channel catfish fishing year round

Discussion in 'Channel Catfish' started by rcbbracing, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. rcbbracing

    rcbbracing New Member

    Messages:
    757
    State:
    Ohio
    I know for a fact that i am not the only one on here who would like to not give up on fishing this year. I generally fish till about november and put the rods away for the year....not this year...If channel cats will feed semi-productively all winter then lets discuss some tactics on how to target them in these conditions. I would assume in a lake setting that these fish would be hanging out in much deeper water...possibly around 20ft? I also assume fresh cutbait is just about the best option for fishing winter months...I also would assume fishing bottom is my best bet rather than suspending a bait. I also would guess that a smaller piece of cutbait would be better than larger baits?...these are some things i would assume to be true...am i right? What other things have you found to work or what things would you assume would work? Thanks guys!
     
  2. 187um

    187um New Member

    Messages:
    184
    State:
    west frankfort, ill
    hey david you can fish all year as long as the water is not iced over. i do when i can and its not snow stormin. you pretty much hit it on the head with what you said so far. the only thing thats not in there is that i use the guts from shad and in the winter atleast around here in so. ill. its one of the only things they would hit last winter. i actually pulled my limit from a couple lakes within a couple hours when i could bear the cold. fall and early winter for me has been one of the better fishing parts of the year. most people i have taled to have already put away their gear. me? i have only just begun!:cool2: good luck in your winter indevours your well on your way.
     

  3. mactheaxe

    mactheaxe New Member

    Messages:
    174
    State:
    cartersville, georgia

    i myself, would find your assumptions right except on one point. the depth. maybe the cold hasnt hit full on yet, but its starting and im seein some behavior that surprises me a lot in the lake i fish. first, i got a trotline outside by my dock in a foot and half of water. so far, a 4lber yesterday, a 3 4 7 10 and 11lber this past week. they seem to be comin shallow right now and eatin cut bluegill which i also find odd in this lake. mainly because i went with cut bait a whole day and night during the summer and didnt even have a twitch. now they seem to be comin up in the shallows for it. if youre able, try a trotline in shallows with cut bait and see what they do. and as for the bait size, im usin medium bluegill heads. and cuttin the bait to about the size of a chicken nugget, maybe a touch smaller. went out this mornin and disappointingly, my 10 or so hooks are picked clean after rebaiting last night.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2009
  4. countryboy79

    countryboy79 New Member

    Messages:
    358
    State:
    nc
    I've caught channels in shallow water in the winter. Using dip bait fishing in a creek that run into a big river. As soon as it got dark it was on for about 2 hours. I us to do that all year long intill i got a boat, now i'am going afther the big ones.
     
  5. nevets91

    nevets91 New Member

    Messages:
    604
    State:
    rock hill south carolina
    i fish all year round. actually had my best day of winter fishing while it was snowing. i usually fish on the bottom year round and any size cut bait has done it for me.
     
  6. BenNewt

    BenNewt New Member

    Messages:
    138
    State:
    Minnesota
    Oh contraire my friend. There is a small, but hard nosed group of guys here in Minnesota that pound channel cats through the ice! :cool2: Evidently ice cats love to his small jigs tipped with maggots or minnow parts. I haven't done it yet, but I'm gonna give her a shot this year.

    In terms of rivers, though, one of my all time best channel cat fishing trips occurred on a small river in Iowa in mid December. The river had ice around the edges on that day, but the sun was out and the temp was in the lower 40's. I waded around with neoprene waders and found a hole that looked promising---ended up catching over 20 cats in about and hour and a half. Man those were the days. But yeah, channel cat fishing can be great all winter long--you just have to hit one of their feeding binges....
     
  7. smoothkip25

    smoothkip25 New Member

    Messages:
    1,320
    State:
    ohio
    David this time of year I have my best luck drifting during the day for big channels up until iceout. Me and Sman was busting through ice last year drifting dillon and catching numerous 6 to 10 pounders. I think they do slow down some and its alot more productive going to them instead of waiting for them to move in. The average depth we drift is 15 to 18 feet. They still fight hard even in the cold weather. You should give drifting a try its a blast!
     
  8. catfishfearme

    catfishfearme New Member

    Messages:
    717
    State:
    govecity,ohio
    I assume, all that assumen would be right :smile2::smile2::smile2:
     
  9. buddyodie

    buddyodie New Member

    Messages:
    138
    State:
    illinois
     
  10. waynesburgjay

    waynesburgjay New Member

    Messages:
    1,960
    State:
    Pennsylvan
    I've caught a few through the ice too on jigging spoons tipped with minnow chunks. You don't have to put much action in it either, usually just a little wiggle and let it rest a little.
     
  11. Branj796

    Branj796 Member

    Messages:
    911
    State:
    Illinois
    My advice would be to use cut bait and don't sit in a spot without bites too long. They are either there feeding or they are not. I look for schools of shad in the creek channels. Still catchin them drifting here.
     
  12. slikwiska

    slikwiska New Member

    Messages:
    45
    State:
    northern IN
    We, in certain lakes in No. IN., enjoy some often fast cat action through the ice. It is important to keep in mind, while targeting cold water cats, that as the lakes turnover, cats can go much deeper than they would when summer thermoclines reduce oxygen levels in deeper basins. Cats will go where the food is. Through the ice we've caught fish in 10 feet chasing shad and holding in schools in 40 feet.
     
  13. afishpatrol

    afishpatrol New Member

    Messages:
    910
    State:
    indiana
    cold water catfishing can be productive if done right, i just got lucky...a few times...lol
    here i am busting ice at the ramp to get my boat launched

    [​IMG]

    who says flatties go to sleep in the winter
    here is one of several caught in less than 40 degree water temps..(december) notice the snow in the background in several pics

    [​IMG]

    here is a nice december channel
    [​IMG]

    and another flattie
    [​IMG]

    and yet annother flattie
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    here is one caught thru the ice, decided to make a meal of this one.
    i almost never keep a cat but since it came from below the ice!
    much better table fare
    [​IMG]

    some things i do in cold weather months...
    1- concentrate on deep water
    2- zoom graph in to bottom with strong sensitivity
    3- watch graph like your life depends on it, while going verry slow
    4- look for concentrations of large hooks holding TIGHT to bottom
    5- use small live baits (minnows, small chubs, small shinners)
    6- when fish are found, get bouy marker out and stay on top of them with a vertical presentation
    7- keep gear as light weight as posible, 6lb test MAX.

    here is what i like to use, seems like the extra links give the jig a little jingle...lol...(noise)
    [​IMG]

    keep in mind i have lived on this lake for 7 years, so i have had time to find these fish, but they are there every year, like clockwork, when the temps dip below 45. they hold in or near the deepest part of the lake at 38 fow.
     
  14. Jedicazador

    Jedicazador New Member

    Messages:
    213
    State:
    TN
    Can u tell me what that jig is or how to duplicate it rather I never seen anything like it before
    Nice pics and write up, you da man!
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2009
  15. afishpatrol

    afishpatrol New Member

    Messages:
    910
    State:
    indiana
    the jig is called a swedish pimple..lol.. it is an ice fishing jig, being your from tennessee you probly dont see them often down there, i just added the extra split rings and a single hook instead of the equiped treble.
    do a word search for them, they are verry popular up north so they should be easy to find.
    What part of tenn you from. we have several friends down that way, one couple in kingston springs and another couple a little south of nashville, the friends from kingston springs have a cabin about 100yrds from antioch harbour boat ramp on ky lake, near paris landings. we go down several times a year to fish and visit. beutiful state you live in, one of my favorites.
     
  16. Jedicazador

    Jedicazador New Member

    Messages:
    213
    State:
    TN
    you right about that it is very beautiful here, we moved hear just over a year ago from the Las Vegas area. I'm living in Macon County between Cordell Hull and Dale Hollow. I really appreciate your in depth knowledge on catching cats and that you've shared with the rest of us. Thanks for the info on the jig, I'll look around for them.
     
  17. Jedicazador

    Jedicazador New Member

    Messages:
    213
    State:
    TN
    oh by the way welcome to the BOC!
     
  18. rcbbracing

    rcbbracing New Member

    Messages:
    757
    State:
    Ohio
    Thanx for the useful information guys. Im going out saturday and hopefully slay abunch of big channels like last month when i was there. I know its not time for SOME of these ideas yet but some i am gonna try. Hopefully i have a positive report for ya after saturday!
     
  19. JHalden

    JHalden New Member

    Messages:
    106
    State:
    NorthCalifornia
    Are channel cats inclined to swim upriver from the lake this time of the year or do they go deep into the lake?
     
  20. rcbbracing

    rcbbracing New Member

    Messages:
    757
    State:
    Ohio
    I have often just assumed they go deeper into the lake. BUT i dont know this for a fact. I would also very much like to hear the answer to this question. One ive been more curious about is...are river fish more inclinded to swim down river to the lake for wintering purposes if a lake is available nearby? similar question but sorta in reverse...anyone have any idea on this?