how fast do blue catfish grow

How Fast do Blue Catfish Grow?

Blue Catfish are among the most sought-after catfish species; these fish are extraordinary and unique, not just because of their size. Whether you seek Blue Catfish at a local river, private pond, or a watering hole, it can be an excellent choice for anyone who enjoys fishing. These fish are also known as Hybrid Blue Catfish and are prevalent to Anglers of all sorts. There are many reasons why hobbyist anglers love these species of fish. 

How fast do blue Catfish grow? Blue catfish grow 30% faster than other catfish breeds. Depending on the ecosystem they are living in can determine how fast they grow, factors like river density, and how much available food there is. When catfish live in a sizable environment, they can become quite large.

There are so many questions about the growth of Blue Catfish. They are a complex type of fish that the questions usually linger around: how fast, how big can these catfish get, and what are the factors of successful development? These questions can help anglers and help you determine if their catch is worthwhile. Well, in this article, I will answer those questions for you.

How Long Does it Take for a Blue Catfish to Grow Full Size? 

For a Blue Catfish, they can grow one pound over eighteen months; but as they age, the more rapidly they grow. In the beginning, Blue Catfish can grow very slowly, but once they hit the sexually mature age to start mating, between four to seven years of age, the growth and development begin to pick up. Blue Catfish can live up to twenty years of age, and they do not stop growing between the time they hatch and die.

At a sexually mature age, these fish can be between fourteen to twenty-six inches long and weigh almost three pounds. If they have a very productive ecosystem, by eight years, they can be three pounds, and by eleven years, twenty pounds to fifty pounds. With that being said, since Blue Catfish can live to be twenty years of age, they can be up to one hundred and fifty pounds in weight.  

How Can You Tell How Old a Blue Catfish is?

If you are an avid angler or even new at the whole fishing hobby, this information could be helpful to you when capturing Blue Catfish. Usually, depending on the size, you can estimate how old the fish is, but there is an easier and more accurate way. 

You can find rings under one of their dorsal fins that indicate how old the fish could be. For example, if you see ten dark circles on one of the dorsal fins, this can inform you that the fish is around ten years of age. These rings can only be found under the fin, so you must flip the catfish onto its back. 

But still, especially if you are unsure of what you are looking for, you may not see it; most of the time, anglers cut off one dorsal fin to see the rings clearer. Of course, many may think this is cruel, but skilled anglers have done this before. The catfish can proceed on with one fin. 

How Old is a Fifty Pound Blue Catfish? 

Determining how old a fifty-pound catfish is dependent on how great the environment is. A Blue Catfish at fifty pounds could potentially be around eleven years old. This can only be if their environment has a large selection of acceptable food, enough that will allow them to grow to a large and healthy size. These fish need space, and they most of all need to eat. If you are looking for the giant Blue Catfish, you want to go to an area in which they are known to grow massively. There are also locations where you can find smaller Catfish if you are new to fishing. Here are a few rivers, ponds, and other bodies of water that you can find the size of Blue Catfish you are looking for: 

  • James River: Located in Virginia, this location is known for its award-winning blue Catfish. It has been found, in 2009, that a Blue Catfish, weighing at one hundred and two pounds, was found. This was the record-breaking size and weight. 
  • Mattaponi & Pamunkey: These are two fruitful locations to find sizable Blue Catfish. There are many reports of fifty pounds to eighty pounds found in these rivers. Not quite as record-breaking in size as James River, but still, this river is known for producing some rather large fish.
  • Rappahannock: In the 1990s, this river was a great area to find sizable Catfish in, but in recent years, that is not the case. Due to the decrease in sizable fish, no records are being broken here; but it is still a great place to find Blue Catfish that you can take home to your table. 

Conclusion: How Fast do Blue Catfish Grow?

Blue Catfish are a sought catfish due to their unbelievable size. They may start slow and steady, but by the time they are ready to mate, their size can take off to over one hundred pounds. Depending on their environment and if there is food available, it can help determine if a river, pond, or other bodies of water, can produce sizable fish. 

Catching these fish can be incredibly fun and rewarding. Be sure to head to the locations interested in capturing these big games; it doesn’t matter if you are a skilled angler or novice fisherman. These fish will surprise you in their age and size.