- Jim F
Cold water river tactics For Blue catfish
O.K. Lets hear your favorite tactics for cold water river cats. Bait? structure? depth?
- Tim Lange
I use two kinds of bait Skipjacks and Shad, I prefer as big as I can get couple of pounds each the bigger the better, target drop-offs and ledges, current edges and eddys, bargecells and full barges, I like to anchor in front of them and roll the baits just under the nose of the full barge, feel fish use them as structure points on the Ohio River, outside bends in the river anywhere there is current so I can get a scent trail going, if the river is up high and roaring then I like to target the inside of the outside bends, that is where the slower water will congregate, I'll also look at tributary's that dump into the Ohio but I target them only when there is water flowing out into the Ohio from them, spent a lot of time anchored up on them when no water is flowing with little or no results.........Doc
I use the same tactics and same bait as i would in thew summer.Only difference is i target holes more and find a bunch of smaller channels stacked up in there,2-9 pound size.
plan on targeting my summer spots more as i feel the bigger channels are not stacked up with the smaller ones.Think the bigguns are off on their own.
They bump bump bump bump much more in colder water,thats pretty much only real difference i notice cold water fishin fer channels.
- Robert Smith
excellent question! I am finding them harder to find consistantly. I am putting out short trot lines(5-10 hooks) to try to find them. Week before last I had a couple of good sized kitty's on one line. Put out a 25 hook line in same area and have caught nothing but dinks under a lb since. I am going to move some hooks around to see what happens.
I found that weather affects more in the winter than summer. Any body else think so? I am open for ideas.
- Nick Ulbricht
I would like to wish you good luck on your winter time adventures. I have personally experienced zero luck in the cold winter months of nov/feb. I look to holes when I do try and we have a gravel pit that runs into the river at a hot spot. I think I will hit that as they begin there search for food and are moving out of the gravel pit into the river.
- John Danner
Me and Rivercat1 have been fishing the Illinois River sinces mid Jan. We have had our best luck in deep holes in 15-20ft, also around the dam and the hot water discharge. we cought most of our fish on red worms and shad guts.
I've only been a few times cold water fishing for blues and I can say I have better luck in the winter than in the summer for big fish. 40 to 90 foot holes with big chuncks of shad.
- John "Cuz" Alle
I use cut shad in winter time. As well, I usually will use much smaller bait presentations in winter time, as the Blues are not near as aggressive and the bite is much more subtle. I try and target plant steam discharges as the blues tend to congregate down below these areas. If thats not producing I can usually get some fish off the deep holes downstream from the wing dykes. For me, I usually catch my biggest fish in August. I'm taking the entire month of August off this year, with the goal of fishing 20 days of it. I dont know what it is about August, but its been great for me. 95, 60, 47, 46, 40, 40, dozens of 30 somethings etc. All in August. I wish I could find the big fish in winter time, but havnt yet. I know alot of folks do. I can honestly say I dont spend near as much time on the river during winter, and that probably has alot to do with it.
Originally Posted by Jetdriver
John, I think your the first person I've ever heard say that their bluecat fishing is best in August. Around here by August is sooo dang hot and we haven't had any rain for good current. It seems like the turtles and gar are in full force also. Are you fishing mainly at night or in the daytime also. Current I'm sure is almost always present on the mississippi compared to the smaller rivers that I fish. I'm just wondering what your late summer tactics are
- Billy Weaver
Does the Keer Res qualify as a river being that is a lock and dam situation? I know when we go down there we fish several places that we have had good luck fishing the last several years. One place is a bend in the river channel that the blues stack up in in winter and several places also that the depth is between 10 and 20 ft and shallower too. I have also saw places that you motor in and if you are running fish out of the shallow water you need to shut down and fish it. Kinda cool seeing torpedos across the water and later hooking said torpedos.