Catfishing;Fall Pattern

Discussion in 'MISSOURI LAKES / RESERVOIRS TALK' started by diodeman, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. diodeman

    diodeman New Member

    Messages:
    49
    State:
    Benton Co. Mo.
    Truman Lake in Benton, County Missouri is currently below normal levels but is very productive at this time and may remain so through December.

    Last night air temps. were warm, winds fairly calm and despite the dropping barometer the baitfish were prolific in crappie beds, brush piles and heavy structure. The bluegills, shads and crappies were being attacked by ALL species of predators due to the concentration of bait fish in or near structure. One 18lb. flathhead I caught last night had swallowed a crappie I had just caught on a jig connected to 10lb. test "Power-Pro" line on my 10 foot crappie pole! I felt the crappie lightly hit and then the flathead decided to try to take the crappie and my light weight "Ugly-Stick" away from me.

    We caught blues and flats at the outside perimeter of, and below the crappie beds and crappie & hybrids inside the upper middle of the beds. Flatheads were roaming but only to find structure where the baitfish were.

    Do not give up on catfishing in this geograpical area yet! The cats were hitting evey type of lure or bait we put out last night. We limited on catfish- blues & flats, crappies and hybrid bass. This morning we went back out and caught stripers near the same structure areas one hour before dawn, biggest striper was 23lbs 2oz. We fished fall pattern structures on both the Osage and Grand rivers in Truman Lake.

    Catfish are concentrating their feeding habits on wherever the bait is. Plankton is still abundant in warmer waters and thats where the baitfish are, followed by the flatheads which are VERY aggresive right now. All species of catfish are storing up winter fat and that is evident when they are cleaned and processed. Several of our flats topped the 40lb. mark, two of the blues were much heavier. We released numerous catfish under 15lbs. We fished from dark till three am, took the fish home and put them in our holding tanks, then went back out and used artificials tipped with small shad to catch stripers near dawn.

    We are expecting heavy rains on Sunday night, through Monday and with temps remaining cool with the wind switching to the North. That may drive the baifish into deeper water but the heavy flowing streams bring out the catfish in heavy numbers due to all the worms, bugs, etc that are washed into the lake. You will find the cats in the area where the muddy water settles and mixes with clear water.

    Last night we witnessed channel-cats cleaning off the inside of a deer carcass that had been thrown in the lake near the shore. The shorter daylight periods are triggering the cats to feed heavy.

    Go get-em guys while you still can, they are in the fall patterns, they are hungry and aggresive.
     
  2. Mr.T

    Mr.T New Member

    Messages:
    2,553
    State:
    MO
    Great info, Diodeman.

    Now if I just knew where some crappie beds were located I'd be in business!

    There's definitely something to be said for being out on the lake nearly every day. Wish I could find a way...
     

  3. Hannibal Mike

    Hannibal Mike New Member

    Messages:
    1,454
    State:
    Hannibal, MO
    I was wondering how a person knows or can see if plankton are present. I know that they rise to the sun or are more common in slow, warm water, but about what temperature do they go deep (or disappear during the fall). Any ideas? Also, you had a great day/weekend fishing. Did you keep all the big fish (over 15 lbs)? Thanks for the post and I hope to use your ideas (probably next year). Hannibal Mike
     
  4. diodeman

    diodeman New Member

    Messages:
    49
    State:
    Benton Co. Mo.
    Check out Encarta, Wikipedia or Google for "Plankton". You will see key words or phrases such as; "warm water", "nutrient rich water", "slow moving water". Plankton grow and bloom in certain conditions as mentioned in the articles. Key phrases are; "slower river currents", "cove streams", "warmed waters", etc.

    Thick plankton can show up on sensitive graphs and sonar as a hazy fog-like smear on your screen but that is only when it sinks to 10 feet or deeper as it attempts to stay in the "thermocline". Most of the time plankton will NOT show up because it is too close to the surface.

    Check out the term "thermocline" and you will begin to understand why Mr. T had a day in which baitfish were swimming in the "thermocline" and they were not bothered by the bigger fish laying directly below them. The bigger fish were inactive due to being below the thermocline.

    In the fall and winter we lower a digital electronic thermometer into the water to verify where the "thermocline" is. Knowing surface water temps helps when conditions are ideal but are marginal when it is cold.

    Catfish are going to be sluggish in this cold weather but they will come out when the water temps reach 50 degrees or higher especially on sunny days when baitfish move to the thermocline warmer water where plankton flourish.