Bluecat Sexing

Some folks have asked me how to tell the difference between male bluecat and female bluecat and it's easy to tell. Some look at these characteristics as a different species calling them Mississippi Whites and there is no such thing. When trying to identify the differences in male and females they have very distinct differences and I'll show you how to tell the difference between the two. I've taken enough of these fish apart to know the difference at a glance as to whether they're male or female so I'll try to describe the differences to you.

First off the males once they get up to about ten pounds will have a distinct humped back or shoulders is what some people call them and they also have a rounded head or more muscular head than the females. The Female Bluecat is more of a streamlined fish with straight gill plates and not muscular looking at all. It doesn't matter how big a female gets either. They'll never get the humps on their backs between the dorsal fin and the head on both sides like the males have. Here is a classic looking male bluecat with the bulges in front of the dorsal on both sides.

Notice this male in the next photo at the top view how it's head is rounded compared to the photo of the female just below this one. The male in this photo also has the humped back as well as the rounded looking head where the one just below that's a little larger looks like the gill plate is straighter or not pronounced like the one the lady is holding up.

These are females on the left in the picture below and the one below that in the following photo. Notice how streamlined and sleak looking they are with straight head from the mouth to the end of the gill plate and not rounded at all and no humped back like in the top photos on this page.

Now as I mentioned before about Mississippi Whites. A friend of mine's (John Wilson) explanation is spot on when it comes to this Mississippi white thing. I'll use it here to explain what happened as okies are notorious for making up names for things that they're not sure about or looks different so they'll just pull a name out of thin are and it'll catch on like it's a fact. Oklahoma already had a bluecat, or so we thought. It was dark blue and it was a catfish but they only showed up in the spring and early summer. The reason for this is because they were actually male channelcat. Male channelcat go through a rut of sorts. Just like deer where their necks swell up the male channel's head swells up and they turn a blue jean colored blue. Real Blue ... not just a little blue but all the way blue. This is what Okies knew to be bluecat and when they dug that navigational channel we started seeing these big giant white looking catfish. Okies didn't have a name for them and figured they came from the Mississippi river which they did. Right up the Arkansas River so since we didn't have a name for them and they were white they started calling them Mississippi Whites. The ODWC started stocking them in lakes as well and bluecat can be any shade of color from nearly black to almost chalk white and this is mostly due to exposure to sunlight. Catch a bluecat that's stayed in super clear shallow water and it'll be nearly black in color or really dark. Catch one that's been in muddy deep water where very little light got through and it'll be almost chalk white. In the winter you'll see a lot of bluecat that are really light like this as they go deep and stay there for months and this is why they get a lot lighter colored ... not because they're a different species of fish. So when we got real bluecat in Oklahoma we already had one so they just called these by another name. Bluecat's scientific name is (Ictalurus furcatus) You won't find a scientific name for a Mississippi White because there is no such animal. Hope all this helps and Good Fishin!