They say you learn something new everday and this spring has taught me a lot of new lessons. Here in Minnesota we are just now losing the last of our snow and ice and the water temps are still in the low 40's. This week we had our first good spring rains and they are helping to chase away the ice and snow. Normally I don't start catching cats until the middle to late April when the water temps finally get into the 50 degree range. Early in March a friend showed me a good channel cat bite in Minneapolis and shared his technique for catching early season Mississippi cold water channels. He downsizes his bait and goes to a small hook (#2 circle hook). He buys a scoop of fathead minnows at the local bait shop for a couple of bucks and just strings 2 or 3 fatheads on the hook. He will usually pinch off the end of the minnow to get the juices and entrails of the fathead to create some scent. He catches channels one after the other on this small bait offering. I didn't believe it until I caught a few myself and now I am a believer. I'm thinking if they work good in the spring cold water they should work all year. I plan on adding them to my normal bait assortment when I hit the water. Here is a picture of one early season Minnesota Mississippi channel.