Cover = Myth?

Discussion in 'Channel Catfish' started by ShipwreckDiver, May 7, 2007.

  1. ShipwreckDiver

    ShipwreckDiver New Member

    Messages:
    18
    State:
    Michigan
    Hi everybody, I'm new to catfishing and new to this site. I donned my scuba gear last year to hop in the river where I bank fish to see firsthand the river terrain to figure out why I had been catching so many large channel cats. All I read is about bends in the river and cover and log jams, but to my surprise I found that where I fish is FLAT, SANDY bottom with ZERO cover and ZERO logjams. I routinely catch 10lb+ channels on nearly a nightly basis. I'm beginning to believe that the channel cats patrol much more than a lot of people believe. I use live chubs hooked behind the dorsal fin with a three-way swivel set up. I started catching them on accident two years ago while catching bass late at night and then I started hooking big cats and ever since I've been ADDICTED to the point that I don't want anything less than 8-10lb fish to bite my hook. I've been taking pictures and I'll post them as soon as I can.
    I sincerely appreciate the great advice I've read on this site. For the past two years I've been catching the same size fish but on nightcrawlers only. I grew so SICK of catching pesky bullhead that swallow the hook that I finally wised up and switched to sucker chubs, about 6" long or so.
    I guess my advice is that at least in my opinion, you don't neccessarily need large amounts of cover to catch cats. Like I said, I went diving on my stretch of river and found nothing but 12" of water on a river stretch that may be 150 yards across, and sandy bottom. NO cover anywhere. Don't be afraid to fish other areas that may not look like the best cat waters.
    Thanks to everybody here again for so much great advice. I fish the Huron River in Ypsilanti, Mi fyi. I've truly found the best fishing and the best fights I've ever had and I've fished bass and pike my entire life. This is a great site and I'd like to hear from others if they catch big cats in waters that typically wouldn't be considered big cat territory. Thanks again and you guys are GREAT... Tom
     
  2. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    I'm not a big channel cat fisherman, but most of them that I have caught have come from cover. I mostly catch them during the day, though. Maybe they lay up in the cover (log jams and the like) and come out in the open to prowl at night, kind of like flatheads do.

    Any case, it's good to know that we should be trying open areas, too. You sound like you have a great fishery there. Congratulations, and thanks!
     

  3. catfishjohn

    catfishjohn New Member

    Messages:
    10,217
    State:
    Greenup Co. KY
    Welcome to the BOC and sounds like you have a great place to fish!
     
  4. pk_powell

    pk_powell New Member

    Messages:
    3,485
    State:
    Missouri
    Sounds to me like since I don't own a boat,I could use your services to find out if I have any big cats where i routinely fish. Of course with all the flooding that we are currently exoeirencing hopefully the current will wash some big Brutes down to my location. Welcome to the BOC Brother! Mighty glad you joined!:big_smile:
     
  5. ShipwreckDiver

    ShipwreckDiver New Member

    Messages:
    18
    State:
    Michigan
    I meant to say I'm fishing in 12' water at best, and not 12" like I mistyped up there. I would say that the most fish AND largest fish I've been catching have been 20' from shore in about 3' of water. I've always assumed that I couldn't catch anything out in the channel (with typically very weak current), but so far this spring my biggest two fish have come from out there in nomad's land halfway across the river. Maybe the fish patrolling the shore can simply smell my sucker chub out there and ventures out to find it? Wow am I hooked on these fish. I never want to see another bass or pike from here on out!
     
  6. bearcat

    bearcat Member

    Messages:
    925
    State:
    Nokomis, Illinois
    You stated that you fish at nite. Channel cats like flats tend to stay close to cover during the day and ambush prey. At nite they roam and look for food. The sand flats is a great place for them to catch food. You just happened to find a great spot.
    Thanks for the info.
     
  7. ka_c4_boom

    ka_c4_boom New Member

    Messages:
    2,252
    State:
    Bedford,Ky
    welcome to the boc tom
     
  8. Dave L

    Dave L New Member

    Messages:
    1,012
    State:
    Minnesota
    Welcome to the BOC Tom.
    I too have caught all of my large channels in flat areas in about 6 to 12 feet of water all in day light hours of the evening. So I hear what your saying.
     
  9. wigginsdano59

    wigginsdano59 New Member

    Messages:
    91
    State:
    alabama
  10. massa_jorge

    massa_jorge New Member

    Messages:
    2,137
    State:
    TEXAS
    welcome aboard tom!
    channels are very cover oriented in the day, but at night you will find them where the food is. right now i have been catching them downriver from a current break, on a submerged sandbar that is 4' deep.
    glad you got hooked some real fighting fish, too. bass fight okay, but there's nothing like the pull of a huge cat, one that easily swallow your biggest bass! if you want a way better fight for channels, try targeting flatheads. sounds like you are using the right bait, just need cover for them.
    looking forward to some pictures...
     
  11. odtimr

    odtimr New Member

    Messages:
    206
    State:
    nebraska
    Tom Welcome to the great BOC. Now about them channels, you got to travel when you go to work, eat, play, well them channels are traveling catmen also they got I believe paths, roads they go everyday when feeding. Their not always in cover. Now them flatheads they just sit there in tight cover eating and getting bigger and meaner. Luck
     
  12. ShipwreckDiver

    ShipwreckDiver New Member

    Messages:
    18
    State:
    Michigan
    Thanks for the comments. It makes sense that they would sit tight during the day and then come out to nose around at night. One more question, if I'm using dead sucker chubs (if a couple die in the bucket), do you advise that I should cut them to let the scent disperse or leave them as is?
     
  13. Rhinospawn

    Rhinospawn New Member

    Messages:
    107
    State:
    North Dakota
    you don't need to cut them in my opinion but you could slit them. I use chubs and big shinners mostly but do find that cutting a big sucker in half works well for me too. I usuallly hook the head part thru the eyes and boddy part just once thru the end part.

    I have tackled some large fish at night on flats . I normally didn't fish late at night but a couple trips out at 11pm and so changed that idea. 35-41 inche fish at night and 30" and below mostly during day..

    I am wanting to go somewhere where there are flats and blues sometime but there aren't any around my neck of the woods (Grand Forks, ND)..

    take care and hook a biggin....
     
  14. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,175
    State:
    NC
    Interesting information!

    Telemetry studies have shown that flatheads spend as much time in open water as in cover. In my own fishing for channels I have caught far more in open water than in areas with cover. I believe methods of fishing are more the reason for this than anything.
     
  15. splitshot

    splitshot New Member

    Messages:
    2,827
    State:
    Coxsakie,N.Y.
    Welcome to the BOC Tom, were glad your here!!
     
  16. CJ21

    CJ21 New Member

    Messages:
    4,303
    State:
    Montgomery, Alabama
    Tom, Welcome to the BOC!
     
  17. Mickey

    Mickey New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,592
    State:
    Illinois
    Tom thanks for that info. Interesting. Would like to welcome you to the BOC.:lol: :smile2:
     
  18. jigerjim

    jigerjim Member

    Messages:
    569
    State:
    North East Pa.
    Tom welcome to BOC. I have a simler situation where I fish. The water is a back wash eddy that must be somewhere around 40 to 50 acer's and is around 10 to 12' deep. Most of the fish run in the 20 to 30" neighborhood with some up to too 32 33"+ Last winter I put my under water camera down to see whats down there. To my supprise I found the samething, little to no structure at all, just a few baseball size stones and silt, but the cats seem to like it there. I do most of my fishin in the daylite hour's as well. About the only bait I use is cut bait, sometime liver but not to often. I have a buddy that fishes in the dark and dose well. I guess I'm happy to get maybe a few less fish but I dont have to stomble around in the dark to do it.
     
  19. DemolitionMan

    DemolitionMan New Member

    Messages:
    442
    State:
    Tupelo, Mississippi
    Tom, welcome to BOC....Dwight
     
  20. rudepossum

    rudepossum Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,432
    State:
    Missouri
    Welcome to the BOC Tom.