Catfish have one of the greatest ranges in size within the bony fish species. They are named for their barbells, which resemble cat's whiskers. Catfish have no scales for protection. They have a strong sense of smell which they use to locate food. Channel catfish have taste buds distributed over the surface of their entire body and are concentrated on their four pair of barbells. This combination of exceptional senses of taste and smell allows the channel catfish to find food in dark, stained, or muddy water with relative ease. Though they have no teeth, they will eat most anything they can get into their mouth. They are typically considered bottom feeders but will go after live bait as well. Catfish are negatively buoyant and will sink rather than float, due to their reduced gas bladder and heavy head. Their flattened head allows them to dig through substrates to search for food. Channel Catfish can be caught most any time of the year except in extreme cold water conditions. Channel catfish are omnivores and can be caught using a variety of natural and prepared baits, including crickets, nightcrawlers, minnows, shad, crawfish, frogs, bullheads, sunfish, and suckers. Stinkbaits, which are prepared with dead fish, crawfish, garlic, blood, liver, meat, cheese, dough, and various other odorous conglomerations, are the most common method for fishing for Channel Cats. Sometimes these stinkbaits are prepared into a doughball and mashed onto a hook and fished slowly on the bottom.