Do the barbed fins of catfish that can pierce skin have any type poison or venom?

Knew a guy that told me a catfish he caught somehow in the hook removal wiggled and pushed the pointy part of its dorsal fin completely through his hand. Said it stung. His hand swoll and he had to go to the e/r . Forgot what he said the doc told him. Happend about 20 years ago. I have caught a share of catfish. Those fins will stick you. Have you ever had that happen?


A catfish has poison in their fins and can release it like a snake does with their fangs. Sometimes they release it and sometimes they don't. The poison is very deadly to other fish but to humans it will cause extreme pain and sometimes the loss of a finger or hand. Be careful.


Yes, no and maybe. Allot of fish with spines are not poisonous but that does not stop the bacteria that clings to outside slime from hurting you. I have been pinned by catfish and rockfish - for me, it makes my finger swell up like a Jimmy Dean sausage and feels like someone is running an open flame back and forth across the swollen finger. I was careful cleaning rock fish one day - but - on the way to toss the carcasses to the dumpster the trash bag hit my leg, I got pinned, and OMG it felt like my leg was on fire for hours.

Staap It

Fish have a protective slim coating. Catfish are especially slimy. And darn you get a good stab and IT HURTS. Also be aware so you do not learn this as I did. Blue Cats and some others I imagine have saw teeth along the back of those same fins, not just the stabbers on the ends. (sorry "stabbers" IS the technical term ya know ?) My experience with that was like this. When you take a cat off the hook, you can run you fingers up under the front (pectoral) fins, and that holds those fins laying on you index finger and thumb. BUT, my first Blue Cat was a stocked fish. i did as normal and as I explained. BUT, when I went to throw the fish back, those saw teeth along the back side of those fins ripped my index finger up, like a razor blade. So I say the easiest SAFEST way to release a Cat Fish is to grab the line ahead of the fish, lift the fish out of the water CAREFULLY so you don't break the line. Take a pair of needle nose pliers, grab the SHANK of the hook. Turn the hook upside down and quickly let the weight of the fish down and at the same time give a yank on the pliers to release the hook. That way you have never touched the fish to ruin that protective slim coating, AND have no chance of getting stuck. I suggest that method for ALL fish. Trout especially can be killed by removing some of that slim coating. This way you never touch the fish with your hands. Yes, the part that makes the stab sting so much and possibly get infected IS NOT venom, it is the protective slim coating. FULL of bacteria. Hydrogen peroxide works when you get home, or carry a bottle in your car/truck to wash the wound. Let that peroxide fizz up and wash it off a couple times. NOTE : When lifting the fish to release it DO NOT allow the rod tip to be bent (loaded). I have seen many guys get stuck by the hook when the rod unloads and jerks the hook up into their hand. Take the weight OFF the rod tip, holding the weight of the fish ONLY on the line. ____________________________________________________________ Remember Steve Irwin ? One of the coolest people who ever lived. (The Crocodile Hunter) He was KILLED by a Sting Ray. They also like the Cat Fish DO NOT have venom. Same thing as a Cat, however, in this case it was the length of the spike. It pierced his chest and stabbed him right through the heart.


Not as such. The wounds get infected so easily because of dirty water on the fish. Not to mention the fish is covered with bacteria. That's why we skin them.