Bump a Stump Channel Cats!!

Discussion in 'Channel Catfish' started by catfishrollo, Dec 20, 2007.

  1. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    During the course of the fishing season i sometimes head out in the early morning for a day of channel cat fishing. I mainly flathead fish so, this is a nice change of pace for the patience.. Anyways, a cooler of fresh cut baits, such as shad, suckers, and chubs and im ready to go!! My rig is simple a 3oz. flat sinker thats sliding on the main line, a bead, and an 7or 8/0 gamu. j-style hook. i like keeping the sinker close to the hook and bait to help minimize my hangups..Now, this is where i really have fun! during the warm water months, the process i target these channels may be slightly different than some do.. i have anchored above and below logjams, and rockpiles with great sucess, especially in those with current flowing through them. But, it has seemed to me over the nights on the water that the bigger channels sometimes become nocturnal feeding mostly during the dark hours, and the smaller to med. size fish will tug at your bait during the day...SO, back to the having fun... i developed the idea of driving my boat into the middle of these narly wood structures as deep as i can without getting stuck, often wedging my boat on a log to anchor. Now with a short 5'5'' st.croix x/h rod and my 6500 garcia spooled with 40lb. big game i drop baits vertically straight down in the middle of this mess... at first i was under the impression these fish would scatter with my noise and commotion..But, they don't seem to. And, alot of these bigger channels, the night feeders are back in here during the light hours.. let me say, you will lose fish doing this, even with a broom stick for a pole! lol.. But, the size of the fish i was getting during the daylight hours was greatly improved.. this is a one pole method, you have to fish pole in hand...fish every side of the boat, every little crevice between the logs straight down.. its amazing how these fish even get into some of these places. i also carry a second outfit.. an 11 ft. surf rod/spinning outfit...after you vertically fish around the boat with the shorter rod, use the longer rod to vertical fish out farther away from the boat using the same method straight down!! if you don't have any action simply lift you bait/sinker slowly...most the time if it feels hung its just the sinker hitting or wedging in the timber.. simply drop the tip easy and lift easy.. this is the advantage of the simple rig, most of the time you can ease it out with burying the hook.. after fishing the logpile and feeling you have covered it properly, simply move to the next...might try this method on you river or stream this summer, and see if them big boys are held up in that really thick timber.. and don't be affraid to bump a stump with the boat while doing so!!! lol..goodluck.....rollo
     
  2. Catcaller

    Catcaller New Member

    Messages:
    1,511
    State:
    SoutheastKansas
    By bumping the stump...it's creating vibrations similar to that which catfish key on for food. If one is in the area...and he's hungry...he comes to investigate....and well we all know what happens then.

    I employ this tactic in a similar fashion while letting my bait bounce downstream with the current.

    Especially so when the current is really rolling...and a 1 to 2 oz sinker is necessary to keep your bait in contact with the bottom...yet you can still "walk" it downstream.

    As it "walks"...the heavy sinker is bouncing off rocks, rip rap, gravel, and boulders every square inch of its journey down....producing substantial noise down there.

    Usually when a fish picks it up...it has heard it coming from quite a ways off...and is looking for the source by the time the bait reaches the cat.

    I also do vertical fish at times as well in heavy cover...I too will normally bounce the sinker off of the bottom or against a log, bridge piling, or rockpile in order to stir things up a bit after a lull in the action.

    It works...but what really works is when a train or a big truck goes over a bridge...it seems like a fish is produced nearly everytime that happens.
     

  3. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    yes sir... i love walking baits.. i also use slip-floats with big egg sinkers to help move livebaits at night downstream of my boat.. you can easily float baits along a bank 50-80 yrd.s at a time...man i need to go fishing!!! lol thanks for the post brian,,..rollo
     
  4. CatAngler

    CatAngler New Member

    Messages:
    312
    State:
    Omaha NE
    Good stuff Jason. I'll have to give it a whirl next time I can get back out on the water.:cool2:




    J
     
  5. alands94

    alands94 Active Member

    Messages:
    1,706
    State:
    Lebanon, I
    Thanks for the info. I've done this from the bank at a couple small local ponds. I use a long pole to vertically drop my bait in the biggest snags I can find. Even a 2# cat on a short line in heavy cover is a challenge to land!
     
  6. dust777man

    dust777man New Member

    Messages:
    536
    State:
    SC
    Thanks for the tips! Sounds like some good ones!
     
  7. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    thanks for your posts brothers, try this and send me a pm,, i enjoy hearing your input.. esp. when tactics work on your river as well!!!!..rollo
     
  8. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    how many of you fish this way, im just curious.. and is there any other techniques i might have missed that work exceptianlly well for you.. shoot your info. brothers...rollo
     
  9. sarSWAMPFOX

    sarSWAMPFOX New Member

    Messages:
    381
    State:
    Union, South Caroilna
    On the Tyger river here in SC. It is a small river and a 5 lber in the Tyger is a trophy. There are alot of large trees that have falled from shore into the water & the current is never really strong enough to move these trees. Countless times we have tied our boat up on shore above these trees got out and walked out on the trees like natural fishing piers on the river. Drop shot rigged straight down into the limbs under water. Loads of fun but remember there aint no hand rails on these piers LOL. Also check for wildlife that might be laying in the sun on the tree before you walk out on it. It might be easy to walk out on but it is difficult run back off it LOL.
     
  10. catcrazed

    catcrazed New Member

    Messages:
    575
    State:
    ohio
    rollo, that sounds like a blast but The big question for you is when you are doing this, is it winter time! Like right now!! cause i can always call in sick 2-morrow.lol. I have done this type of fishing, drifting the banks with a small float close to the bank and yes I have had many days catching 20 fish or more, but i have always done this for pre-spawn channels in the spring up in creeks off the main river channel. These log jams are not as abundant where i fish in the ohio river. The turns arent like the turns in most rivers. The part of the ohio i fish is the meldahl pool which is a big wide stretch of river that has very slow wide turns, not much build up where im at but in the creeks now that is a different story. You mean to tell me i can do this in the winter to. oh please please please tell me i can do this in the winter also. I just thought that the fish were deeper and not close enough to the banks for that right at this moment.
     
  11. curdog

    curdog New Member

    Messages:
    896
    State:
    Sheridan, Arkansas
    I used to bounce a bass bait off of stumps but I haven't tryed it while catfishing.
     
  12. yeppa

    yeppa New Member

    Messages:
    636
    State:
    Topeka, Kansas
    Do you bounce your bait off the stump---before or after you bouce your prop off it??
     
  13. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    lol...i have a jet, so its a little easier..rollo
     
  14. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    robin, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, i have only fished this way when the channels are moved into the logjams in the warm water months.. however, i do catch them shallow sometimes late winter, early spring, so you may want to give it a try..on the muskingum we have some pretty sharp bends and turns associated with shallow riffles, that makes these big logjams along the bank where the river channel runs, these are usually the better ones to fish, obviously because of the current pushing through them.. give it a try, you may not have as much structure to pick and chose from, but we all know, structure on river systems usually attracts cats! i bet you'll be suprised what you will find..goodluck, rollo
     
  15. Catcaller

    Catcaller New Member

    Messages:
    1,511
    State:
    SoutheastKansas
    Hey guys here's a little FYI about winter channel cats. You can hack a hole in the ice and still catch them...if ya care to do so.

    I have been reading a few articles about minnesota and michigan channel catters...and they do indeed catch channel cats during ice over there.

    On the more realistic side here in Kansas where I fish...I'm probably not gonna do much ice fishing due to the ice not getting as thick as it does up north, where they drive semi trucks over it...or set up ice fishing shanty towns of warmed shelters.

    However...if there's a warm snap during otherwise cold and nasty winter weather...I'm the first one out on the water to catch some fresh hungry channel cats as they move from their wintering holes, and go shallow to find warmer waters and baitfish.

    The channel are attracted to shallow woody cover especially...particularly standing timber that is at least half exposed to sunlight.

    This timber soaks up warmth from sunlight...and raises the water temp slightly in the area immediately surrounding it.

    A subtle difference in water temp...particularly a change that bridges the gap between say...39 degrees...and perhaps 42 degrees...is a prime place to set up for cold blooded channel cats wishing to warm their bones a bit...and most importantly to catch a few not nearly as hardy baitfish that are attracted to the warmer water as well.

    I have used this approach for many years...and it's a constant and consistent producer during a period of time during the year that is known for slow action...as well as the difficulty of locating and staying on the fish long enough to catch them during their more infrequent feeding times in cold water.

    However...when they move temporarily into shallow water to find food during their "hibernation" mode...they are looking for trouble.

    This makes things much more simple since the cats are actively searching for food....and the extensive time normally spent during winter to locate them is not neccessary.

    Which can make for some hefty winter time stringers of channel cats.

    Obtaining the bait at the bait shop during winter is the hardest part of the process....I prefer jumbo shiners.

    It's a confidence thing...but it also is what works best from my experience.

    You can hook two or three smaller shiners onto your hook...but one big one...that has plenty of wiggle in it is apparently just too much for them to pass up. (Although I have had some success with multiple smaller baits as well)

    There's definately something to this using live bait for channel in cold water.

    I bait up...and usually from the bank...but sometimes in a boat...use a heavy sinker to cast a long distance...2 oz or so...and attempt to place my carolina rigged large shiner right next to...or to bounce the sinker off the trunk of the timber I'm aiming at...and after impact...just let it sink straight down to the base.

    Casting accuracy is the forte of the day...since the "strike zone" is inherently reduced in colder water.

    This has produced oh so many 5-20 lb channel for me during a time that I'd normally be at home on the couch watching football or climbing the walls.

    And...NOTHIN' beats FRESH chunked up and deep fried catfish fillets during the winter. :cool2:
     
  16. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    good post, i don't pursue channels in the cold water months much cause im usually chasing flats and them good eatin fish called crappies!!! but, channels through the ice would be fun!!...rollo
     
  17. Catcaller

    Catcaller New Member

    Messages:
    1,511
    State:
    SoutheastKansas
    I normally don't begin loading up my fishing rod until after mid to late january...when the walleye start running upstream to begin their spawn in the river.

    Eyes coupled with crappie make up the biggest part of my early fishing.

    Crappies are good eating...but the walleye surpasses that IMO. I'll still give grandma a few bags of crappie fillets. However.... when it comes down to the walleye fillets...grandma needs to get off her butt, and go catch her own eyes!!

    But I'm quick to grab the channel cat rods and head out if it gets warmer for a few days.
     
  18. dookiechrist

    dookiechrist New Member

    Messages:
    94
    State:
    utah
    great info!!! i live in utah and fish the hard water often (ice). over the years i've gotten to know trout, perch, and other fish well. i have caught cats before, but never through the ice.. i am planning on going soon, and look forward to using new knowledge.
     
  19. baptistpreach

    baptistpreach New Member

    Messages:
    415
    State:
    Oklahoma!
    I've been planning on hitting the crappie soon. I completely agree about walleye, they are the best eating IMO. I was told when the weather gets very cold, that you can go to the dock before the sun comes up, and just drop a jig, and work it from the bottom and catch crappie like none other. Once the sun comes up, you stop catching them because they move to different water. Does that sound true to you?
     
  20. Catcaller

    Catcaller New Member

    Messages:
    1,511
    State:
    SoutheastKansas
    David...the obvious rule is going to apply here. It is the most consistent and reliable rule about fishing that there is.

    There ALWAYS is the story about how the fish were literally lining up to put themselves onto your stringer....yesterday.

    I wouldn't count on any fishing trip for any species to be easy...I intend to plan for it to be hard to take emotionally speaking.

    And then if/when the trip turns out well...consider it a bonus.

    Kinda like gambling...don't look at it as anything other than entertainment...because if you do, then you're setting yourself up for disappointment.

    But...to answer your question (From my experience) about do the fish bite the best at pre-dawn...and then seem to move on.

    This does in fact happen not only with crappie...but really any species of fish that schools.

    There will always be certain areas that produce better than others..."honeyholes"...and this usually is not by accident. Someone has probably dumped some brush there to attract baitfish...which in turn attract the crappie.

    Other natural attractors...such as beaverdams...rockpiles...standing timber...stump fields...ect....are awesome places to fish early while the fish are still looking for trouble.

    That "early" predawn bite actually began earlier that night...and generally continues up until 9 or 10 am here locally...as the fish actively feed around the schools of baitfish that they constantly dog.

    I have caught loads of crappie, walleye, channel, white bass, and wiper at the butt crack of dawn on MANY occasions. It's usually IMO the absolute best time to be on the water.

    But the fish don't merely disappear...the schools move in and out of several areas during their feeding binge.

    One school moves out...another eventually moves back in. Feast and famine.

    But even when they do eventually settle into a more inactive holding pattern...they can still be caught if you can find the fish themselves....and then locate the even smaller strike zone they have in the winter....AND figure out what they want to eat.

    Winter fishing is hardly money in the bank...unless you're fishing an enclosed heated dock.

    THAT...is the way to winter crappie fish. Productive...and above all...warm!!