Cats under the ice

Discussion in 'Channel Catfish' started by saltydog, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. saltydog

    saltydog New Member

    Messages:
    9
    State:
    PA
    my favorite type of fishing is on the ice. my favorite type of fish to catch is catfish. i have never caught a cat on the ice.

    i have an underwater camera and have seen almost every type of fish that swims in lake erie on screen at one point or another. i have never seen a catfish. do they swim south for the winter? can i use my normal bait to catch them?

    help a brother out.
     
  2. Mickey

    Mickey New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,592
    State:
    Illinois
    Nate Welcome to the BOC, from So. Illinois. I will let someone from your area answer your question. I suppect the cats will go deep for the winter.
     

  3. jolie

    jolie New Member

    Messages:
    828
    State:
    PA
    ok, I'm not saying I know Erie well, cause Nate you know that I don't.

    but Lake Erie gets darned deep...The east side Near NY and ontario is its maximum depth and the glacials there have dug a 200 feet hole called the mountain, and its also well known that the far Lake never completely freezes and only people wishing to commit hari-kari clamor over the big dunes that form in the coldest weather.

    catfish are pretty inactive below 50 degrees. Oxygen demands go way down when the fish are mostly inactive and my thought is that allows them to be far deeper than they are on a warm august night. So my guess is that the channels are in the middle of the lake, where only an ice-breaking boat could see them...

    certainly much deeper than the presque isles depth (lacking hard numbers but what 30-40' at its deepest)...
    There may be local options for ice fishing cats, but I'm sure that Erie is out of the question...

    Shenango and Pymatuming have good populations of catfish- they would be interesting to target.

    Any way perhaps I didn't tell you to much; I haven't found to many users here from the great lakes- but if you're out there and could add to the conversation, speak up.

    SO, now I've got a question for you Nate- Whats the furthest offshore you ever caught cats- and When?
    I've seen a lot of serious guys out on lake Erie, but they never seem like their catfishing to me...
     
  4. jolie

    jolie New Member

    Messages:
    828
    State:
    PA
    your post intrigued me,

    and i was pretty sure that not too many people in this forum have this knowledge (or experience) so I did some internet searching

    this link here; showed channel catfish attracted to the warm water discharge canel of a large power station. Carp were more interested in the canal and gathered in large groups. catfish were present, not as active, closer to the warm water discharge and left in April to stage for the spawn.
    http://www.carleton.ca/fecpl/pdfs/Cat_Carp_MS.pdf

    I'll reply with more if I find anything.

    I wish we had more great lakes catters; Nate tell are you're friends that the BOC is the coolest of distinations for catfish trivia, and society.:smile2:
     
  5. griz

    griz Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,744
    State:
    Murray Ky.
    I know in-fisherman did a segment on icefishing for channel catfish. They used a portable fish finder to locate where the catfish were holding. They seemed to catch a good many, but you never know how many days they spent filming.
     
  6. waynesburgjay

    waynesburgjay New Member

    Messages:
    1,960
    State:
    Pennsylvan
    I was ice fishing for perch last winter in centre county, PA and me and a friend caught three channels one day. We were using jigging spoons tipped with maggots over top the old creek bed.
    I've never specifically targeted channels though, I imagine you could catch a few if you really wanted too. The lake had a maximum depth of about 45 feet and we were fishing in about 25ft.
    I am goingto try some different baits and use on my tip-ups this year specifically for channel cats.
     
  7. stinkbaitman

    stinkbaitman New Member

    Messages:
    207
    State:
    south dakota
    most of the people round here catch them while targeting walleye and perch and others normal species. i would try a small kastmaster or swedish pimple jigging spoon with a minnow head.
     
  8. Doneinne

    Doneinne New Member

    Messages:
    32
    State:
    Fremont, Nebras
    I have caught several eater size channels through the ice. They like to go to deep water during the winter, usually the deepest hole in smaller sized lakes. Their favorite winter time food is wax worms. I've read a few articles and seen a few shows and they all concluded wax worms were the best. All of the ones I caught were very light biters. For bigger ones I guess you would probably have to go to minnows or cutbait.
     
  9. saltydog

    saltydog New Member

    Messages:
    9
    State:
    PA
    i have never fished offshore on lake erie. i am stuck on the bank. the last bunch of times i have gone out we were skunked. i think that the cats are moving into deeper water.

    presque isle's deepest point doesn't dip below 25 ft in the shipping lanes. most of the ice fishing i do is in the 10-15 ft range. i have heard of guys ice fishing the lake, but you wont catch me out there. i have allready gone thru once, not looking to do it again.