Catfishing at Dams

Discussion in 'Outdoor Articles' started by Katmaster Jr., Feb 25, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Katmaster Jr.

    Katmaster Jr. New Member

    Messages:
    4,644
    State:
    Wilmington, NC
    Catfishing at Dams

    Catfishing at dams is a very productive method for catching a lot of nice catfish. As I said in another article "Cats make a massive migration up to the dams in the spring to spawn". Well my friends, there is sure nothing untrue about that! I think there are alot of anglers that miss out on this "Spawning run" or maybe they just don’t understand it. Truly, they are missing out on some fishing of a lifetime!

    Where to cast:

    Where you cast can be very important when fishing at a dam, not as much when the water is not running as when it is. When the water is not running where you cast is not very important in most cases, unless of course there is a hole or something in a certain spot. Now when the water is on, and there is current, that is when it comes down to mostly casting in the right spot and catching fish. Or casting in the wrong spot and probably not getting any fish. Where should I cast when the water is on you ask? Simple, cast in current slicks, and eddys, which are like little current breaks. Cats will hold in these little "eddys" and "current slicks" and feed on the baitfish that are caught up in the current. You can also float a slip bobber up into these eddies and current slicks and catch the cats. When the water is not running there is one technique I have noticed that can help you catch more cats, and that is casting into the "Gates" of the dam, which is where the turbines are located in. it is normally pretty difficult to cast into these gates though, you have to be able to cast at targets well and of course it takes practice. One more thing, alot of dams have "Scour Holes" which are made by flowing current usually a little bit downstream of the dam. If you find one of these holes I can almost guarantee you that you will have success!


    [​IMG]

    What kind of fishing rod to use:

    There is no specific "Right" or "Wrong" fishing rod to use. It all depends on what type of dam you are fishing, how big the catfish are, and other similar factors. If you are casting a long way, say over 90 yards or so then I recommend a long "Surf" rod that is at least 10 ft long. Most catfisherman at dams do use long "Surf" rods because it enables them to cast into those current breaks I speak of. How big of fishing line you use depends on the dam you are fishing and situation. Obviously you need bigger line if there is a lot of current, you do not want to hook into a big catfish and it gets in the current and breaks your line. The more current the more pull and stress there will be on your line, especially if the fish turns sideways in the current because that will make the current "Catch" the fish more. If there are alot of rocks around the dam you fish then you also might need bigger line, we all know that rocks can really damage your line. I have found that a general good size line to use at dams is 25lb.

    [​IMG]


    Catfishing at dams, Night or Day?

    Like I have said about other things in this article "There is no specific best" it all depends on what type of dam it is, how deep it is, and if they have the water running or not. Personally I do like to fish at dams the most at night because that’s when I usually catch my biggest ones. But if they have the water running in the day time that can make alot of extra oxygen and fish will be attracted to it. Especially in the summer when oxygen can be hard to come by for the fish.


    [​IMG]

    What kind of bait to use:

    There are many different types of bait you can use at dams. It is pretty much like anywhere else you fish, try to match your bait to what most of the fish you are targeting are foraging on, i.e. if you are trying to catch catfish and the cat's are feeding mostly on shad, then try to use shad for your bait.

    Safety at dams:

    This is most important of all, be safe while fishing at a dam! The rapidly rising waters, and swirling currents can be very hazardous. Remember, dont do anything that might risk your health. It is not worth getting injured or killed over. A lot of people die every year from falling in at dams, when they have the current running you can easily drown, even if you know how to swim you can get sucked under or the current can smash you up against the dam. Alot of people drown at dams even with life preservers on.

    I hope that this helps you land more and big fish at dams! They are there, so get out there and start catching them! Have fun, and again be safe!

    Good "Catting" to you!
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.