How to Grab a Catfish Properly and Safely (Safety Tips to Follow)


Catfishes have bitten many people because they don’t know how. This can be dangerous, especially for novices. This simple guide will show you how to catch the catfish easily and prevent you from having a terrible fishing experience. This guide is essential because it contains the following information. It will allow you to inspect your catch after a successful fishing trip. Second, it will keep the fish safe while you are fishing. However, it is not easy to hold catfish. Let’s now learn how to grab a catfish properly and safely.

How to Grab a Catfish Properly and Safely

There are many myths about fishing, but one more common than others is the belief that catfish whiskers “sting.” Although their whiskers might look frightening, they are harmless. Although catfish can hurt you while being handled, it doesn’t mean they can’t. They can certainly do so. But their whiskers are not the danger. You should be concerned about their pectoral and dorsal fins.

Flat surface

This is the most popular method. It requires precision and accuracy. You should first be aware of the dorsal spikes and the side fins. They can spike your hands if you don’t have the proper grip. And don’t be afraid, unlike some guys who fear the whiskers. Catfish’s whiskers are used to smell. They don’t bite, and they don’t spike. Here are the steps to follow to master this technique. Flip the catfish and wrap it with your hands. Place all your fingers on the fins. Next, place your thumb under the fin. Keep your grip firm. This will stop catfish from squirming. Use all of your hands to catch larger fish.

The catfish mouth

This is the most common method for removing a catfish hook. Hold the fish with the fishing string to do this correctly. Grab the tail at the same time. Remember that the fish’s fins should not touch your skin or body. Grab the tail and hold it steady. This will stop the fish from moving around. You must be careful as the fish can get very slippery. Hold the tail steady and place your hand on its pectoral fin. To unhook the fish, reach for your fishing hook.

Hands covered

If you are still unsure, it is best to cover your hands before you grab the fish. Wrap your hands in gloves and wrap a towel around them. Then, place the fish flat on the table. After the fish has been properly held, you can remove the hook.

Types of catfish

Many catfish species are venomous, which may surprise you. The long whiskers near the mouth of catfishes are sensory organs. They are entirely harmless and soft. The long, sharp spines on the dorsal and pectoral fins were designed for business. According to the University of Michigan, catfish venom glands can be found along with short, bony spines at the edges of dorsal or pectoral fins. These spines can be locked in place when threatened. The membrane around the venom gland cells ruptures when a spine strikes a predator. This releases venom into the wound.

It is common for fish to be swallowed head-first by prey animals. Fish will straighten their fins in defense to avoid being swallowed by the tail. Catfish assume that you are about to swallow them. They will lock their fins and shake vigorously to the side and try to stick you with one of their pectoral spines. If the catfish manages to hit you, it will release toxic poison into your wound. This can cause severe pain, inflammation, and cell death.

How to grab a catfish properly and safely: Things you need to know

Watch the fins

Catfish can be very slippery. It has three fins. The fish has two fins on each side and one on its top. These fins are dangerous because of their sharp spikes. You should take extra care when handling the fish. Catfish spikes can also be very vicious. A single jab can cause severe pain and even swelling in hand.

The catfish teeth

Finally, make sure to check for any decay. Catfish have small, saw-like teeth. Catfish rarely bite. However, it is essential to be careful as an uneven bite could easily cause a fracture. Don’t be afraid to hold the fish. However, you should remain cautious.

Confidence level

Once you’ve decided to hold a catfish in your hands, you must ensure that your hands are strong enough. I’ve seen people grab the catfish midair or not properly secure it. This could be dangerous and lead to a simple jab. This is why it is essential to have confidence. You should not allow a catfish to squirm once you have grabbed it. The fish can be very slippery. If you allow the fish to squirm, you could end up with a spiked glove. You must ensure that your grip is firm. Place your fingers strategically.

Fishing method

This is an essential factor to remember. How you fish for catfish will affect your steps when handling them. Unhooking the catch is up to the line and hook fisherman. However, if they’re going after one kill, they don’t have to unhook the hook until the fish has expired.

Extended spines

The spines of a catfish will naturally grow once it has been removed from the water. Be careful and keep the spikes at a safe distance. You can easily remove the hook from the catfish’s mouth if you do this.


The size of the fish is also important, apart from its fins. This is also a crucial factor. You must decide the best method to grab your catfish. There are many ways to catch catfish, but your chosen plan will depend on its size. It is easy to grab smaller catfish with one hand. They will squirm if you hold them. You should also be aware of the sharp spikes on smaller catfish.

What to do if you’ve been stung by a catfish spine

Catfish have a thick coating of bacteria-rich slime on their fins. This can lead to infection. It’s not that their venom doesn’t hurt, but anaphylaxis can occur if you have an allergic reaction. Catfishermen used to rub their spine wounds on fish’s stomachs before there were pain relievers or antiseptics. It will instantly relieve your pain but can lead to a severe infection.

  • If necessary, perform CPR on the injured person.
  • Don’t rub the wounds with catfish slime.
  • Use tweezers to remove any spine remaining.
  • Use soap and water to clean the wound. Rinse it with warm water.
  • For about 30 minutes, immerse the affected areas in as hot water as possible. This should immediately relieve the pain. You can also add Epsom salts to help disinfect the wound.
  • Don’t cover or tape the injury.
  • Any lingering pain can be treated with Tylenol or acetaminophen.
  • As soon as possible, see your doctor.


After reading this article, I hope you now know how to properly catch a catfish. You can use any of the above methods. It’s not a contest, so be safe. This fish is dangerous and slippery. It is essential to know how you will handle it.

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