Help Needed: Ice Fishing for channel catfish

Discussion in 'Channel Catfish' started by martinman, Dec 22, 2006.

  1. martinman

    martinman New Member

    Messages:
    356
    State:
    Clinton, Iowa
    Okay, to some this may sound like an extremely crazy thought.

    I live in Northern Arizona and lately we have had some pretty cold temps. Local lakes have frozen over almost completely. Old timers have mentioned ice fishing years ago for pike in some of the lakes in the area.

    What are the chances of catching channel cats during the winter ice fishing? I have never tried it before, but am curious to see what would happen. The lake that the pike are in is about 30 feet deep. I am sure that mid January the ice would be safe.

    I read an article in In-Fisherman (Ice Fishing Special) about someone catching a 23lb or 26lb channel while ice fishing. I know that decent channels have been caught out of the lake during the summer here. As the food supply drops off during the winter, do you think the cats would go dormant or continue to feed?

    I am seeking advice on this one as it is way out in left field for me on this. Thanks in advance to someone who may have tried this before.

    Ryan
     
  2. Pennsylvaniacatchaser

    Pennsylvaniacatchaser Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,359
    State:
    Sarver, Pa
    Ryan - There is a thread started on ice fishing for catfish under the "All Catfishing" section!
     

  3. CatHound

    CatHound New Member

    Messages:
    164
    State:
    Missouri
    Yes, catfish can be caught through the ice. Like almost all fish, they still have to eat even in the winter. Catfish being voracious predators are no exception. They are actually "relatively" quite active under the ice and will compete agressively for available food when schooled in larger groups.

    Flagstaff is a great area - love the skiing ! Where are you catfishing down there ?
     
  4. martinman

    martinman New Member

    Messages:
    356
    State:
    Clinton, Iowa
    Guys,


    Thanks for the help...I am sure it will be a month or so before I could do this but I am really interested in trying.

    Ryan
     
  5. Dreadnaught

    Dreadnaught New Member

    Messages:
    5,444
    State:
    Henderson,Ky
    First you must cut a hole in the ice.
    Then you place peas around the hole.
    Then when the polar bear comes up to take a pea..............
    Wait you wanted to know about catching Channelcats not polar bears, ooooooops!!!! LOL!!!

    Please make sure the ice is thick enough before you decide to walk out on it to fish!!!
     
  6. martinman

    martinman New Member

    Messages:
    356
    State:
    Clinton, Iowa
    JW,


    Your too much....I am glad there are always guys like you around to make us laugh :smile2:


    Ryan
     
  7. knmfish

    knmfish New Member

    Messages:
    22
    State:
    Missouri
    The ice needs to be about 3 to 4 inches thick to be safe. use a chainsaw or a ice drill. you can use the same bait as you always use,but need to downsize.
     
  8. TX Fisherman

    TX Fisherman New Member

    Messages:
    607
    State:
    Texas
    i have never been ice fishing, but i have heard stories of cod rubbing up on the ice and making real thin sheets of ice in certain parts of the lake!! be really careful!!
     
  9. CJ21

    CJ21 New Member

    Messages:
    4,303
    State:
    Montgomery, Alabama
    Just drill and hole in the ice and get u some livers or worms for bait lol.
     
  10. brasmunky

    brasmunky New Member

    Messages:
    15
    State:
    mo but live in id
    If you go to iceleaders.com they have a video about ice fishing for cats. i have been wanting to try but the lakes with cats in them here never freeze so we are stuck with dirty old trout.:sad2:
     
  11. Pylodictis Olivaris

    Pylodictis Olivaris New Member

    Messages:
    257
    State:
    Iowa
    I use to ice fish for cats all the time. It can be very productive.....unfortunately this whole global warming stuff has caused some really mild winters in Iowa and we haven't had good ice in 2 years now. I can remember a few years back ice fishing in early December and here it is almost early January and there still is open water.
     
  12. cumberlandcat

    cumberlandcat New Member

    Messages:
    1,161
    State:
    Tennessee
    I lived in Mn for a few years. It is very possible but a little harder than in the summer. I would use the same baits you would use in the summer but smaller. They will stack up in great numbers. You have to find those holes. I like big sucker minnows cut into little cubes. They cost about a buck a piece but in the winter you can't catch them yourself. A sonar is about the only way to fish the ice. A good augar and a good sonar set up .
     
  13. dano40

    dano40 New Member

    Messages:
    122
    State:
    Spirit lake, Iowa
    I've been catching cats through the ice the last few weeks. You need to find structure if there is any in the deep holes where they will stay most of the winter. If there is some kind of baitfish for them to eat, they will school up and roam around looking for bait, generally around the structure.
     
  14. flathead20000

    flathead20000 New Member

    Messages:
    137
    State:
    Indiana, Delphi
    I was icefishing for gills and crappie last year in a farm pond using bee moths for bait. Every time my bait got to close to the bottom I stubbled on two a channel. The next day went back with chicken livers, and never had a bite. Changed back over to bee moths and started hammering them again. So I thinks that the key is to scale back the bait, try it and good luck!!!
     
  15. vince

    vince New Member

    Messages:
    53
    State:
    Minnesota
    Ice fishing for cats. use chum to get the cats active they tend to school up in holes in the winter....Try to find structure in the water thats how you find them rock ledges or a big drop off 20' 25' feet deep...ats least that were the school up in the rivers in minnesota during the winter...
    you will have long stretches in the river were its 2' and 4' deep for about
    a 1/2 mile then the river drops into a 20' hole and it is crowed with flats and channels...but thats river fishing in the winter! location location..

    vince.