Catfish Grabblin' is the art of fishing with your hands. In the spring of the year the catfish move to shallow water to lay their eggs. Spawning is triggered by the increasing length of the days and the warmer water temperatures. Spawning in the Tennessee River area usually starts about late May.
The female will look for a sheltered location to deposit her eggs. Holes in rocks, boat ramps, hollow logs, and other secluded areas all provide good shelter for spawning activities. After the female deposits her eggs the male will move in to guard the eggs. He will stay in the nest to keep the eggs aerated and protect them from predators. He will stay until the fry leave the nest. The male will eat very little while guarding the eggs and will strike out at anything that comes too close to the nest. Especially a bare hand!
Most of the time we practice catch and release. However we will keep some for the freezer to have a big catfish fry. Occasionally we will have to use a pole with a crooked end to assist in pulling the catfish to the opening of the hole where they can be reached.
Enjoy the pictures of some of the catfish that we have caught over the years on the following pages. Also check out our exciting new video from some of the great grabblin' adventures we have had over the years. The video is great fun for the whole family.