Blue Catfish movement range

Discussion in 'Blue Catfishing' started by Steve W, Jan 27, 2006.

  1. Steve W

    Steve W New Member

    Messages:
    39
    State:
    Arkansas
    I have a hole where I catch fish like crazy one day but the next day it's cold
    cold, cold. I think I'm playing with one school that moves in every three to five days and then moves on. In the winter the shad are hard to find. So it difficult to locate the blues based on the location of the shad schools. Does anybody have a feel for the movement range of a school of blues. I don't have a good feel for how fast or how far they move so I can't predict how far up or down the river to move in order to locate the moving school of blues. All I can do is wait for them to come back to the hole. But that means good fishing once a week. Any advice out there
     
  2. vlparrish

    vlparrish New Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    State:
    Bedford, Kentucky
    Steve, are you fishing from the bank or a boat? If you are fishing from a boat you should be able to use a graph to locate the fish. They probably don't go far. Also if you are fishing a certain type of structure, try looking at that similar structure close to the area where you catch them. Also really watch weather and water changes closely. The reason the fish are moving might be a rise or fall in the water or a weather front or something in that nature no matter how slight it might be. If you are tearing them up when it is good, I don't think the reason you aren't catching them at times is because of your bait JMO. Vern
     

  3. crazy

    crazy New Member

    Messages:
    2,090
    State:
    Kansas CIty, MO
    Try and find the bait. Blues are going to be where the food is. It really is hard to say without knowing if you are fishing a river or lake. If you are fishing in a boat try cruising around in the area you are fishing and look for the shad. The blues should be in the area of the food. Is it safe to say the time you catch fish out of this hole is the same kind of weather each time?
     
  4. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
    steve, those are really good questions and there could be a thousand answers. My inclination would be to believe those fish are still there, and so are the shad. This time of year the Blues will not do a whole lot of travelling. They like an easy meal, and wont work real hard to get it. Perhaps you could keep a fishing log, and compare the information from the days you are catching fish to the days you dont. Heres some things I monitor on a frequent basis. 1. water temp 2. barometer 3. wind 4. sky conditions 5. water clarity 6. and water level. I've noticed some trends that work in my neck of the woods and you will have to determine whats driving that aggressive feeding pattern in yours. If you take some time with that log, I really think you will see some common factors start to pop up. Good Luck with those Fish.:cool:
     
  5. Blue Bruiser

    Blue Bruiser New Member

    Messages:
    200
    State:
    St Louis, Missouri
    I agree with Jet Driver. I don't believe the blues move far at all. The Channel Cat is known for traveling not the blues. One thing that I have readily available is a log. I collect all the information I can for every trip. Air Temp, Water Temp, Barometer, Wind, Skies, Location, Bait used, and how many and how big of fish we catch. If you consistently keep these notes you will find youself on top of more big blues than you would imagine. And believe it or not this log can also make finding and catching bait an easy chore if you document the bait patterns as well.
     
  6. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
    Great Advice Chris. Especially with the bait patterns. Well said.:cool:
     
  7. Paraguayguy

    Paraguayguy Active Member

    Messages:
    1,651
    State:
    Virginia
    The state of Virginia Fisheries guys are into their second year tracking fish that have transmitters in them. I think its about 50 fish they are tracking. What they have found for the big ones.(Nothing with a transmitter is less than 20 pounds) is that some roam all over covering 5-7 miles of river, some have a range of a mile or two, and others stay put on some form of structure rarely going anywhere. Must be easy groceries there!

    One thing for sure, they wll always be found where the Shad are. My last two times out this winter. First trip we found two new holes stacked up with baitfish and cats. Second trip and these holes were empty. Same conditions but a month apart. We found them that day at mid depth 20 feet on a sloaping bank leading from a deep hole to a shallow mud flat.
     
  8. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,175
    State:
    NC
    Like someone else said, there are a lot of variables. Water flow in a lake or river, temp. changes, and bait depth all play a part.

    There was some research done on Lake Norman where fish were tracked. They did spend winter in a different range than in summer, but it is not clear if this movement was dictated by temperature, bait movement etc.

    Typically if you can find a pattern that produces fish, that pattern will probably work in an area that has similar water charecteristics. Finding those similar areas can take some work, and a lot of time with no bites, but in the end you may hook a nice one.
     
  9. 6106b

    6106b New Member

    Messages:
    145
    State:
    texas
    Steve pull up The Secret Lives of Reservoir Blue Catfish,it will open your eyes to what blues do.
     
  10. Welder

    Welder New Member

    Messages:
    4,834
    State:
    Missouri
    Blues are roamers. Well at least in rivers they follow the bait and current. Its not just shad they hunt. They have seasonal foods as well from flooded in worms, stonefly hatches, mayflys to baby carp even mullberrys. Find the bait they are feeding on find the fish. One of my wildest nights ever on the MO river for blues was during a massive local stonefly hatch.
     
  11. 6106b

    6106b New Member

    Messages:
    145
    State:
    texas
    Welder don't forget the spawn,if you are fishing a lake and there is a river feeding the lake if they can they will head up the river to spawn in the spring.
     
  12. Katmaster Jr.

    Katmaster Jr. New Member

    Messages:
    4,644
    State:
    Wilmington, NC
    They definitely will head upstream and into the creeks to spawn. And on the river here, they mostly live in the bigger section downstream but in the late Spring we start catching them way up stream in the smaller rivers that feed the main river. They are shallow enough to walk across most of the time and supper narrow, you can't even get a regular boat up there. Also you will find the big female stripers up there as well, but good luck stopping them in that narrow and very snaggy stretch of the river! Lol!
     
  13. J_Carter

    J_Carter Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,220
    State:
    Va.
    Man this thread was awakened from the dead! lol