Blue Catfish Spawning?

Discussion in 'Blue Catfishing' started by Cuz, Mar 18, 2006.

  1. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

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    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
    Hello all. Its getting close to that time of year and I was just wandering how much knowledge exist out there about the Blue Cats Spawning habits. When do they start spawing? Where do they spawn? How long is the spawning season? Feeding habits before, during and after the spawn? What do the males and females do during spawn? I would like to get alot of discussion going on this subject as there doesnt seem to be alot of information out there. Everyone please feel free to post any information relating to this subject. Perhaps we can all learn something and catch some nice fish this spring and early summer. Best Of Luck fishing this season to everyone. Be safe out there, and please release those big fish so our children have something to look forward to.
     
  2. bluehunter

    bluehunter New Member

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    3,004
    State:
    Los Angele
    That is a good question. I have a hard time catching blues in the Spring and would like to know that as well. I do know that a lot of blues do not spawn in some waters. There are a few lakes here in so cal that they spawn in, and some that they do not spawn in. Surprisingly I notice that the lakes they do not spawn in is the ones that they grow the biggest in. I was told reason why in the ones they do not spawn is because of the lack of moving water, and that the blues require moving water in order to spawn. The ones that they spawn in - Those are the lakes that produce a lot of small blues as well in the 5-10 pound class regularly while the other ones have less smaller ones and more bigger ones(the ones they do not spawn in). I am sure there is a difference between spawning habits in a lake/reservoir for the blues as opposed to the river. So I would like to hear the spawning habits in both bodies of water to get a better analysis.
     

  3. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

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    1,497
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    OK
    I sure don't know everything about blue cats and the spawn but here what I've learned.



    When do they start spawing? Where I live the spawn usually takes place from around mid to late May though the end on June. Water temps play a major factor, but by the time water temps hit 70 degrees the spawning has started.

    Where do they spawn? I don't think there's one set rule where blue cats spawn especially comparing rivers vs lakes. Blue cats tend to migrate upstream during the prespawn eating everything in sight. CURRENT I believe makes a huge difference in where and how far blue cats migrate upstream. I remember reading how South Dakota use to be one of the best places to catch big blue cats before all the lock and dams were built. They of course thrive in big rivers and where they go during the spawn I believe dicates on where the current is coming from. There were posts last year of some big 80 plus pound blue cats coming out of the Kansas River last year. The Kaw isn't really known for blues but very heavy rains drove them up into Kaw. I see this locally also in where and how many bluecats will be in a given section of river. We have three pretty decent rivers that come together around Muskogee, OK. The Arkansas, Grand(Neosho) and Veridgris river all merge and whatever lake upstream is releasing more water or in some cases a hole lot more water, those blues will choose the river with the most current. When I didn't have a boat and was strictly shore fishing I watched current releases every day in deciding which dam I wanted to fish. When the current is poor below my smaller local lakes I know that the fish will not be there in the numbers if the current was flowing strong during the prespawn. Lake fishing is pretty similar in that there still is current in the lake just not to the degree as a river. A 20,000 some arce lake with a current inflow of 30,000 cfs and releasing another 30,000 cfs out of the dam will create current in a lake. Blues will travel upstream to shallow flats and up into main river channel or creeks that flow into the lake. I have a smaller 5000 acre lake that the main river that flows into the lake is blocked by a huge log jam almost a mile deep. In the spring I park my boat just a hundred yards downstream of my logjam and slay the blues during the prespawn. The more current in the river going into the lake the more blues will be trying to travel farther upstream.


    How long is the spawning season? In my experience the actually spawning last around 1 1/2 months give or take.


    Feeding habits before, during and after the spawn? The feeding habits before are marked by the prespawn. The best time of year to catch blues because they will darn near eat everything and eat all the time. The prespwan around here is starting now until mid May or so. It's no secret that I love to jug fish along with rod and reeling. It's nothing in April or May to set out 20 jugs with two hooks apiece and catch 30 fish on just one run of your jugs. I've caught them with bare hooks and cut pieces of mylar ballon that looks like a shad during the prespawn. They will bite anthing that looks like it might be a fish or fish part. During the spawn my results are usually fair to poor. Blues are usually in a slow feeding mode. I don't seem to catch very many Blues over 5 pounds during the spawn ( your results may vary). Post spawn marks July and August in Oklahoma and it gets hot around here. I know some do very well this time of year on Blues but I only do OK. There's not to much current flowing in our local rivers and lakes and the blues seem to scatter but there will always be close to the food. I personally don't spend enough time fishing this time of year and could be a great time to fish but it will have to be done at night because 100 degrees and no shade from the boat = little fishing.


    What do the males and females do during spawn? Hmmm what do you think males and females do during the spawn.:p Not much eating in my experience.

    The two main things that drive Blues in the prespawn and spawn is current and food. How far a fish will travel I believe depends on any man made or natural barriers and where suitable nesting grounds will be(cavities, ledges, logs). Strong currents will push blues cats farther and farther upstream. When a river reduces current, barrier is encontered and good nesting grounds are present fish will stay and spawn.
     
  4. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

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    7,241
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    DeSoto, MO
    Chris, that is an Outstanding Post. Thanks for the time and effort you put forth with that reply. With some more from our BOC bros, i bet we can get a good idea on what the spawns really like. Keep it coming guys. I had another question? Are the real PIG Blues we see caught, and catch ourselves, say 70 pounds or bigger males or females? Or do they both get that big?
     
  5. Abu65

    Abu65 Member

    Messages:
    582
    State:
    Kentucky
    Where Im at the catfishing really slows down for all species when the water temp reaches the mid 70's. I have a friend that use to do a lot of noodling and would catch blues in the same type of structure (hollow openings & under rocks) that he would catch flatheads in.
     
  6. photocat

    photocat New Member

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    803
    State:
    HOCO, Maryland
    Thats because of competition for food... when you've got the little squirts and lots of them from the spawning they have to eat and usually get to food faster then larger ones... When there are no/less little ones to contend for food with, the larger ones get more and therefore grow larger...


    Unfortunately i can't tell you much about the spawning habits of blues... they usually don't call me up when they go and do that...
     
  7. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
     
  8. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

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    1,497
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    I have no idea the biggest blue I've boated was 45 pounds. I did have one that was probably 80+ pounds but it straighted out a 4/0 hook as I was about to net it.:sad: I hoping for at least a 50 pounder this year.
     
  9. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

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    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
    Go Get em Chris. I'm on a mission to crack the 100 pound mark. I realize that might never come to pass, but I will continue trying until is does. I'm pretty darn fortunate to have that 95, but as you know you always want bigger. I think thats what drives us though. There is ALWAYS a bigger one out there. Thats a bummer about losing that big fish of yours. I could only imagine how you felt when that hook straightened. Bet you have some better hooks now dont you? LOL
     
  10. Blue Bruiser

    Blue Bruiser New Member

    Messages:
    200
    State:
    St Louis, Missouri
    I think that the spawning activities vary from state to state and the waters fished. Believe it or not I have noticed varying patterns in the spring from the Miss to the Mo rivers. In the Missouri here the Blues start getting caught the last week of March. That is with an average winter. We catch them from the third week of March until the 2nd week of may non stop. They are very aggressive at this time of year and finding active fish is just a matter of putting the boat in the water. After about the 2nd week of may that number takes a steep decline. Fishing the flats and mouths of feeder creeks will produce some blues but it seems to always shut down until around the 15th of June, Then its anybodys game again. As far as where they spawn thats anyones guess, as far as Im concerned. I have also read that blues require some kind of moving water in order to successfully spawn. It sure would be nice if someone would actually conduct studies on these big blues as they do the Flatheads. Sure would be nice to have that knowledge and be able to use it.