Brave Wilderness: Bass, Blue Gill and the Beast of the Diving Quarry — Channel Catfish

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The beast of the diving quarry is the Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) which is North America’s most numerous catfish species, attracted by hot dogs.

Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) possess very keen senses of smell and taste. The pits of their nostrils (nares) are known to have very sensitive odor sensing organs with a very high concentration of olfactory receptors.

Catfish also have taste buds all over their external body. Catfish, described as ‘swimming tongues’, have an extraordinary number of taste buds, including distribution of taste buds from the oropharyngeal cavity to their external body, and a high sensitivity to amino acids. The taste system of catfish, has distinct taste receptor sites for the amino acids L-alanine and L-arginine.

Hot dogs are lower in arginine — compared to thin-sliced beef, corned beef, salami, pork sausage, and chicken breast. Of course hot dogs are a lot cheaper, and apparently get the bait job done.

See also …
Caprio J1, Brand JG, Teeter JH, Valentincic T, Kalinoski DL, Kohbara J, Kumazawa T, Wegert S. The taste system of the channel catfish: from biophysics to behavior. Trends Neurosci. 1993 May;16(5):192-7.

Finger TE1, Bryant BP, Kalinoski DL, Teeter JH, Böttger B, Grosvenor W, Cagan RH, Brand JG. Differential localization of putative amino acid receptors in taste buds of the channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus. J Comp Neurol. 1996 Sep 9;373(1):129-38.

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