They are the aquatic version of Count Dracula, quietly resting in the same dark, hidden location by day, and prowling for living prey by night. And like a vampire, they are legendary for both their great physical strength and ability to achieve a ripe old age. These “freshwater freight trains” require fishing tackle usually seen in saltwater situations, and can live at least 20 to 25 years.
The flathead catfish, Pylodictis olivaris, is known by other nicknames, most notably yellow catfish or mud catfish. And owing to a broad, flattened head (that seemingly comprises half their slender bodies), shovelhead catfish is yet another common nickname. They are fascinating in a way that is inversely-proportional to their looks.
Learn more by searching "flathead catfish" at iowadnr.gov
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Image: smiling angler holding a flathead catfish