Gafftopsail Catfish

Gafftopsail Catfish

Bagre marinus
Sailcat

Life History:


Description and Diagnostic Characteristics: The head is bigger and the mouth is larger but the coloration is similar to that of the Hardhead Catfish. Long, soft streamers extend from the dorsal and pectoral fins. The dorsal and pectoral fins are equipped with a serrated erectile spine, both of which are venomous. One pair of barbels on chin.

Size: Mostly found at more than a pound but rarely over 10 pounds.

Age at Maturity:

Range: From Florida to the Chesapeake Bay and straggles to New England

Habitat: Roams coastal flats but prefers channels and other deep areas. Roams far into rivers. Although mainly marine it does enter brackish estuaries with relatively high salinities

Angling Information:


Bait and Tackle: Any kind of live or dead bait works well, although live bait is preferred. Many artificial lures can also be used. Light spinning and baitcasting tackle are recommended.

Fishing Method: Casting, still fishing, drifting

Food Value: Very good