Catfish were originally from a stringer of catfish measuring approximately 8 to 15 inches long. While they do make nice cabin décor, they were never made or sold as ice fishing decoys.
Each came with brown sisal twine running through their mouths and displayed by hanging them up as you would with a stringer of fish. They came with “Made in China” paper labels on them and sold from the 1990’s to present.
As shown in the photos, two were later made into fish decoys. While there’s nothing wrong with someone changing these fish into decoys, it’s unethical to then sell them as older pieces.
I’ve seen numerous of these type of fish sold on the internet as one-of-a-kinds, vintage and even as antique fish decoys or fish carvings.
Note: There are other species of fish such as bass and pan fish made in the same colors and style. Individual fish were also made in sizes up to 24 inches long.
As they say, buyer beware…