Help me catch the BIG ONE on the Missouri River

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by Juggernaut, Oct 19, 2006.

  1. Juggernaut

    Juggernaut New Member

    Messages:
    8
    State:
    Omaha, Nebraska
    We fish the Missouri River often. We live very close to it and it's convenient for us. However, we are only catching pan fry size. WE want a BIG ONE! We know they are out there, but the only big ones we catch are stinky carp. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. SkiMax

    SkiMax Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,012
    State:
    Rising Sun, IN
    What kind of catfish are you fishing for? That will greatly help us tell you what to look for and what to use for bait as big blues like different spots than big flatheads and generally prefer different baits.
     

  3. Juggernaut

    Juggernaut New Member

    Messages:
    8
    State:
    Omaha, Nebraska
    We are looking for blues or flatheads. When we lived in upstate New York, we had no problem catching the big blues. But Nebraska is much different. We just used liver for the blues before.
     
  4. TOPS

    TOPS New Member

    Messages:
    4,099
    State:
    Cabot,Arkansas
    The rivers here in Arkansas are not for livers. Oh, you will catch some small ones but the big fish are on shad or skipjack. The skip head has always been good for me. The gut pocket along with the guts also do well. I hope this helps!!
     
  5. whiskers77

    whiskers77 New Member

    Messages:
    318
    State:
    Southern California
    I agree with Verlon, cut bait is the way to go. If you can get a hold of cut shad, skipjack, or bluegill, you should get some nice blues. Big fish like big bait, livers are a good catfish bait but usually the little ones won't leave it alone long enough for a big one to get to it.
     
  6. loki1982

    loki1982 New Member

    Messages:
    420
    State:
    Texas
    If you need a fishing partner im game :embarassed:

    The best advice I can say, is use some bigger bait. Take an extra rod, and bait it with the biggest bait you can. But also keep your normal baits on a few rods so you can catch atleast something.

    Thats what we usually do, take about 6 rods between my dad and I, and we put 4 out with shad/perch etc, and 2 with 12+ inch carp. Occasionaly a big one will bite.
     
  7. AZflats

    AZflats New Member

    Messages:
    2,535
    State:
    Peoria, Arizona
    Big bait = big fish..
    Live bait for flathead, cut bait for channel and blues..
    Good luck!
     
  8. SkiMax

    SkiMax Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,012
    State:
    Rising Sun, IN
    I agree. When going for big fish I use large bait, mainly shad. The bigger the better. I've put live shad on that were over 14 inches and had bites on them. Big cutbait is the way to go for blues. i usually target blues in current. I fish anywhere from 20-60 feet of water, usually along the main channel. But if you can find slackwater next to swift water, like a wing dike or something, the blues will usually be there. Most the people around home fish close to bank in 5-15 feet of water and then complain they never catch nice blues. I have had to pull poles and anchors in to move out of the way of barges

    For flatheads I would fish cover with live bait. A big logjam is always a good bet. Cast up into the cover, they like to be way back in that stuff (obviously u need some stout tackle and strong line to hog them out) for them I would use live bluegill or shad and dead, whole shad. But my biggest flatheads have come from when I am in a school of blues, so they will be out in that other water also. so try it all, but definately keep the livers in the fridge and buy a cast net if you don't have one and get some big bait.
     
  9. SC Hartwell

    SC Hartwell New Member

    Messages:
    749
    State:
    Pickens, SC
    Cut skipjack, herring, bream head...... Any of these will work good. As far is bigger is better, well that is partially correct. I have caught a 33 pound flathead on a 3 inch section of a small herring. If you use a slip bobber try a huge gob of worms down about 5-10 ft. These will catch your big suspended blues, herring any kind of live bait will work. But yeah I have heard of carp heads catching big ones, I think that is what AZflats caught his on.

    If you are waiting for Flatheads it will most likely take a while for them to pick up the scent.

    O yea, I wouldn't use chicken livers unless you want to catch dinks. They might catch a big fish but it is a slim chance.
     
  10. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat New Member

    Messages:
    4,875
    State:
    Missouri
    Welcome to the BOC!! I too fish the missouri. In missouri though. As previously stated...shad, skippies, and perch only for big river cats. There is always an off chance other bait will work, but not consistantly. The most important factor above all is location. A boat and a sonar are almost nacessary. Good luck. P.S. there is a virtually inexhaustible resource of info on this site. Take some time to pick through it. You will learn alot.
     
  11. just cats

    just cats New Member

    Messages:
    325
    State:
    Leslie Missouri
    Welcome to the BOC Chris. I'm way down river from ya but the same river anyway. Liver isn't too good for big cats here. Like others have been saying , live or fresh cut shad is excellent for big blues and flatheads both, skipjacks are even better if you can find em, hard to come by around here. Also you said you'd been catching them stinky ol carp. Next one you catch, fillet him and cut up into 4 to 6 inch strips an inch wide and cut the skin off except for a small amount on one end . run your hook through that one end and that is at times a very good bait for big ones like you are after. I just started using cut carp like that this summer and it has outfished my lifetime favorite bait shad since I've started using it. But sometimes they still prefer the shad so try em both every time you're out there. If you have any asian carp jump into your boat they are great bait also. River is very low right now all up and down the line and fishin hasn't been too good lately around here but look for em to start hitting better any day now as they start bulking up for winter. The guys that catch the really big fish( unfortunately I'm not one of those guys....yet) seem to do the best in the current and not in the slack waters too often. Tips of wingdams are a good place to start looking for em. Good fishin to ya.
     
  12. bigcatmaniac

    bigcatmaniac New Member

    Messages:
    459
    State:
    California Miss
    Welcome to the BOC!! I too fish the Missouri River, but in Central Missouri. Down here we use creek chubs, black perch, shad, and small carp for bait, all alive. We have caught big flatheads on all of them and we have also caught many BIG blues on the same baits. If you can catch skipjack, use them. I have tried many times, and many ways to catch them and have never succeeded. But good luck, and hope you catch a big one real soon.
     
  13. loki1982

    loki1982 New Member

    Messages:
    420
    State:
    Texas
    Yeah some of my biggest fish have been on small baits. Its not to say you cant catch big fish on small baits but more of the fact if oyu use big baits you eliminate some of the small fish that would have takin your bait. One example is a 22# flathead my friends dad caught on a crappie minnow. First big catfish I even witnessed caught, and was on some of the lightest tackle, and smallest bait.

    But my biggest rod and reel fish was a 20ish pound blue that grabed a 12 inch carp I was driftfishing over a channel.
     
  14. catboy210

    catboy210 New Member

    Messages:
    33
    State:
    texas
    i had a 25 pounder eat a dead shad
     
  15. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    The water is cooling off now so the flatheads will have to wait till next year. They head to their wintering holes as the water temp nears 50 degrees. If you have no dams on the river they can travel a hundred or more miles to find a suitable spot to wait out the winter. Blues on the other hand love the cooler water temps and can be caught all through the winter if you can find them. They will be suspended under schools of shad on your depth finder. Shad love strong current, so blues will be found in current. Most likely in steep drop off areas. Tail races under dams are another great place to fish blues. The dam concentrates the shad because it stops their upstream movement and has plenty of the oxygen that shad crave, so they just hang around. If you don't have a cast-net get one and learn how to use it. Its a free bait machine.
     
  16. pk_powell

    pk_powell New Member

    Messages:
    3,485
    State:
    Missouri
    I too fish the Missouri River about 2-3 hours south of ya.I'm in NW Missouri and like you I'd love to catch a big one.Havn't suceeded yet.I don't own a boat I don't have anyway of locating the fish in the wintertime so unless a BOC member wants to allow me to tag along to see how it's done I guess I'll have to wait until 07.Glad to have ya though,and the stuff you learn is amazing!Like I didn't know you could start a fire with potato chips????? Thats incredible!And I learned that here on the BOC.Truly amazing.Good fishin to ya!:big_smile: