Father’s Day comes around during a popular time of year for family fishing. And two of our more popular fish make pretty good fish fathers.
Most male species don’t stick around for child rearing in the natural world but these two fish fathers would qualify for "super dad" status. The Catfish and Sunfish families are reared by diligent dads who find and build nests and after spawning, guard their eggs from predators and disease.
Channel catfish are one of the most sought after gamefish in Missouri. They spawn in late spring or early summer when the water temperature reaches 75 degrees. Males select nest sites in dark secluded areas like undercut banks or hollow logs.
The male selects and cleans a nest site and spawns with a female he lures there. After she lays her eggs, the male, who does not leave the nest, will protect it from predators and fan the eggs with his fins to keep them aerated and free from sediments. The eggs hatch in six to 10 days depending on water temperature and the compact school of fry remains near the nest a few days before dispersing. The male guards the fry until they leave.
Bluegill is a small-mouthed sunfish popular with anglers young and old. They breed in many habitats including farm ponds, large reservoirs, and streams. Bluegill feed primarily by sight. They often swim in loose groups of 20 to 30. Nesting starts in late May and continues into August in water one to two feet deep with a preference for gravel bottoms. Males fan out shallow nests, and after spawning, guard the nests until the eggs hatch. Once hatched, the fry are on their own.
Learn more about Missouri fish.
Going on a fishing excursion in celebration of Father’s Day? Don’t forget these topline tips when fishing:
Discover more fishing tips.
Wow Dad by making a gourmet meal — like Carp on a Stick! Here’s how to make it:
Preheat grill to 400 degrees, and treat grill surface with non-stick spray. Create the marinade. In a large plastic bowl combine soy sauce, water, brown sugar, Sriracha sauce, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil. Whisk thoroughly. Marinate the fish. Add fillets to marinade, making sure each fillet is evenly coated, and refrigerate overnight. Make the kabobs. Thread the fillets on soaked wooden or bamboo skewers. Place the kabobs on the barbecue grill, and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until done.