Catching large river Channels

Discussion in 'Channel Catfish' started by JMarrs328, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. JMarrs328

    JMarrs328 New Member

    Messages:
    471
    State:
    York/Harrisburg, PA
    What baits do you suggest for catching some monster river catfish. And, is it so much the bait, or is it more in the spot.
     
  2. BIG GEORGE

    BIG GEORGE New Member

    Messages:
    10,362
    State:
    JOISY
    Its a combination of both Josh. Doin your homework and learnin the body of water ya are fishin is important. And don't be affraid to take a few baits with ya and narrow it down once ya see what they have decided to feed on. Time and effort will produce good fish. Best to ya.
     

  3. BKS72

    BKS72 New Member

    Messages:
    3,361
    State:
    East of KC
    Just me, but I think it's the spot. Doesn't matter what bait you have if there's no fish there. Dunno what the water is like where you're at, but it's real low here. It's been cool to see places I've caught fish out of that are out of the water. Now I can see why. There's a small depression or a hole other things that made it look good to the fish. I look at the fishfinder or just plain old get a good feeling about a spot that looks "fishy". I usually will take a combination of live minnows or goldfish, crawdads, livers, and cut shad, depending on what I can get my hands on and send out one of each. If I don't get bit, I feel pretty safe in saying it wasn't the bait. If I start getting bites or catching fish, my poles all slowly get changed over to whatever they're eating.

    As far as monsters, I think a lot of guys (myself included) would say that decent sized cut or live bait is for larger fish, and livers, stinkbait, etc. will get smaller ones. I haven't caught many big fish, but it makes sense and the ones I have caught have been on cut or live bait. The bigger a fish is, the more energy it takes it to find and eat something. Big fish want the most calories for the least effort.
     
  4. photocat

    photocat New Member

    Messages:
    803
    State:
    HOCO, Maryland
    I agree w/ katfshn50, its a bit of both... Yes if there are no fish there it doesn't matter what bait you throw out, you won't get bitten... As for the bait, it seems like live or cut bait seems to attract larger fish... i would use something that's found in the water your fishing, only because well the fish know it... plus the fish will react and get more frantic if a larger preditory fish comes around that it knows of and has had close calls w/... The only exception to that is goldfish... because of their color they seem easier targets to alot of fish and there for get hit readily...

    That said my philosophy is to use 2 baits (sometimes just one... ) and figure out why fish strike and when as well as where on a certain bait... i know on my local lake (30 or so acres) i've figured out pretty much whether the bullheads (only catfish in there) will be hitting on liver or worms on a given night just by using both for so many years there... works the same way w/ channels, though they are a bit less picky about what they eat...

    MY biggest came on Chicken liver but just like anything else i think there are alot of different baits depending on the waters you fish... i would start w/ liver and worms to find the channels then once you figure out where they stay try different baits when you know they are there biting on liver or worms and see how well it works... and don't give up if they are bitting well and then it just stops... there may be a large fish lurking keeping the smaller ones away
     
  5. nosnag

    nosnag New Member

    Messages:
    284
    State:
    Florida
    Best luck I've had with Channels was with Crawfish when I could find them.When I lived on a lake I would save them just for catfishing.Caught my largest on a crawfish during a melt off high water flood on the Ct. River.18# and that is a super cat in Ct.Thinking of making a trap to catch them down here in Fl.The larger ones that have just shed are something the Channels ca'nt seem to resist.
    BILL
     
  6. misterwhiskers

    misterwhiskers New Member

    Messages:
    273
    State:
    Trenton
    Location,Location,Location

    Iagree,use an arsenal of baits to see what they prefer,but your main focus should be HOLES,drop-offs and ledges,right now during the winter i'd concentrate mainly on deeper holes.More than likely the fish will be stacked up together rather than spread out.
    Odds are if you can find1,you found a bunch.
     
  7. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    It is a bit of both, but I believe location is more imprortant than bait..If they aint there you cant catch them even with the best of baits..I would use fresh cut baits, shad -sucker.
     
  8. mudpup

    mudpup New Member

    Messages:
    11
    State:
    Wilkes-Barre Pa.
    Targeting the bigger forks , I only spend a few minutes at one place . Then I move to the next hole. Cover more area and your chances are greater. I use fresh cut bait most of the time , and alot of it too. If they are there they wiil eat , if not , they ain't there .Know about the species your hunting, first . A big factor is learning to read your depth finder. Turn all the stupid buttons off , fish alarm ect. Learn to read what your sonar unit shows you , decifer the different bottom structures . Once you can do this properly , your chances are alot better.
     
  9. dinkbuster1

    dinkbuster1 New Member

    Messages:
    2,272
    State:
    Ohio
    big channels are tough to get a pattern on. your bigger flats are more predictable than the bigger channels since channels are more of a schooling fish. sometimes you just have to weed them out. from experience i can remember catching the bigger channels very tight to downed trees and logjams in shallow water, and near concrete, rocks etc with lots of current. i have a spot on my river where theres a large downed tree in only 2 feet of water with moderate current, ive never caught a channel under 8 lbs there.(big for around here) the smaller ones tend to roam up and down the channel of the river more than the big ones. the bigger ones seem to prefer fresher bait too, even live sometimes. it's mostly hit or miss for me on big channels.
     
  10. Salmonid

    Salmonid New Member

    Messages:
    1,833
    State:
    SW Ohio
    I know on one of my spots that we falthead hunt on, we have taken 3 channels this fall between 8-10 lbs, ( again, big for our area) and all came on shad heads, small bluegills or on Cut Shad. Most baits were probably too big for the smaller guys but I bet most guys who use the bigger baits for flatheads probably have taken many large channels from the same type of water by fishing bigger baits. Im sure there are many smaller channels in this area but all we get are the bigger ones by using bigger baits. Less hits and hookups but the payoff is some darn nice quality fish. :)

    Salmonid
     
  11. JMarrs328

    JMarrs328 New Member

    Messages:
    471
    State:
    York/Harrisburg, PA
    When you all say big fish, how big of a fish do you mean. How long?
     
  12. dinkbuster1

    dinkbuster1 New Member

    Messages:
    2,272
    State:
    Ohio
    all depends on your area. around me a "big" channel is 10 to 15lbs, but in other areas it may be 20 to 25lbs. some places even bigger. all depends of the fertility of the water and the land it flows through.
     
  13. misterwhiskers

    misterwhiskers New Member

    Messages:
    273
    State:
    Trenton
    Here an 8-10 pound channel is usually around 25-30 inches,this isn't set in stone and WILL vary,but gives you a genreal idea of the fishs's weight.
     
  14. JMarrs328

    JMarrs328 New Member

    Messages:
    471
    State:
    York/Harrisburg, PA
    Dink, you mentioned them holding near concrete, rocks, etc. I live near and fish the susquehanna river. And upstream a couple of miles is a hydroelectic plant. There is a large lowhead damn and the water is very turbulent. Would this be a good area to find channels during the summer? :confused:
     
  15. dinkbuster1

    dinkbuster1 New Member

    Messages:
    2,272
    State:
    Ohio
    yeah that would be a good place to start, look for calm spots near the turbulent water. those areas will be especially good before the spawn(guessing your area they will spawn mid to late june). after the spawn they might still be there if its deep. be warned though, i sometimes fish lowhead dams and there are usually a lot of snags below them, i saw one dam being repaired back in the mid 80's and they had the river diverted so i got to see the spill area dried up almost. the builders must have dumped tons of busted concrete in there. if you have any areas near you where they dump rocks/concrete to keep roads from eroding away those are really good, doesnt have to be really deep either.
     
  16. JMarrs328

    JMarrs328 New Member

    Messages:
    471
    State:
    York/Harrisburg, PA
    Thanks for the info Dink :) ! Those big old cats will be spawning just in time for summer vacation!! Then i can hit them at least 5 days a week for a couple of hours at a time!
     
  17. PAcatty12

    PAcatty12 New Member

    Messages:
    43
    State:
    Pa
    thats what i like to hear JMarrs...hopefully we can get together and go after them together! PM me
     
  18. Brett2

    Brett2 Guest

    Jmarrs... do you ever fish brunner's island?
     
  19. JMarrs328

    JMarrs328 New Member

    Messages:
    471
    State:
    York/Harrisburg, PA
    Yes, i often fish at Brunner Island, especially around this time of year. It's the only area arond here that is warm enough to have the cats feeding very actively. I fish there on weekends because there isn't a lot of time during the week after school.
     
  20. Brett2

    Brett2 Guest

    It seems like a really good place to fish this time of year. The water is about 80 near the inlet i think. It seems heavily fished too, at least on weekends. I live about 1.5 hours away so i have only been there twice. I have not caught anything real big, but i have had something big break my line on a minnow and another on liver. I saw on the PA website that someone landed a 30 pound flathead on a lure.