Body soma is elongated, in front rounded, posterior – laterally flattened, without scales, with soft skin, mucus secreting. Eyes small, located closer to the head. Snout broad, flattened, rounded. There are front and rear nostrils, separated from each other. Mouth wide, lower jaw slightly curled up, as slightly longer than the upper. Teeth soma and resemble brushes are in the sky and jaws. On the upper lip of the fish grows 2 large moustache, extending to end of pectoral fin. Chin soma there are 2 pairs of short whiskers, with whiskers in front three times shorter than the back. The body is very dark on the back, on the sides dark green with spots on the belly light. It is interesting that in large bodies of flowing water, the color is lighter catfish, in ponds with muddy stagnant water is almost black. The fin on the back short, close to head, is over the pectoral fins. Anal fin rather narrow, but long, connected to a rounded tail. In the pectoral fins of the outer beam is converted into a prickle, sometimes with a notch.
Som is growing rapidly, particularly in the southern river deltas. To 1 year in the Delta of the rivers Volga and Ural catfish reaches a length of up to 45 cm and weigh up to 600 grams, to 10 years — 125 cm and 18 kg, respectively. In the Aral sea catfish at the age of 1 year has a length of 19 cm, and in 10 years —95 cm Maximum known size soma: length 5 meters, weight 300 kg. At the moment you can catch animals up to 2.5 metres and up to 150 kg weight, have lived for over 30 years. On average, catfishes weigh from 5 to 50 kg, reaches from 70 to 150 cm in length and live for over 15 years.
A way of life. Catfish is a predatory fish, usually found in rivers, but sometimes it can be found in some lakes and reservoirs, where the weak and good for warming up water. Lead a sedentary lifestyle, usually lying on the bottom in a pit in the pond of muddy water near the cliffs and snags. He comes out of the pit mostly at dusk for hunting catches the fish fry, going in flocks, and getting up against the tide to the active stroke or alone, searching for the victim of a mustache and the whole surface of the skin feeling the movement of the water. During spring floods, the catfish come out of his pit and goes upstream to spawn in floodplain ponds or in shallow marine areas near river deltas. Catfish in the winter gather in large flocks and are in deep holes without taking food until spring.
Food. The young catfish eats stone flies, beetles, water bugs, mollusks, leeches, tadpoles, and juveniles and larvae of fish. Reaching lengths of 4 cm catfish start to try the fish, and on reaching 12 cm it becomes their main food. In addition to fish catfish adults eat large insects (mole cricket, locusts), frogs, crayfish, rodents and Chicks of waterfowl. Typically food catfish in fresh water serves as a bottom fish: grouper. carp. calf, the young of sturgeons in reservoirs of the Volga and the deep sea – sprats and whitebait. Large catfish are able to attack water birds and even mammals that fall into the water.
Distribution. Catfish in Russia is found in the basin of the rivers Neva, Dnieper, Kuban, don, Terek, Volga and Ural. Very often som occurs in the Delta areas of large rivers and reservoirs with slow flow in the upper reaches of rivers is rare. No longer meets the rivers in the Northern Caucasus, in the basins Levitanskogo pool. In the Perm region catfish found in the rivers Kama and Susiva. in the Sverdlovsk region, in the river Ufa. and Sarapanovschi stocked catfish pond and pond fishing club the elm grove.
Fishing for catfish. Catfish best catch in the summer after spawning in warm rainy weather. Catfish usually are caught on the feeder, donkey, float fishing rods, tackles and zakidushki. Catch it and on the Seine between the banks of a narrow river, not trying to get into the pit in soma, but on the way he goes hunting: rolls, angles, holes, clumps of grass, and the places with low flow. He usually is caught from the bottom, but during a thunderstorm can strike the lure close to the surface of the water. The nozzle can be any meat, large pieces of fish, liver, frogs, crayfish, locusts and liars, and bait of bread and a thick porridge. In the spring of smaller catfish can be caught in the beam of the worm. Live bait at the bait and tackle you choose the most tenacious (carp, Chub, tench, bream), and Kiddle put the bigger fish – pound IDE, burbot, loach, medium-sized pike. In a quiet water live bait fastened behind his back, on the lips.
The soma makes playing not so much his activity, many weight. Som tries to catch the objects on the bottom, tangling the line in the snags. If caught catfish by the lip, catfish practically feels no pain, and rudely breaks a tackle, if the hook is deeply salocin – som comes to the surface much easier and rarely breaks down. Catfish, off the hook is becoming very careful in the choice of food and can take a similar nozzle. Catfish weighing up to 4 kg pull smoothly, quickly, smoothly and immediately sent in a boat or on shore, without a landing net. Catfish up to 15 kg get the hook in the lower jaw or the arm, taking him by the gills, or having it in his mouth and 4 fingers strongly pressing your thumb on your chin, pressing it into his mouth. In this case, possible severe cuts on the fingers. Large specimens first brought to exhaustion, then jammed a blow to the head and pull with both hands. After waking up som can knock a fisherman off her feet and jump out of the boat.