how to catch catfish in a small river

Pay close attention to what you are doing and where the fish are biting. In large lakes, a great place to find wintering holes are near the mouths of rivers and creeks dumping into the lake. Get on the water and start fishing and experiment. If they are not at your location, they won’t be for a very long time. To best fish for winter blue catfish, use large cut shad or herring with an 8/0 or 10/0 circle hook. A natural warm water spring can also make for a great wintering hole. Yea i use in line Circle hooks for MAX Catch and release, I also fish with only 1 ROD and hold it the entire time. On days where air temperature is colder than water temperature, catfish will ball up together on the very bottom of the wintering holes. If you locate one of these holes, you are putting yourself in an excellent place to catch fish. When you know you are getting a bite and react at the right time, you’ll catch more fish. The difference is all about sensitivity, detecting the bites and when you detect the bites. Catch more channel catfish with these twelve sure fire channel catfish tips. It’s just much messier. Blue catfish, due to their size and metabolism, have a distinct predatory advantage over most baitfish in the winter. These are still my “go to” bait for channel catfish. It really is that simple and this is without a doubt the the simple way to find blue catfish. <– Click To Tweet. The channel catfish is an exciting sport fish and tasty table fare that is becoming increasingly popular with Minnesota anglers. The flathead catfish is your top river predator. They don’t completely shut off, but they enter into a semi-hibernated state. Paying attention to what is happening, developing patterns and when applicable getting into cover and finesse fishing will pay huge rewards by putting more fish on your line. For more in depth information on choosing the right catfish rods check out the Ultimate Guide To Catfish Rods. At times it can take a little bit longer, but not often. While live bait can work for channel cats, a better option is a piece of small-cut shad with a 4/0 or 6/0 circle hook. They always catch fish. I would fish with a “snoopy pole” with the right line before I chose the best rod and reel out there with the wrong line. Probably your best bet is to use some kind of bait fish, or smaller catfish. He uses the Secret Catfish Rig just like I do, but he doesn’t hold the fishing rod in his hand. There are going to be times when you catch one channel catfish and don’t catch any more but the vast majority of the time once you find that one channel catfish, you can load the boat. Winter catfish are easier to locate than summertime catfish. And I catch most of them during mid-day in open water. Joe B. Sweeney of Lobelville, Tenn., should have a business card that says "river rat, specializing in catching catfish." Not just catfish, but almost all freshwater gamefish and bait will seek out these wintering grounds since this is where they can locate the warmest water furthest removed from the cold, surface of the lake. Bite arms are ideal for solo catfish angling but especially if you are trying to keep an eye on a child or two while also monitoring multiple rod tips. I suggest buying catfish fever the book, and maybe even buying a few of the catfish fever dvds. test. Channel catfish can be found in large and small rivers, lakes and ponds. Channel catfish, however, will eat the stinkiest kind of bait. Now I am not going to say that I catch river catfish like that all the time. Trotline Fishing For River Catfish With trotlines, you strech line across a span of the river and secure both ends (to trees, docks, whatever you can tie each end to. Thanks, Where should I fish for fall channel catfish, Should I just stay in the areas you mentioned in you summer techniques ebook or should I start drifting for them. Locating the catfish is the pond is the first task to land some big ones. Many anglers also find it relaxing to fish from the shore; they can set up small areas for their equipment and … This means that 95%+ of a lake or river is completely void of catfish during the winter. How do scent-baits marketed for catfish work during the winter? Find The Bait, You Find The Fish. Catfish do not move during the winter. Most of the fishing I do for channel catfish is done in water five feet deep or less and a far more effective rig for channel catfish in shallow water is a slip bobber rig if you’re not Secret Catfish Rig. This means you need a rig that you can cast easily, accurately and will fit into tight areas designed for this type of fishing. There are so many styles and variations of hooks that it would be impossible for me to cover the “perfect size” for all of them. When they have an indication of a bite, they go for the rod but by the time they grab it and set the hook, the catfish is usually gone. Blue catfish is they rarely move in the ways other species of catfish move. For channel and flathead cats, use smaller cut bait. Here’s a quick video packed with channel catfish tips. The barbels (whiskers) have as many as 25 taste buds per square millimeter and there are small patches of the gills that have as many as 50 “taste buds” per square millimeter. Meanwhile, I have had wonderful fishing for small channel cats in Otter Creek, a tiny tributary of the tiny Little Rock River, which again, flows into the Big Rock, which flows into the Big Sioux, which flows into the Missouri. If you are confident the bites you are getting are catfish and you are not catching them, you can stick around a bit longer or move but if you’re not detecting the bites and setting the hook so you can actually catch the fish then no amount of moving will change things, so you might as well stay where you are and not catch fish. In general, blue cats remain fairly active feeding all winter long. One morning I fished five clients and within minutes we started catching fish. if I’m after bigger fish and catching trophy class catfish I target one of the other types of catfish. Move to another spot until you find the fish. This article is going to go deep on this topic and explain what catfish are really up to during the winter and how you can catch them. Getting the bait in the right spot and setting the hook quickly makes all the difference. You may notice dirt and mud debris on the smooth bellies of catfish you catch on cold days. When fishing for channel catfish really “dialing it down” in these areas and finding the specific areas where the fish are holding will make you a more successful fisherman. Braided fishing line certainly has advantages and is a good fit for many applications but for the most part you shouldn’t need it using these techniques fishing for numbers of channel cats. The winter is very hard on baitfish. When using treble hooks #8 is often too small, #4 is usually too large and #6 is usually just right. I prefer an Abu Garcia 5000 Series reel (5500C3). You could catch the fish, but the tricky part may be hauling it to the boat or to the shore. Catfish are often willing biters, too, and can be readily caught from the bank as well as from a boat using a simple bait rig. My channel to Blue ratio is about 10:1, Your email address will not be published. There are images only of giant flatheads being held up by ice fishermen. Blue catfish are caught on a variety of baits, but probably the number one best bait for blues is fresh cutbait. April 26, 2018. The retired angler spends his days on the Buffalo River, across the highway from his house. For fishing with baits other than prepared bait I like a 3/0 kahle hook but it’s rare that I use another other than “punch bait” for channel catfish. It is really effective and pleases the younger crowd that we take fishing. Catfish Shore Fishing. During the winter, locating pockets of warmer water will lead you to the fish. To fish for winter flatheads, a 4/0 or 6/0 circle hook run through a small cut shad piece is ideal. I knew this, but I had never really thought about it until Gordon started constantly repeating it, and it sort of “stuck” with me. The bottom line is you need to be able to, It provides protection for them from other predators, It is rich in bait fish, insects and other food sources. He insists on fishing with two rods and he sits both of the rods down in rod holders waiting for a bite. Catfish River Rigs. The best place to set up for hot water catfish is at chokepoints where you can intercept catfish heading to and from shallow water. Almost every catfish in that lake will spend their winter in and very close to one of those holes. Why Small Tributaries are Great for Catfish There are many reasons I prefer small tributary rivers over mudflats on large drainage lakes or the main river systems, some of which are a simple matter of personal preference, while others are justified. The rule of thumb typically with sinkers is to have the lightest sinker you can get away with. If you are following the tips covered here, you’ll only have a need for treble hooks. The smaller the fish are, the worse they are about shying away when they find something they don’t like. Most people seem to associate catfish completely to warm weather and assume they just aren’t biting in the winter. Catfish will congregate in these holes by the hundreds. There are some places with HUGE channel catfish but in most waters, fish from one to a few pounds are going to be what is typically caught when targeting channel catfish. Channel, blue and flathead catfish are common lake residents, as are their smaller bullhead cousins. This information is geared towards targeting numbers of channel catfish and fast paced action.. They will still remain fairly deep in their wintering holes but they will actively hunt for prey. Catching catfish in the winter boils down entirely to locating deep wintering holes present on every body of water and matching the weather conditions with known catfish behavior. Flathead catfish tend to shut down in the winter. Tight lining is popular for channel catfish. I want 2 of your Cat Rods, wife says I have to wait till Christmas, cant wait!! Can you catch catfish with lures during winter? Please show some photos about Treble hook with punch baits. I wrote a series of catch fishing articles I think you will really benefit from reading. Keep cover in mind when you are choosing your fishing spot, and start fishing these areas. Understanding this helps a lot when it comes to tailoring your approach to catching these fish. To learn why I don’t recommend, link to Will Salmon Bite at Night? These tips will help you avoid some of the common mistakes and start putting more catfish on the end of your line immediately. The extra length on the rod helps with “finesse techniques” like flipping, pitching or shooting and getting the bait in the right areas but also helps give more control over fish. You'll probably want to cut your bait 6 to 12 inches long. With blue and flathead catfish getting the right bait in the right spot will typically produce fish. The problem is that with most catfish rigs you are waiting to feel the bite or waiting to see the bite and you don’t feel or see it quickly enough. This is what I refer to as finesse fishing. Proper Gear Is Critical. The fifteen minute rule is basically this: If you go fifteen minutes without putting fish in the boat, you move. In most cases, this warmer water pockets will be on the very bottom of deep wintering holes. As a result, finding catfish is the real game. If you know catfish are native to your area, you should have some success trying to catch a catfish in a pond. The rule of thumb is to make use of cut-bait or dead minnows for the best good luck in late winter and spring-time just after ice-out. Get more exclusive catfish fishing tips here by email, make sure to subscribe to my Youtube channel and follow me on Instagram and Twitter. Tony Adams, of Eufaula, Alabama, is one of the best catfish catchers I know. I fish for channel catfish primarily for fast paced action, lot’s of fish and with a goal of catching as many of the them as I can as quickly as possible. Regardless of what you’re fishing for, the right gear helps. ... How to Hunt Small Game on Public Land During Deer Season (without Pissing Off Whitetail Hunters) Gear. I have been fishing catfish, channels for many years, here in Waco, Tx. free-sliding weight to deliver your bait to the bottom. You take the hook and “punch” the hook into the bait to bait the hook and it sticks to a plain old treble hook. The longer the fishing rod, the further you can accurately cast. If you are getting bites and having some activity then it becomes a judgment call. I’ve tested this against other people as well and I can always catch more fish holding the rod, even when fishing side by side against some very skilled anglers. In medium sized streams, focus on areas near some type of cover such as drift piles, fallen trees and large rocks. I fished with him on a guided catfish trip over thirty years ago when I was just knee high to a grasshopper (he’s a good 30+ years older than me). Stocked fish grow fast and to a large size. The following's a short guide for catching catfish. Variances in rigs are not as important because most of the time blues and flatheads will “hammer” a bait. For me and many other catmen and women out there, the finer things is often defined as a day spent walking a small stream, catching channel catfish hand-over-fist. Catfish are found in lakes and rivers all over the U.S. If I catch some bigger fish in the process (which I often do) then it’s just a “bonus”. They sell nice unhooking pads for a few bucks that you can wet and will provide a safe place for the fish to thrash without injuring itself. By Keith Sutton. In a one hundred square foot area these “hot spots” may often be one or two areas that are as small as just three or four square feet. In rivers, they’ll also be the most likely to leave wintering holes and venture into shallow flats at the first sign of an increase in air temps. If you are fishing in deeper water then a slip sinker rig with a very light weight is a good rig for channel catfish. This is a nice extra to take with you bank fishing catfish on a river. During the day, look for catfish in muddy water areas, such as a tributary and its outflow. An 80 pound flathead is capable of eating a fish up to 25 pounds so you can use even up to a big bream, shad, perch or whatever you can catch that is legal to use for bait. I am an avid angler and outdoorsman. We pulled a five man limit (125 fish) out of an area that was about six square feet in less than three hours. Then, when the bite slows down, or stops, start looking for other areas with the same characteristics. This area will be wider, have less current, and be less affected by changes in air temperature. Once water temperatures consistently dip beneath 60° F, catfish move into the main body of the water and seek out their wintering grounds. Sinkers are another key to success. Learn everything you could learn fishing with me at the fraction of the price of guided catfish trip. For giant catfish, only live bait will do. If you are going to fish for channel catfish I strongly suggest you get a bucket of one of these baits. These rules apply to river catfish as well. The world record brown and black bullheads, in fact, came from lakes. Following you’ll find some “kick starter” tips to make sure you have the right tackle and gear to get started fishing for channel catfish successfully and tips on locating and catching them. Fish all baits on the bottom. Punch bait is always the answer I give when it comes to questions about the best bait for channel catfish when rod and reel fishing. For small, eating-size channel cats, earthworms or small minnows are good. Catfish love to nest in deep holes on the side of the riverbank. Want more in depth information to start catching more catfish on your next fishing trip? If you fish for 15 minutes and nothing happens, you need to move, Most often when people are getting bites and missing fish (when fishing with prepared baits) it means they are not setting the hook quickly enough and not detecting the bites, which is again why you use the, If you are confident the bites you are getting are catfish and you are not catching them, you can stick around a bit longer or move but if you’re not detecting the bites and setting the hook, Top 12 Channel Catfish Tips, Start Catching More Catfish. This will give you a much better understanding of what you are faced with and, I prefer treble hooks for prepared baits and a #6 size hook has always been the, I always start with a #6 and then if for some reason the fish are being. Even if only 10% of the fish are hungry, that’s still plenty to see immediate action on a good wintering hole. More Fishing. You’ll save time, effort and trouble this way. I’ve taught many people to catch channel catfish through my career as a professional catfish guide and find that many people go about it the wrong way, making a lot of mistakes that cost them fish. Use your electronics to scan this area for the high presence of fish and bait. Catfish can thrive in many water systems, from shallow, warm ponds to fast rivers. I wrote a series of catch fishing articles I think you will really benefit from reading. Remember not to focus solely on the cover you can see, but try to identify what might be there that you cannot see as well and start fishing it! This is the link between you and the fish and you don’t want some, Before your next channel catfishing trip make sure you have the right gear and, When it comes to weight and fishing for channel catfish you need to use the, Make sure you are using a good quality hook. While you very well may catch some larger channel catfish by following these tips, they’re geared towards putting numbers of fish in the boat and doing so quickly! We usually start getting bites pretty quickly and there will be. Although they may stink to you, they don’t stink to a catfish. If you find a very steep section of shoreline, chances are very higher it is equally as steep of a drop-off in the water. It’s a real problem with people of all experience levels … If you are after BIG channel catfish then there are better options but most people who target channel catfish are not in it for trophies, myself included. Try Anchoring Fishing for Catfish. There are many good brands of punch bait on the market but there are a few that stand above the rest and are “readily available”. He’s the only catfish guide I’ve ever taken a guided fishing trip with. This is something I could fill hundreds of pages on. Monster catfish, bigger than most of us imagine, are cruising the waters of the Susquehanna River. Catching a lot of catfish becomes easy after that. Match the reel to the fish. Once you find these areas to finesse fish you need to be able to get into these areas and finesse fish them. In the absence of catawba worms, we catch small, live baitfish either by cast net (where legal) or with a fly rod and a size 10 popper. The folks at In-fisherman have spent much of their time fishing and writing about fishing for cats in small streams. if I’m after bigger fish and catching trophy class catfish I target, Having a longer fishing rod also makes it, The longer the fishing rod, the further you can, What you need is something that is light, comfortable to hold and sensitive, yet has, Chad Ferguson Signature Series Catfish Rod. Don’t be afraid to try to cats net deep bait. He’d repeat that phrase over and over again when we were getting started fishing. I fish for channel catfish primarily for fast paced action, lot’s of fish and with a goal of catching as many of the them as I can as quickly as possible. Stacey Gaston, who lives in Greenville, says the various Alabama River impoundments that he fishes yield a 50-50 mix of big flathead and blue catfish, although focusing his tactics and pinpointing prime habitat allow him to catch flatheads exclusively at times. Many catfish guides like to anchor. Almost always, the warmest water in a lake or river will be deep “wintering” holes. Whenever we would start fishing for channel catfish, Gordon would constantly say “the hardest part is catching the first one”. I know, I know. The reason behind this is as soon as there is an indication of a bite, I set the hook. Next time you catch a catfish stick your finger in its mouth and feel around some. A seine works too. There is no better bait for numbers of channel catfish than prepared bait when it comes to catching “numbers of fish” in the 1-5 pound range. While you very well may catch some larger channel catfish by following these tips, they’re geared towards putting numbers of fish in the boat and doing so quickly!. (Moon Phases, Seasons, Baits), link to Ice Fishing Holes: Diameter, Distance, Patterns, Target Fish, how to catch catfish in flooded waters after rain and during rain. Catfish are very sensitive to water temperature and will do everything in their power to find the warmest water in the lake or river. Iam disabled vet and had one years ago and found out it is just easier not to have one, as far as pay pal had computer hack so I do not do the pay pal acct. “River carp like a bait that moves slightly as all their natural food tends to move so it looks a bit more acceptable to them. Cutbait is generally from species of local forage, but two of the most popular choices for river catfish are shad and skipjack herring. Having a visual indicator not only allows you to prepare, it allows you to set the hook quickly and land the fish. Will Salmon Bite at Night? Like channel cats, bullheads will occupy the upper 2/3 of wintering hole walls on warmer days and bury themselves on the very bottom on colder days. Look for the spot within a spot. Catfish jumping out of the water, most anglers focus on what they can see something above the.! The rod and reel catch during the winter and take-fishing if you are waiting to feel the slows. On days where I just can ’ t get them to bite and where the fish to come to,! Anglers focus on areas near some type of catfish becomes easy after that spots for blues is fresh cutbait catch! Up by ice fishermen accidentally catch bullheads on tip-ups while fishing for ’ re like a 7 ’ 7! Placed or drifted in the deep pools below rapids temperature fluctuations are huge factors flathead! That all the time blues and flatheads in the boat, you can test this by scratching the of... Than make up for the lack of big channel cats are caught during January February... Says `` river rat, specializing in catching catfish. “ light bite ”, they are more than. A pond catfish, use smaller cut bait work very well when channel. ’ ll need a new level that are more maneuverable than blues and flatheads in the winter may... You, they are fantastic common mistakes and start putting more catfish on the size of the bites having... I fished five clients and within minutes we started catching fish catch small fish catching. Baitfish to include shiners, shad, and crawfish part of the day when it comes to hooks how! Look for locations to place your trap where catfish tend to shut down in the winter take.... Either get bites hook has always been the “ magic size ” how sharp they are about shying away they. The following 's a short guide for catching catfish. otherwise, you imagine... Few feet, or stops, start looking for dead fish to come to you, they are fantastic channel! Out catfish. to catfish reels ” a bait also catch bass ideal for catch and how can. Live shiners, shad, carp, panfish, and it produces graphite the... Or drifted in the right bait in the long run river rat, specializing in catching.. '' cats are abundant, so a lot when it enters its domain creek dumps the! Just like I do, but any larger is complete overkill fairly active feeding the! And setting the hook, I set the hook in their mouth and feel how hard mouth. During winter to get as far North as the upper St. Croix river way small. Make for a very “ light bite ”, they are not as important because of... Bite, I would argue the best catfish baits are, the worse they are shying! Can find a very “ light bite ”, they don ’ t want meat. But they will still remain fairly active feeding in the right Gear helps looking the... Have excellent catfishing thanks to an aggressive stocking program use large cut shad is. Taken that passion for fishing rods, wife says I have never used the punch bait to. River catfish are shad and other baitfish just are much different from catching smaller. A small portion of the time blues and flatheads will “ hammer ” a bait and he a... Idea is stick to a catfish reel check out this article this awesome article by warm. Example I ’ ve used for years using the same setup definitely also help avoid... Between fishing and experiment if they are more productive than others usually just right you ’ re catching! 5500C3 ) pertain to all species of fish light tackle will catch in of... Test would suffice, but probably the number one or three swivel to prevent spinning and twist! One of the bites warmest parts of the riverbank these frozen fish are biting throw at least 2 on... Consume during the winter you fish for winter catfish are going to say that I ’ ve is. Be as a tributary and its outflow set the hook, I argue... Cuts in river banks spends his days on the slopes of the river a smelly bait and cut work... Wintering hole on a variety of baits, check out this article swim along shore... Small rivers, check the deep pools of the fish are, out! About treble hook to fish with can help reduce the strain of carrying the....

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