of evidence that shows that cats, in general, rely not on their eyes, but on their well-adapted barbels, eight of which are placed in strategic locations around the mouth. These barbels make for more than just a pretty face – they are actually highly-developed tactile and taste sensors, meaning that they are used by the catfish to sense the location, shape and size of nearby objects, and also, to tase them, allowing the cat to navigate and locate food, all at once, even in complete darkness…. GPS is only just getting us to that point.

Because of these barbels, and a super-well developed sense of smell, too, cats are best targeted with baits which smell a great deal, if not necessarily badly. In their natural environment, most all cats live in either deep, dark, clear water, or deep, darker, murky water, so the smelliest items get the most attention, because these fish “see” with their sense of smell, and with their barbels, when they get close enough. Most smaller cats will readily wolf down almost anything they can smell first, and then get their mouth around, but bigger cats tend to be more focused eaters, usually taking only fish, or related fishy-smelling items. Regardless of the bait chosen, though, it is the smell and feel of it, and not the look, or colour, that will win the heart of a hungry cat.

Dan Eggertsen is a fellow catfish fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on catfish fishing since 2004.

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