Let's start this with a little background and life cycle of catfish be it blues channel or flathead. These fish hatch out and are very small ... bottom of the food chain ... the blues and channels have a pretty decent defense with the spines on their sides and dorsil fin that are very sharp and sting like fire when they poke ya ... blues and channel will feed off their young sometimes if they're wounded and I've seen big blues that have been skinned alive by larger catfish ... judging by the marks on them I'd have to guess they were other blues biting them. We'll start at the beginning though ... they're very small and have to fend for themselves and are enherently scavengers as they will feed off carcasses or anything they can knip a little morsel of food off of and they grow fairly fast like this. Once these fish reach about 1.5# they tend to scavenge less and hunt more it seems and when they reach that 3# mark they are predomanently hunters of smaller fish like shad, perch, bass, or anything they can catch and devour. There are usually a lot more fish under 1/2 lb to 1 lb in all waters and they'll be the ones after most prepared baits, punch bait, and dough bait. This is of course dependant upon food supply mostly and health of the fish as fish that have become injured might have to scavenge more ... they are opportunists in some areas more so than others.Fishing For Catfish
Bluecat are my main target fish and you can't catch many blues on prepared baits ... channels are a little different as are flatheads. Channelcat will feed off of prepared baits more so than Bluecat or flathead but there's not nearly as many of them as there are blues so fishing success will be even worse fishing prepared baits or commercial baits as there's gonna be a lot of fiddlers and just a few quality fish that may bite on these ... flathead bite mostly on live bait ... I've seen them caught on worms quite a bit and cut bait at certain times here lately have produced a lot of flathead for me during and just after cold fronts moved through ... don't ask me why cause I haven't a clue, but most of the time you have to use live perch or other live bait to catch flatheads. Don't try goldfish ... I've seen goldfish used for over 5 years and never seen anything caught on them but gar ... now you guys that catch fish on goldfish and catch fish on them don't go getting upset now cause this is just what I've witnessed ... use them if you want to and I'd suggest everyone try things I say that don't work and email me your findings with the type of area you used the things in question. Fishing For Catfish River Catfishing
Here's a posting I asked if I could post by a man that fishes tail waters like I do. He explains stuff better than I do and I never intended to offend anyone or say that I'm a better fisherman than anyone else. If these writings offend anyone that is not the purpose ... this is an info piece to help beginners and experts alike. If you catch plenty of fish and have the bait experience you are happy with then I am not trying to change you or suggest that what I say is better than what you do ... this is just an oppinion page written by someone that hasn't used manufactured baits for near 15 years so I don't know how great or not so great the newer ones are. Read this with understanding that I don't use prepared baits any longer and most likely won't try the new ones either ... not because I know they don't work ... because I'm pretty much at ease with what I use now and that's whatever the fish I catch has in it's stomach if I can catch one or two to find out. I don't have to do this in places I'm accustomed to fishin as it's pretty much the same all the time. Just different presentations occasionally work better like shad heads vs. shad fillets or whole live shad. Don't seem like it'd make any difference but it does make a lot of difference on certain days.
I went over to Kaw dam yesterday and fished off the walk way thats on the
east side of the river and a man fishing next to me was catching 2 to my one he
was useing stink bait and I was useing perch .
He was catching blues and channels I was catching blues and flatheads .
He cought 15 fish and I cought 9 but my smallest one out weighted his bigest one he keep all 15 of the fish he cought and I keep 4 of the fish I cought he ended up with around 10 lbs of fish I took around 60 lbs home .All in all we had one hell of a good time fishing.
I think this is what Tiny was trying to say to you ALL yes you can catch fish on man made baits but most of the time you will catch biger fish useing the baits that mother nat. put here for the fish to eat . Im not posting this to try and piss off any one I catch nice fish useing fresh cut and live bait and myself like Tiny have spent money on stink baits but over time we have learned it's all about what kind and size of fish you want to catch I still catch some small ones on fresh and live baits and I know that the info that Tiny has given will help the ones that don't know what to use and they want to catch some big cats . All in all it's what ever you can use and be happy with .
I don't think Tiny or me are trying to tell some of the old timers how to fish isn't this board out to help new fisher people to catch fish and keep this great sport alive .
What do you think some of the younger people think about all this bad mouthing going on here me myself I would like to tell and show the young people we are sports men and it's something they will enjoy doing for a life time . And again I will say Im not getting on this board to piss any one off so if you want to make smart remarks about what I post they will go unanswered by me .Happy fishing to ALL
Deano Fishing For Catfish
Great Post Deano and thanks for letting me use it.
catfish fishing River Catfishing
Here is an article done in In-Fisherman magazine's Catfish Insider I think is the name ... lc sent me this article. Bait Company ArticleFishing For Catfish
If you're fishing an area that is a healthy environment for the fish and they have plenty of food you'll not be able to catch them on just any old thing ... you will have to use what they feed upon. This is usually the case in most waters in Oklahoma as I've fished near every body of water here and in every tributary just about ... Deep Fork river being the exception to all these. I've bought near every bait imaginable and caught nothing but little bitty fish on them and some I caught nothing at all on when I was younger ... when I'd fish with worms, grasshoppers, frogs, crawfish, shad, perch, or any other natural bait I'd catch fish ... I've bought a truck load of Bait of different kinds and used them with no success and then find something to use on the bank like bugs or toads and start catching some fish and then be unable to find any more and go back to the prepared baits and not catch anything again except little bitty fish and I'm talkin bout sardine sized fish. Every time a new one came out I'd try it several times and also about every kind of homeade stuff you could think of looking for that miracle cure for catfish. The only thing I've bought out of bait stores that worked for cats is shad guts and that was only in Deep Fork river that I ever caught any decent fish ... as most of you Okies know Deep Fork isn't the most sanitary place in the state ... it runs right through downtown OKC and used to got just about everything in the world dumped into it ... don't know about now ... I'd imagine that since Arcadia Lake's tributary is Deep Fork they may have had to clean up their act ... I don't know but the baitfish was almost non-existant forcing the fish to eat just about anything they could find ... Deep Fork fishermen try to use the same methods they use normally in other rivers or lakes and they'd be skunked on a regular basis. Chicken products can catch you fish and always have been able to but most all the fish will be the smaller variety. I've used chicken gizzards a lot catfish fishing with trotlines and baited every other hook or every third hook and catch a lot of fish on the unbaited hooks ... seemed like when one bit the gizzards the others that are with it or are attracted to the line by the caught fish will hit anything around it ... usually the shiny hooks were the only thing there and they'd bust them just like regular baited hooks as I've came back the next day and pulled several fish in a row off the line and there was only every third hook baited. This confirms my suspicions that these fish are hunters ... and also them feeding on whole shad and have a gut full of shad in water running so fast you'd think it'd kill the fish with all the turbulance of 50,000 cfps coming out of the dam ... ya know if those shad were dead those fish woulda had to gathered them up goin down river at a super fast rate of speed and being able to find a bait in that fast of water is totally amazing to me. They do though and they find them within minutes of you hanging your sinker in the rocks. I also use this to catch more fish knowing that they are hunters they'll track down wounded shad in a hurry ... I will cast out in calm water and reel the baited hook back towards me about 50 yds and this increases my catch ratio a lot as when they swim accross where I'd reeled my bait it'll leave a minimal trail of blood and slime/scent in sort of the same manner a wounded fish will and the cats will track it down if they're feeding. The prepared baits are good for spending hours messin with fish that you can't hook due to their being so small and being opportunists but if you wish to catch quality fish out of a healthy environment you'll most likely need to use what the fish are accustomed to hunting which is most of the time shad, perch, and other small fish. If you have to use prepared baits due to not being able to catch anything you should use chicken products such as blood bait and livers or perhaps nightcrawlers or shad guts and save your money on the rest of the stuff. Fishing For Catfish
Here's a little trick I used to use when I was a kid is take a pair of hose
... like panty hose and put the liver down in it and tie two knots in it above
the liver or whatever that you'd just dropped down in it ... the knots should be
about 1/4 of an inch apart and cut the hose between the knots ... this will let
you drop another bait down inside the stocking and the second knot will already
be there to catch the bait and tie two more knots above the bait again and cut
between the knots again ... you can get about 20 little bait packets outta one
leg and the fiddlers won't be able to rob you of your bait ... I'd suggest
though when/if you catch a decent fish cut it open and see what it's feeding on
... that will tell you more than anything.
Fishing For Catfish
A Lady emailed me the other day asking about locating catfish so I thought I'd write this little piece and give a few bits of info on how I do it here in Oklahoma when I fished the lakes. A lot of people just try anyplace that looks like it'd hold catfish but this really isn't the way to find good to fair catfish action on rod & reel. The main reason is here in Oklahoma we have more blues and if ya haven't illegally baited holes then they're most likely not gonna hold in one particular spot ... I like trying around crappie structure looking around it with a trolling motor ... just cruising through with an outboard motor I never see anything but a few once in a while as the fish usually skeedaddle and move from the path of the boat ... the motor and prop noise is very loud .... the fish are used to the sound of boat motors but will still get out of the way when they hear one coming straight at them and will usually not be underneath the boat unless they're really deep. Using a trolling motor and current you can go right over large schools of blues without making them bolt. They usually don't pack close together like whales or dolphins but they will be in close proximity. They are aggressive and will attack one of their own if it gets injured or hooked if it's small enough .... this doesn't happen much but I have hooked smaller fish on rod & reel and other cats will bite the hooked fish excited by the thrashing or some kinda sound they're giving off ..... perhaps it's the barking noise they make that excites the others or just the electrical impulses of the hooked fish. I'd like to find out if this is the case as duplication of this noise might attract other blues to the area. Might be illegal here though but would be interesting to be able to figure that out.Fishing For Catfish
Structure is always a good place to start and structure can be anything from abrupt to subtle as blues kind of use structure as a holding area like a place that is darker or darkest during the day in that particular area. It doesn't seem like they really like being in direct sunlight during the day as I've caught most of my daytime blues on the shaded side of the pilons. Water temp plays an important part of where fish will be also ..... if it's cold the fish can be deep ..... if the water is very hot during mid summer they'll be suspended as the oxygen level will be very low towards the bottom so in mid summer a lot of times the fish won't be able to stay in shadows. I catch a lot of fish during the summer in the daytime knowing that the fish are up and even on top looking for a good source of oxygenated water so that they can breath and feed in a little better comfort. Streams or water trickling in from a natural spring will hold quite a few fish during the summer months. River Catfishing
IMPORTANT FACT! IF THE FIDDLERS ARE BITING AND STRIPPING YOUR BAIT WHERE YOU'RE FISHING...THERE ARE NO QUALITY SIZED FISH THERE! I can't stress that enough ... When you're fishing and catching larger fish you should be able to notice that those little rod peckers aren't messin with your poles. This is due to size difference mainly ... larger fish will scare off and even drive off smaller fish just by being in the area ... the little ones prolly get gone just out of fear of being eaten like some kind of natural instinct maybe or perhaps the larger ones do actually try to feed on their smaller kindred. I've seen people catch a lot of fish on fingerling blues and channels ... I won't use them as I'm not certain of the legality of it and they don't bite on them very good it seems like but when one is caught on a fingerling channel or blue as bait it's usually a pretty big fish. I've also seen near dead blues about 8 to 10 lbs totally skinned alive by other blues ... I say this because of the more rounded mouth prints on the fish's body ... flathead bite would have been a more straight across imprint. This info will help you not sit there and mess with fiddlers all day. If you're fishing from the bank and fiddlers are messing with you and you are just camping there watch when you start getting good fish on .... the smaller fish won't be biting any more or will at least quit until the larger fish move on through. If you're in a boat these smaller fish are good indicators because if they're there and biting there are no big ones in the area. Depth locator/fish finders are a handy tool in locating good quantities of fish but if you don't have one use the fiddler/small fish as info as well ... move to another spot if there's nothing but smaller fish there and stripping bait off your hooks. If you're camped in an area and just fishing to kill time watch for the fiddlers to stop biting ..... if they do that usually means larger fish have moved into the area and if you're not catching any you'll need to use a different bait ... most likely there's fish in the area hunting for food and probably the best thing to use is live perch ..... smaller ones work well on blues or use live shad or take and cut the head off a live shad or slit it's body cavity open and hook it through the eyes and cast it out .... WAY OUT! and then reel it back slowly letting it rest in the area you want to fish ... if there's current you won't need to do that if the water is moving really good. Doing that though imitates a wounded baitfish to a certain degree and will produce a lot of good fish.
catfish fishing Fishing For Catfish
Blues, Channels, & Flathead are mostly nocturnal feeders so knowing this will help you locate fish during the day in winter as well .... the fish will be deep most likely or on the shaded side of rock bluffs or ledges. At night they'll move out into flats to feed. Flathead wintering holes are hard to find if you don't know where to look but flats are easily caught out of their wintering holes but there's not much sport in this ... I have caught a lot of flathead lately during and just after cold fronts move through. Catching them on fresh cut bait (shad heads). The shad were all still alive when I'd cut their heads off and put them on ... the flatheads were biting really fast on them Oct 3rd, 4th, & 5th. I started fishing for them a little bit and caught a lot of nice ones. Then after the front is pretty much played out they quit biting shad heads .... go figure. If you're goin after flathead in the winter on rod&reel all I can say is "Good Luck". Areas to target flats vary greatly from cement structure to sand/gravel flats ... my most productive areas are around crappie structure or sand/gravel flats where a lot of bluegill or crappie congregate. The crappie structure is best for daylight flathead fishing as the flats seem to lay up under the crappie structure placed there by crappie fishermen to attract crappie ... I fished these with really good success during the daylight hours by placing a fluttering bluegill directly under the crappie structure by dragging it around the cedar trees. I got hung up a lot but also caught a lot of flats like this.
Important points to remember: Fishing For Catfish River Catfishing
If fiddlers (small catfish) are in the area there won't be any larger fish
Use trolling motor and fish finder around crappie structure like sunken cedar trees to locate fish and when it gets really cold check deep water with fish finder to locate cats.
Fishing For Catfish Flathead Bait I just remembered and didn't know about that you may try if they're in your area is bullheads. They're a little bitty green catfish that don't usually get much bigger than 1# around here but I have seen them get up to about 3# as I've caught some while fishing for largemouth. I caught them on crankbaits ... bass colored medium diving Bomber. The best thing to catch bullheads on though is worms or chicken liver but they'll eat anything ... usually when there are bullheads in a body of water they pretty much are the main fish there as they populate really fast and are hard to get rid of when they become resident in a pond. Best thing to get rid of them is to throw a couple of flathead in the pond but largemouth bass will wipe the floor with them too. If you put 5 or 6 3# largemouth or bigger in a pond with bullheads they'll clean the pond up in a few years. To fish with them take a pair of wire cutters and remove the spines on them and the flathead will engulf them. For some reason the flathead and larger blues really go after them. This is not something I've ever tried but seen an illegal commercial fisherman using them catching a ton of blues on them with one of them rod&reel boats.
Tiny Fishing For Catfish