Do Catfish Have Legs or Hands? The Truth Behind the Walking Catfish

Have you ever seen a fish walking? I have seen that! it is not a common thing to see even when you are by the sea because it is rare for fish to have the ability to walk outside the water.

Do catfish have legs or hands? Catfish don’t have legs or hands, but they are one of the rarest fish that can walk outside the freshwater. The walking catfish (a species of catfish) have well-formed fins that help them to wiggle across the land. Most of the time, they go out of water in wet weather.

If you are excited to know more about the walking catfish and how far they can walk? Continue reading this article.

Do catfish have legs? 

do catfish have legs

Catfish, like all other fish, are designed to live in freshwater. Despite what images online may have made you think, Catfish are not special in any way; they don’t have fish or legs, just fins like all other normal fishes out there.

Now, you are probably wondering how they can walk outside the water? They actually don’t walk like humans or even the four-legs animals.

They just can use their strong fins and their smooth skin to wriggle in the dry land like snake movements.

Can Catfish walk?

Catfish in general, can’t walk outside the water.

The Clarias Batrachus is a species of catfish that is commonly known as the walking catfish that can walk on dry land.

This species is based in southeast Asia and various parts of the world. These fish can relocate themselves from one country to another easily when they are looking for food.

You might have seen some catfish on Florida beaches.

How far can a catfish walk? 

Catfish can lean on their fins and smooth skin to walk up to 1.2 kilometers. While the average for most walking catfish to live outside the water is about three hours, some catfish manage to survive outside the water for up to eighteen hours. 

You are probably wondering now, how do catfish breathe, or do they have lungs? The catfish body is designed to live in the water and they don’t have lungs, they use their gills to breathe inside the water and while they are out of the water they can survive as long as their skin is moist.

Do catfish have hands? 

Catfish don’t have hands. Catfish have well-developed fins that help them to push their body on dry land.

When you look at this walking catfish, you will not be thinking about how for a catfish, this is a very tough journey.

The walking catfish’s body is about two feet and its weight is about 2.6 lb which is a bit heavy compared to their fins size.

Catfish can walk outside the water but it won’t be that easy for them they just try to survive, till they find freshwater.

Why do catfish walk?

Now with that said, you may ask why do catfish walk on the land? The most common reasons are to look for food as they eat earthworms and other invertebrates and to lay the eggs in a shallow hole where they will be safe from predators.

Walking catfish multiply too quickly. They are one of the most invasive fish.

So, once they reach a river you will find them in many rivers around and nearby and this also means the small aquatic and river plants have been eaten as food for catfish, as a result. they are always looking for better living conditions and more food. 

Walking catfish life spans are long, the female catfish’s average age is ten to fourteen years, and males eight to nine years.

How do catfish find their food?

Catfish are talented in detecting their food location whether they are in the river or on the land using their whiskers and their good sense of smell, they use it when they are out of the water to find their way back home.

What do walking catfish look like?

The walking catfish’s most common color is gray, and gray with a light brown tint while the albino type is almost white. They have a thick layer of mucus which makes it hard for humans to hold them or handle their bodies.

This thick mucus layer is what saves their life while they are out of the water because they use it to breathe as they don’t have lungs. Instead, they have a special organ that helps them breathe. This organ functions like humans’ lungs. 

Outdoorskilled’s Recommended Gear for Superb Catfishing

I’ve testeI’vezens of reels, rods, and lines for Catfishing, and after years of testing, here are my quick picks that will definitely improve your current setup and results!

My recommended reel is the Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Reel C3-7000 which is ideally suited for catfish.

The rod I always recommend is the KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rod. It’s lightIt’sht, durable, and affordable. Furthermore, you’d haveyou’dde selection of models to choose from, whether you’re looyou’reor a spinning or casting rod. Lastly, it comes in twin-tips models, which means you’ll be you’llg two rods rather than one.

What I use is the Berkley Trilene Big Game Monofilament Fishing Line as it’s the sit’sgest, toughest mono I’ve ever I’veed and because it has exceptional shock strength, great knot integrity, tremendous abrasion resistance, and a high-visibility color option, you really can’t findcan’ter options

Related Questions 

Why are walking catfish a problem?

The walking catfish and their invasive nature make them the source of a threat, especially for fish farmers in Florida. Because once they find a fish farm, they eat a large amount of their stock. Also, a wild catfish may carry diseases like enteric septicemia which could infect the farmed catfish.

Do catfish have lungs?

The catfish don’t have lungs. Though they are called the breathy air catfish because they have specialized organs like tree structures above the fish gills. Once the fish opens its mouth, the gills close and the route to the tree-like organ opens as the neck muscles contract. 

How to prevent your farm fish from walking fish?

As we mentioned, walking fish is a source of threat for farm fish, to protect your farm you can build high fences or levees and make sure they are high enough because catfish can jump too.

Are walking catfish safe to eat?

Walking catfish is safe to eat like any other catfish and they are considered to be tasty fish. Just make sure you kill them before cooking and cleaning the fish well from the gut. They are also considered low in calories, healthy fats, rich in vitamins, and minerals.

Do walking catfish have teeth?

Walking catfish have many small pointed teeth on their upper and lower jaw. The teeth number and sizes depend on the fish’s age and gender. If you want to catch the fish avoid its mouth and hold it from the top.

Helpful Resources 

Facts about the walking catfish

Resources for Catching Catfish Faster and More Easily

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