Channel catfish feeding on or near the surface on Lake Shelbyville

Discussion in 'ILLINOIS LAKES / RESERVOIRS TALK' started by bankpoleken, Aug 19, 2006.

  1. bankpoleken

    bankpoleken New Member

    Messages:
    83
    State:
    Mattoon, Illinois
    I am fishing Lake Shelbyville in east central Illinois which is an 11.000 acre reservoir. In the past two weeks while out boating, tubing, fishing, etc. we have been witnessing dozens of big channel cats feeding on shad on or near the surface. The channels are just inches below the surface. My question is how would you go about fishing for these feeding fish. Any advice on methods, baits, etc. would be appreciated.
     
  2. bankpoleken

    bankpoleken New Member

    Messages:
    83
    State:
    Mattoon, Illinois
    In the past two weeks while boating, tubing, and fishing on Lake Shelbyville we have witnessed huge schools of catfish feeding on shad on or near the surface. These cats are just inches under the surface. Does anyone have any ideas on methods, baits, etc. that we could try in order to try and catch some of these fish. Any advice would be appreciated.
     

  3. IL Hunter

    IL Hunter New Member

    Messages:
    1,574
    State:
    Normal, IL
    Try live bait under a bobber I'd try to float it a little below the bottom of the school of shad.
     
  4. Redd

    Redd New Member

    Messages:
    790
    State:
    Southeast Kansas
    That would be my expert guess on the situation as well...

    -Red
     
  5. FishMan

    FishMan New Member

    Messages:
    2,293
    State:
    Tennessee
    what ever they are feeding on should catch them. You may scare them away when you throw your cast net to get the bait but they will come right back. Heck you might cut out the middle man and net the catfish.

    This sounds really funny and I am not sure about it but I would almost swear I once seen a large group of channel catfish eating the green slime that you sometimes see blown into a bay or shore. On top of the water. it for sure was catfish but maybe they were there for something else. I would never think they would eat greens but I saw them.
     
  6. smitty1

    smitty1 New Member

    Messages:
    28
    State:
    illinois
    We have been witnessing this with blues at the dams and we started floating a cork with bait hanging about 4 ft and fishing the outskirts of the bait and through the middle of the bait. We have found bigger fish by floating a little deeper and even bottom bouncing but that is in strong current. On the lake I would stay with a cork and work with the depth.
    Good luck...
     
  7. dafin

    dafin New Member

    Messages:
    1,461
    State:
    Manhattan,Kan
    I catch a lot of channels when they are feeding on top . I fish small shad under a slip float set at 12 ln .
     
  8. Redtick

    Redtick New Member

    Messages:
    303
    State:
    Neoga, Illinois
    I too catch a lot of channels and/or crappie fishing minnows under the schools of this year's crop of shad the predators are feeding on. Also, I have been catch a lot of cats trolling shallow running crankbaits.
    A Little George lure cast nearby will sometimes interest a cat, crappie, white bass, or striper.
    Ain't it fun watching the cats watching the cats feed on these shad with their fins sticking out like sharks?
     
  9. pk_powell

    pk_powell New Member

    Messages:
    3,485
    State:
    Missouri
    I too would use minnows or creek chubs unerneath a bobber! Hope you can catch em bro!Lots of good fishin luck to ya----------pk powell:big_smile:
     
  10. IL_CATFISH

    IL_CATFISH New Member

    Messages:
    248
    State:
    Illinois
    If you hit the mother load fishing like this then let me know ken.


    Ryan