Here is a review I did for the old site. Hope this helps answer your questions, if not I would be glad to answer any more questions you have. The clonk I used was donated to the BOC by a past sponsor and was passed on to other members after I was finished.
BOC Cat Clonk Review
First off Id like to thank the BOC and the Cat clonk club for allowing me this opportunity. I thoroughly enjoyed this review. Its not very often that I get to try something so new and yet so old in the search for my favorite fish, catfish. Needless to say the weather and fishing conditions havent been that good this year. To be quite honest they were terrible. The high water did seem to start the fish biting earlier than usual, but the fish are usually small this year. As you all know clonking is a very simple idea where you use a wooden clonk to strike the water and create a sound that causes catfish to bite. It really sounds simple but it is not simple by any means. There is still speculation as to what actually causes the fish to bite. Some say that the clonk imitates the sound of mating fish. Others say that it imitates fish feeding and still others say that it is the sound of frogs swimming in the water. I dont know myself what the sound imitates but the big question is will it make catfish bite? After many hours of practice with the clonk, then actually fishing with the clonk and catching quite a few fish while doing so, I would have to say that it does make fish tend to bite more.
I will try to explain why I think the clonk works and how well with a 1-10 scale.
Difficulty in learning proper technique: 6
At first glance the clonk looks very simple to operate. It is not terribly difficult to learn but it does take a few hours to master. After about an hour in the bathtub I heard the first strong clear clonk. You will know when you hit the right note. Its kind of like whistling, when you do it right it is unmistakable. At first all I could get was a lot of splashing sounds with a faint clonk sound mixed in. The hard part is that you cant just make one good clonk you have to make three good clonks in a row. The most important part of the stroke is the depth. The speed and angle of stroke are important but the depth is the key. The clonk needs to be plunged into the water at a depth of about 2 inches, with a strong smooth follow through and a flick of the wrist to finish it off. If this sounds difficult it is at first, but once you have the technique down it gets much easier to repeat. If you cant do it right in the tub you will never hit a good clonk with lantern light and wave action.
Strength and durability: 8
The clonk is surprisingly light. When I first picked it up I thought I would probably break it the first night out. I was surprised to see that the clonk held up very well to being in a backpack, which gets fallen on repeatedly, thrown in the boat and tossed around in general. On a few occasions I have accidentally hit it over the rock I was standing on or the side of the boat and it didnt even produce a noticeable scratch. The wood must be high quality to be so light and still so strong.
Comfortable to use: 6
The clonk fits the hand rather well, but the stroke is awkward and unfamiliar which puts some strain on the wrist and arm. It does take quite a bit of force to get a good loud clonk, which can cause some fatigue. Since the clonk isnt used constantly though, you have time to rest the muscles.
Ability to move fish: 9
If there is any part of the review that I am confident in, this is it Every time I would clonk my baits would start swimming. At first I thought it was a coincidence but almost every time without exception when I clonked my baits would start making my polls dance. I tried to use the clonk for about an hour or so each time and then not use it again for about two hours to see if there was any difference in the bite. I must say that I did get more bites in the 30 minutes to an hour after clonking than I did in the two hours of no clonking. I think this is directly related to one of two things, either my baits moving more attracted the fish or the clonk was moving the catfish around the hole along with my baits. If the clonk does make catfish move more then it just goes to reason the more they move the more chance they have to find your bait.
Ability to draw the bite from larger fish: 5
I have to give the clonk a 5 on this one because I used the clonk every other weekend and the fish that were caught while clonking were the same size as the fish caught without clonking. So I cant give it a low score because the big ones may not have been biting no matter what I did. But I cant give it a higher score because one of the reasons I was so excited to use the clonk was to catch bigger fish.
In cunclusion, it is hard to say for sure if the clonk works as well as it is supposed to. We all know that there are so many variables to cat fishing that can affect the bite that nothing is certain. All I can say is that I caught fish with the clonk and without. The clonk didnt allow me to catch any fish larger than the ones I caught while fishing without the clonk. One thing kept running through my mind on the nights I used the clonk, and it was whether or not I would have been catching fish if I hadnt been using it. I guess Ill never know. But like I said the one thing that I am sure of, is that I did catch fish while using the clonk and it does tend to make fish move.
I know that I probably caused more questions to be asked than I actually answered. I hope that this gives you some information on what the clonk is all about and helps you make the decision to clonk or not to clonk.
Some of the fish that were caught with the clonk are posted in new yellocat pics.