blue catfish in tidal rivers

Discussion in 'Blue Catfishing' started by outdoorX, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. outdoorX

    outdoorX New Member

    Messages:
    104
    State:
    Ohio
    Im having a problem finding big blues in some of the rivers i fish. there all tidal and i usually fish about 10 miles up river from the inlet. its winter here but the water has warmed up to and holding steady at 50 degrees. the deepest holes i have found is 40 ft with the average being 30. these holes are few and far between and i have fished them without any luck. For bait i use gizzard shad, eels, cut bream, and rarelt shrimp. when the water is on drop the river can have swift current. I never have any luck fishing when the water is coming back in either.
     
  2. tufffish

    tufffish New Member

    Messages:
    1,196
    State:
    Texas
    we catch blues in tidal water, but we fish bayous, not rivers. in the bayou you have little or no current. right after a big rain the water will flow some and that is the best fishing for the blues. you will catch reds along with them.
     

  3. Pip

    Pip New Member

    Messages:
    1,670
    State:
    pa
    Couple things you might want to take into account maybe. Seems like the blues tolerate brackish water, but It might push them up river a bit to fresher water. Don't be afraid to fish the mudflats or shallow water in the winter time when there feeding. At least around me, the shad will move up on the flats in the day for the warmer temps. I've caught quite a few in the 40to 60# range like this in the winter time. I try to go with the saying, "find the bait, find the fish" more times then not it has worked f0r the tidal waters.

    Maybe try to pattern your self by sitting up on holes differently. Tidals waters are and can be a bit different then your inland rivers. Seems once you figure out the tides on a given hole and when a blue might be feeding during a specific tide you might increase your hookups. Keeping notes really helps for the tidal waters, I've found. Knowing where to setup on a given hole at what time of the tide will help ya.

    Also, don't be afraid to drift and even controlled drifting. Can pay big specially with the tidal currents.
     
  4. outdoorX

    outdoorX New Member

    Messages:
    104
    State:
    Ohio
    i have started keeping records and they have helped, alot. but i cant find the big ones. drifting is a little hard cause i fish narrow rivers with lots of snags and elevation changes. and finding the bait is hard to cause we have one big shad run a year for a month. and the shad are huge im talking 5 to 10 lbs. other then that i have never seen schools of shad just crusing the river. mostly just bream and in the summer they move up into 3 foot of water or the swamps.
     
  5. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    Messages:
    4,451
    State:
    South Caro
    Well, it has been established that the blues migrate to the coastal regions during winter. That's the reason we have a hard time catching blues 100 miles inland on the river. That said, we have been tearing them up down in Georgetown on the lower PeeDee and lower Waccamaw rivers, right on the fresh water dividing line. We fish structure around the bridge pilings, and drop offs.

    Bill in SC
     
  6. raybait1

    raybait1 New Member

    Messages:
    210
    State:
    SE Texas
    I live about 10 miles up river from the coast. Im not catching much but the guys about 8 miles down are tearing them up. They say their piled up on top of each other down there.
     
  7. outdoorX

    outdoorX New Member

    Messages:
    104
    State:
    Ohio
    i wrok a 22 mile stretch of the river and the very end of my area is right at the 10 mile mark. so its 32 miles to the bay. about a month ago the bite stoped down in the upper bays and everyone was telling me that the blues are starting to move up river again but i havent got anything with size like i was saying now i know two guys in particular that have went out and filled the big coolers with blues on the stretch that i work.one guy in particular had 4 that were right at the 25lb mark all on limb lines( bush hooks, bush bobs) whatever there known at in your area. but i have never had that kinda luck. all of this is done in one night of running the lines
     
  8. JPritch

    JPritch New Member

    Messages:
    1,852
    State:
    Lynchburg, VA
    The catches on the limb lines should tell you something....the fish are feeding shallow! From your first post, it sounds like you're only fishing deeper holes. IMO, fishing really deep in the winter is one of the biggest misconcetions in catching big blues. Most of my big blues have come from shallow water this winter (<10'). And the guy who posted about fishing bayous, well we don't have bayous here, but we do have barge pits that are shallow and have little current. They are excellent winter fishing spots.
     
  9. outdoorX

    outdoorX New Member

    Messages:
    104
    State:
    Ohio
    from what i gathered these guys are catching on all the outside bends of a turn. now on my river thats usually the deepest part some turns drop straight off and others kinda graduall but its still steep. and these guys are working 10 miles of river. 10 miles + 20 hook/ 4 fish over 20 lbs = Alot of bank to choose from. im trying to find a better way to locate whats the best spots and these guys aint giving up there favorite locations.