Big catfish in big lakes

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by Just call me C., May 8, 2006.

  1. Just call me C.

    Just call me C. New Member

    Messages:
    21
    State:
    Indiana
    ok here's my situation...i have no boat so i have to bank fish. there are 3 lakes that are within reasonable driving distance. the closest is man-made Heritage Lake, so their isn't much structure other than coves and the riprap along the dam where everyone catches bass. the next closest is Raccoon Lake which i believe is natural. we went there last week and were using chicken liver smothered in garlic paste and nightcrawlers (we didnt have any live bait) fishing in an area that should have been a creek but the water was rediculously high so it looked more like a very large cove. a buddy of mine caught one small channel and i caught the first carp of my life, but no other cats. the third lake is Cataract Lake which i also believe to be natural. I havent fished this lake since i was a kid till this past weekend so i didnt exactly know where to go. we asked the park manager and a conservationist where the catfish were and they both pointed us to a swimming area with boat ramps on either side. i didnt think this area would produce much but we didnt know anywhere else to go and you never know...anyway the same buddy i mentioned before caught a big carp on a nightcrawler and that was it...the next morning we came back and i caught a drum on a bluegill the size of my thumb...also first one i've ever caught. later that day we tried accross the road from a friend's house in a large creek that ran into the lake...it was strait and deep and we didnt catch a thing. but anyway after have read all of this...my question is, where do you find big cats in big lakes?
     
  2. curtis

    curtis New Member

    Messages:
    38
    State:
    california
    if the lake has a dam i would fish right around there during the day time. and the banks at night. but the dam should produce something. also at the mouth of the creek that feeds into the lake you were talking about. i would use live baite for the cats like that blue gill you caught, that would be perfect. i am new to catfishing but not too new to fishing and those areas are all great for catfishing. ( so i have heard )
     

  3. brinley45cal

    brinley45cal Active Member

    Messages:
    2,606
    State:
    kentucky
    Fish the rip rap,the outside bends,any kind of structure you can find.Also look for steep banks that are under cut those cats will get up under them to so dont be affraid to fish close to the bank.Look for slack water like you would find on one side of a bridge pile where the current is comming from,any kind of swirlling water cats like.Thats about all i can think of at the moment but im sure someone will be by in a minute to chime in with more helpful info,Good luck.
     
  4. Just call me C.

    Just call me C. New Member

    Messages:
    21
    State:
    Indiana
    thanks for the advice...cant wait to hit the lakes again.
     
  5. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,081
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    One other factor to keep in mind is pay attention to the wind direction. The wind will force the shad and other small baitfish to the banks that the wind is blowing against. The cats like other predator fish will follow the schools of shad.
     
  6. adeeden

    adeeden New Member

    Messages:
    12
    State:
    Illinois
    I fish 2 of those lakes very reguraly. And just so you know Racoon Is actually a reservoir That is man made (actually it is called Cecil M Harden reservoir) Anyway If you are wanting to get on some good cats from bank on racoon Try fishing below the dam. This is a tailwater area that produces some very nice cats. There is a nice parking area just north of the dam and then a trail that goes right to the base of the dam. Fish right against the concrete and cast into the current seam. I would recoment fresh cut shad. I have had my best luck there after dark. This place gets fished fairly hard so i would arrive early in the day in order to get a spot near the dam. Most people who fish it are after the released trout. Even though it is fished alot most people use to small of bait to tempt the big boy's don't be afraid of hand sized baits.
    This area can be dangerous when the army core of engineers release excess water from the lake. If you hear a loud siren when fishing immediatly reel in and go up the hill@!!! Under normal conditions this rarely happens. You will have much better sucess fishing this area then the lake itself if you are a bank fisher.
    I hope this helps, and please release the big ones!!! I personaly released several nice channels in the 10 pound range there and also released a 30ish pound flathead there as well.
    Arron
     
  7. Just call me C.

    Just call me C. New Member

    Messages:
    21
    State:
    Indiana
    yeah ive been fishing there before...but like you said, most people dont use very large bait...im one of them. i usually target cats that are good size to eat, but this year i want to catch some big ones as well. but i usually wont keep anything very big because they usually arent good to eat being as old as they are...time to go catch some big gills!!