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What’s That Noise Catfish Make?


Ever caught a catfish that was barking, squawking, croaking or seemed like it was talking to you? Ever wondered, what’s that noise that catfish make on occasion when you catch them? Keep reading because in this week’s Catfishing Quick Tips video we explain it all.

It is fairly common when fishing for catfish to catch a fish that seems like it’s barking or talking to you. It doesn’t matter what species it is, blue catfish, channel catfish or flathead catfish they all do it (but blue catfish always seem to do this more, at least to me). Some people will refer to this as barking  or talking but there is actually a term for it and a good (and interesting) reason behind it.

What’s That Noise Catfish Make?

The technical term for the noise is “stridor”. Catfish have fins on their sides, the pectoral fins and also one on their back the dorsal fin (see how to hold a catfish and do catfish sting). The fish has the ability to “lock” these fins into place as a defense mechanism.

Sometimes you will catch catfish with their fins locked into place and sometimes they will not be, and sometimes they will move them slightly. That slight movement creates a rubbing on the back of the fin and the fin rubs against the body of the fish creating a vibration. That vibration resonates through the body of the catfish and out the mouth and gills giving the impression that the fish is talking, barking or whatever you want to call it!

Anyway, if you have ever wondered, what’s that noise catfish make, then watch this weeks Catfishing Quick Tip video and you can learn all about it. I enlisted a new buddy of mine, “Fred” to give me a hand with this video and cohost it with me, and he had a LOT to say.

Once your done watching this catfishing video make sure you click the “Like” button below and then leave us a quick comment below!



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About Chad

Chad Ferguson is a professional catfish guide and founder of Learn To Catch Catfish. Click here to subscribe for more exclusive catfish fishing tips by email and then follow on Twitter or Google


  1. Hey Chad;

    Good video on this subject. I’ve never had anyone give me a correct explanation of this topic. There has been a lenghy list of given reasons though. I wondered about that noise on one of my first fishing outings as a kid. Later in my [young] adult life, I used to catch Spot Fin Croakers off one of the piers in So. Cal. They also made this noise.

    Keep these wonderful videos coming. They have all been a great learning tool for me.


  2. From the look of the gut on your friend, he’s not TOO hungry

  3. butterbean carpenter says:

    Howdy Chad,

    NOW, WE KNOW YOU’VE BEEN ON THE WATER TOO LONG!!! Talking to catfish!!!

    Great video!!!! Did you put ‘Fred’ back??? He looked like a great


  4. OK…That was very scietific….So, your not just a fisherman….lol

    Keep up the good posts and nice to have knowledgeable person share his knowledge with us.

    Merry Christmas to you and wishing you a prosperous 2012!!!!

  5. Hey Chad, that was really informative and down right I heard you make a comment on the noise being a burping and made me think about how many people may not know when catching and releasing trophy cats that before they surface that they need to “BURP” to improve there chance to survive. For those that might wonder what im talking about is when you pull a cat from deep water there “airsac” fills up just like a diver when you surface to fast. Ive alwalys like to let the fish swim, (give me his last bit of fight) just under the water till i see the bubbles come up. well i hope that helps some one and saves a big ole cat for some else to catch another day.

  6. This was great! this information is going straight to my “Gee-Wiz File” Next time I take somebody catfishing and mister Channel Cat starts to grunting I can hold a short biology 101 class and explain how the noise is made.
    Very Good Video!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I enjoyed it!!!!!!

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