Cold weather catfishing

Discussion in 'LOCAL CALIFORNIA TALK' started by daystarchis, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. daystarchis

    daystarchis New Member

    Messages:
    11,521
    State:
    Clovis Cali
    Ok fellows, this topic will sure come up around a campfire this year. Perhaps at a gathering. Now the bite gets slower, and softer, but there are time at the right moment before a storm for example the bite picks up. My question to all you CALIFORNIA CAT FISHERMEN does your stategy change when winter comes? From boat to shore, I like to hear from you all. And good fishing to you all this winter:wink:
     
  2. shania

    shania New Member

    Messages:
    5,942
    State:
    San Leandro, Ca
    The things that I may do different go more to Live Baits & Cut Baits more than I would Dip Baits (but I still fine myself using dip baits) - "Butterfly Shad Rigs" & "Large Minnows", using "Garlic Shrimp" also works good for me as well.
    :0a23: :wink:
    :0a26:
     

  3. plumbertom1

    plumbertom1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,902
    State:
    Eugene, Or.
    Scott, you can go to the forest service office on west 6th St. there in Corona and buy a dead wood permit for $20 that allows you to take up to three cords of wood from the Cleveland National Up the hill.
    That should be cheaper than driving to Arrowhead.
    Or if you get your PM working I can send you the number of a friend of mine that has a tree business just off La Sierra in Riverside and you should be able to buy a pick-up load of camp fire wood from him cheap if you want to pick it up and load it yourself.
    You can also get a map of the dead wood stand area where you can collect from the forest service.
    It's up between Bradford Motor Way and Horsethief Canyon Rd. up at the or near the top. You can only take down wood, no standing stuff but the last time I was there there was plenty of oak. You just have to cut it how you want it.
     
  4. plumbertom1

    plumbertom1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,902
    State:
    Eugene, Or.
    Winter Fishing for cats is usually best, at least for me, shortly after a rain.
    Seems to me that cats gather up in the coves where streams run into a lake to forage among the debris that a good rain washes into a lake.
     
  5. daystarchis

    daystarchis New Member

    Messages:
    11,521
    State:
    Clovis Cali
    I have caught some of my best cats right after a cold or rain spell. The bite may be slower, but the big ones are out there hungry. I like to fish where the current or wind push the bait or debree aginst the bank i am fishing. This works out at the Mendota Slough for me. Shad (live or dead) work well this time of year for stripers and cats out there.

    I have also had good bite when it is foggy.
     
  6. CatMan(Cali)

    CatMan(Cali) Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,070
    State:
    Fresno Californ
    About the only two things that are different in the winter are the clothes I wear and the time I fish. Obviously you dress according to the elements, and I start fishing about 5:00-6:00am until about 2:00-3:00pm. I love night fishing, but I just believe that the fish are not doing too much when it is 30-40 degrees outside, kinda like me. I love fishing on cloudy or foggy days. I have had a lot of success on such days. I do like using cutbait vs dipbait. I feel that the smell from the dipbait doesn't travel as far when the water is so cold, could be wrong, just my personal opinion. Can't wait to get out there mid/late December. We'll have to plan a trip Bigg Robb. Tight linez.

    Sean!
     
  7. daystarchis

    daystarchis New Member

    Messages:
    11,521
    State:
    Clovis Cali

    I have luck on fresh clams. You know that Sean:wink: Can't wait tell Dec......
     
  8. CatMan(Cali)

    CatMan(Cali) Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,070
    State:
    Fresno Californ
    Yes sir I do. We will have to walk the banks and find some of those fresh clams. Frozen is cool, but fresh is where it's at. I have something that I need to PM you about too.

    Sean!
     
  9. dhines

    dhines New Member

    Messages:
    159
    State:
    LA / Calexico
    of late i haven't been getting a single bite (past week or so). i am wondering if either the bite has slowed due to the cooling temperatures, or have i fished my spot out?

    i have read estimates on the per mile count of fish in the west main canal, and i don't see how me pulling out 12 - 14 cats per week could put a serious dent in the numbers of fish there.

    thoughts?
     
  10. tofish

    tofish New Member

    Messages:
    3,923
    State:
    arizona
    doug, it's slowed down over here in yuma also. both canals and the main river. think it's more due the the frequent weather changes we've been having. but i do think during winter months, it's time to slow down the fishing and have more patience.
    gary
     
  11. Angler Ace

    Angler Ace New Member

    Messages:
    508
    State:
    Pleasant Hill,
    Like a few of my other California Brothers, the only difference this time of the year is I dress warmer. I Catch channels all year long while I'm trying to catch Trout. I just use the powerbait or poweregg. Like some of the other guys said, the catfish bite seems to pickup after a good rain, be it warm or cold, the bite is better.
     
  12. bluehunter

    bluehunter New Member

    Messages:
    3,004
    State:
    Los Angele
    Agree with everyone else except yall left one thing out and its - during the rain. Its good after but even better during the rain. It stirs them up. The cats will remain around after a rain but only for a day or so and then they dispurse back to their deeper dwellings if the sun is bright. If overcast they will remain around a little more. If multiple days of rain is happening(2 -3), you can have your best catfishing of the year during those times. I love those time periods of big rain and flooding and you know I will be at the lake.

    Overcast days or my next to favorite fishing times and I quess it have an affect on the barometic pressure which cause them to bite well during the colder months.
     
  13. KnotGillty

    KnotGillty New Member

    Messages:
    401
    State:
    Northern Califo
    Many good points have been brought up that can improve your catch if your timing is right.

    Windblown shores, whether summer or winter, will many times congregate baitfish. If the wind is blowing pretty good for a couple days in the same direction, fish the shore that the wind is blowing towards.

    Inlet streams, creeks, sloughs, etc: The first really big rain of the year, this is where you want to be. Fish right where it enters the lake, or another body of water. Lots of worms and insects (& even rodents) get washed into these waters and the catfish take advantage. You can fish this type of area all winter long, but the first set of big rains is my favorite.

    Shallow expansive flats: You know those first few days of March where you say, "it's kinda warm today". Well, on those days, the cats will congregate in areas where there is a large area of shallow depth. Most larger lakes will have several areas where this occurs. Sometimes it's in the back of larger bays, sometimes it's elsewhere. The key is that it must be a large area of uniform depth, say 4 to 10 feet, adjecent to deeper water. These large areas of shallower water get a few degrees warmer than the adjecent water and it's enough to draw in the catfish to look for an easy pre-spring meal on those first few days where we have multiple 70+ degree days in a row.

    As the water cools, catfish become less active. They can eat less in the winter because they expend less energy in the colder waters. Catfish have been known to congregate in deeper holes during the winter. You will typically find more catfish in shallow water (less than 10 feet) during spring and summer.

    Of course, catfish are opportunistic and will many times winter over in a deeper area that is close to an area that will provide easy meal opportunities (a deep hole near a shallower creek channel, a deep section near a shallower shelf, a deep section near lots of cover, etc.).

    Tight lines
     
  14. fshnutz

    fshnutz New Member

    Messages:
    310
    State:
    Sacramento California
    My strategy certainly changes in the winter.......I fish for something else! I like foul weather fishing, but I will usually target steelhead, trout, or perch in the winter months. I know there are some good cats to be caught, but I don't have a boat and they are a lot harder to find from shore. I have had some good luck with white cats in January. There are some spots in Rio Vista and Stockton where they congregate in shallow water and bite like crazy. Knotguilty and Bluehunter have much more helpful info on this subject.....this is just my 2 cents.
    Linz
     
  15. KnotGillty

    KnotGillty New Member

    Messages:
    401
    State:
    Northern Califo
    Just to clarify, I'm talking about Channel Cats in the above quote. Blue cats & Flats are not my specialty and have different habits than channels.
     
  16. dhines

    dhines New Member

    Messages:
    159
    State:
    LA / Calexico
    i agree with you on the cause of the slow down . . . all things aside the only changing variable was the weather changing so much. i will be hitting those canals again this weekend hoping to land some big one.

    many thanks for the responses fellas.
     
  17. wishrman

    wishrman New Member

    Messages:
    141
    State:
    california
    What a great web site!!!!. im still learning all the ends ands outs of this place and you guys are a wealth of info. As for winter catfishing,there is something about being fairly warm and dry with proper clothing and all hell breaking around you and your even catching fish,yeah!!. In winter I give each spot a hour or 2 before moving on. where. in other times 30 to 45 min max if no bites. I agree with whoever said cut baits may be better due to futher penatration thru the water but then again Ive never been around really excellent dips, just store bought. Really looking forward to hooking up with you pros from Dover, and thanks for the warm welcome Bert and the fella from Fresno,whos name I just forgot(brain fart).
     
  18. fishingva93

    fishingva93 New Member

    Messages:
    16
    State:
    virginia
    i always thought the cold weather affected every kind of fishing
     
  19. Flatheadhunter33

    Flatheadhunter33 New Member

    Messages:
    3,764
    State:
    Yuma, Arizona
    You all got me inspired to keep looking for cats this winter that for sure.
     
  20. shania

    shania New Member

    Messages:
    5,942
    State:
    San Leandro, Ca
    Hey Dameon,

    "Real Fishermen" Never stop!
    (Think About It)

    "Happy Holidays Buddy",
    Bert:cool2: (Shania:0010:)