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Bank Fishing the St. Joe River....... help!
As of recently i've been trying to learn how to catch a few catfish. Some success got one 11 lb flathead and a few carp on the st.joe river by the covered bridge on M60, fishing has been slow but need a hand.
how long should i stay put, how long should i leave bait on without changing it,
i've been running upwards of 4 rods baited with chicken liver, night crawlers, berkley dough bait.
been fishing between 1030 pm and 230 am.
tried multiple parts of the river accessible via the bank. Any tips or pointers would help
Can't really help you much on catching success but I will give you a head's up about only fishing with 3 rods in Michigan. 4 rods will get you a ticket for sure.
Cut bait works best for me. Suckers, gills, shad, chubs have all worked great for me.
if i'm running 4 rods its because someone with a fishing license is with me, i guess i should have mentioned it earlier. Sometimes i have a light spinning rod i'll drop in for bait also. everything i've been reading pushes me to believe that the bite will get better as the temperature warms up ( around early may) is what i'm being told but i don't know how much i believe them. any and all input is appreciated, to anybody that gets out that way let me know. Also looking for any other "hot" spots you might know about and would be willing to give up. Thanks
not to clutter this up anymore but i have thought about trying cut bait but wasn't sure exactly how i should cut it, chances are, up here, im not going to hook into a 50 pound fish so i would assume smaller bait or trying a cut bait vs live fish just figureing on our catfish size up here.
You dont realy have to go small for cats. Ive caught 5lb cats with whole 4-5 inch suckers and gills. They are pigs and have the apitite for big bait. I would try to keep lively as posible for flats or at least live cutbait. Fresh i think is the true key.
when you guys hook live bait up, what size hooks and what is the best way to keep them alive.... i can probably look this up too but i'm sure there is a lot of different opinions..
I use 6/0 to 8/0 gammakatsu octupus circles for live and cut bait. I fish from the bank and usually catch bait where I plan to catfish. I use a 5 gallon bucket with an aerator to keep gills alive. The colder the water the longer your bait will stay alive in the bucket. In the dead of summer I have had gills belly up within 15 minutes without an aerator.
If your looking for just catfish you may want to get rid of the dough and crawlers.
If you're hunting flatties, stick to live bait. Gills and suckers work well.
Plenty of channel cats in the St. Joe too. I do well using fresh bluegill cutbait when going after channels. Also caught a few hogs with nothing more than a single crawler. But if you're targeting flatheads exclusivley, I wouldn't bother using anything other than cutbait.
Don't be afraid to use large bait. Big fish eat big meals.
Are you talking about Three Rivers?