Channel catfish busting in the spring .
Most channel cats gather near brush piles, drop offs, humps, stumps, dead falls, or pockets cutting into the bank. Big channel cats seem to prefer deeper water at the base of ledges . They also gather in the turns of channel bends, and the edges in or near dam tail waters.
I am sure to not list all the places channel cats have been caught . To be honest channel cats have been caught in many different spots and some places may hold channels better then other . It really all depends on the waters you fish .
The place I have mentioned above are some of the areas I target when fishing strictly for channel cats . These areas have proven great results and some really big channel cats .
I believe that the world record blue catfish or flathead catfish will be broke this year of 2011 .
The channel catfish record on the other hand will be a hard record to break . Some fisherman may say that the channel cat record was really a blue cat in desguise . My belief is the officials who weighed the monster knew what they was doing when adding to the record books .
It is also questioned if there are channel cats out there even close to the weight of a world record . You can rest assure that there are many out there you just have to find them .
Some may believe the that cat fishing is best during summer heat . Sure , summer is a great time for catching channel cats and lots of them. It's not necessarily the best time to catch them. Most catfish anglers agree that the early spring is the best time to catch channel cats in great numbers and size.
A good motto to follow is the bigger the bait the bigger the fish . Not saying the next record channel cat wont be caught on a piece of hot dog or while someone is fishing for bluegills using a wax worms .
How ever if you are going to chase a record size channel catfish it may be in your best interest to do a little homework or talk to a hardcore cat fisherman . Learning the waters you fish and the species you are fishing for is invaluable .
Some cat fisherman have found that catfish seem to react better in the spring time . There are a few reasons for this.
The rain showers hit hard in most areas in the spring time. An inflow of warmer water, and longer days, raises the waters temperature and, the catfish activity will increases to maximum levels.
Also catfish are more aggressively feeding in the spring months as the weather warms . The winter period of reduced meals will leave the channel cat with an ongoing hunger, and now as the temperatures are rising it is stimulating their metabolism, channel cats are always on the prowl looking for shad, crayfish, sunfish or other meals to satisfy their appetites.
Heavy rains in the spring may have swollen many rivers. This resulting in increased current conditions . Channel cats will head to areas where they can escape the heavy current . This is one reason they will gather in brush piles, drop offs, humps, stumps, dead falls, or pockets cutting into the bank .
Greater channel cat densities mean better catches for any channel cat angler . Knowing where the fish is likely to be holed up will put you on a the cats and assure a great time fishing .
In short , spring cats are active, hungry and gathered in schools . Not a bad situation if you're trying to catch a mess of channels or looking for that big cat .
In the spring channel cats, like other fish ( bass , crappie , etc ), are mostly found near bottom structure, on or very near the bottom in somewhat deep, well oxygenated water.
In rivers the heaviest channel catfish as most all fish will avoid the strong currents in order to conserve energy. Put your attention on still or slow moving water, or fish near structures such as big rocks, holes and bottom channels that break the current and attract schools of gathered fish.
Among the best lake and river structures to fish are the fast breaking channels where there is plenty of structure . Some can be found using maps and a lot of luck, but the best method is a sonar fish finder, a valuable tool for cold water cat fishing. Using sonar you will likely catch a dozen or more fish near each structural feature.
An electrical power plant is another great place to catch record numbers of channel cats . The lake or river water is used to cool machinery in the plant , and when the water is returned , it is much warmer than the surrounding water of the lake or river.
Baitfish will gather in these warm discharges , and channel catfish move in to feed on the schools of baitfish . Warmer water means more frequent, active feeding during the early spring period.
If you have picked the right time to fish on a lake or river, and you have managed to locate channel cats , if the weather and water conditions are right then 99% of your troubles are over. All you have to do now is pick the right bait, and soon you will be landing channel catfish one after another .
Great post! Late winter/early spring is usually when I consistently catch #'s of big channels.
Thanks for the info. Can't wait to get out on my new to me boat in the next few weeks. Up until now I've been only a bank fisherman.
I agree. My favorite time is cooler months. It takes a little work to find them, and figuring out the system for hooking up, but when ya do it's some great fishing!
Great post Floyd this is my fave time of year to fish from now till it starts realy heating up.