How to catch big catfish question.

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by rambilt, Jan 25, 2007.

  1. rambilt

    rambilt New Member

    Messages:
    59
    State:
    Texas
    I bought a boat thinking I can fish in the middle of the lake where all the big fish are. Yeah right!:lol: I find most of my catch are in the shallow by the banks. So where do you guys catch those big catfish? More in the shallow or in the deepest part of the lake. what do you guys look for? What is in your favorite spot besides chums?:lol: What is the best off the shelf bait? I don't know how to make my own. Do you guys make your own bait?
     
  2. FishBrew

    FishBrew New Member

    Messages:
    329
    State:
    North Texas
    it may help to narrow the focus a bit ... where in Texas are you? fish rivers or lakes or both? fish for channels, blues, or flats? Just asking because most advice does not help in all bodies of water for all species of cats.
     

  3. allworknofish

    allworknofish New Member

    Messages:
    147
    State:
    texas
    deep water is not always the best to fish. id say 99% of the larger fish on this site where caught on live bait or cut. prepared baits are generaly used for channel cats. id fish structure including brush and bottom conture changes. hope this helped a little
     
  4. BAM

    BAM New Member

    Messages:
    827
    State:
    Tennessee
    Most of the guy's I know use a cast net for shad and catch skipjack with a rod and reel. Whole fresh shad, dead or alive, skipjack is used as cut bait most of the time. Skips can be used live if you have a good baitwell. Liver and shrimp along with bluegill are also favorites.
     
  5. Katmaster Jr.

    Katmaster Jr. New Member

    Messages:
    4,644
    State:
    Wilmington, NC
    I fish a large reservoir in North Carolina. I bank fished for years and finally got a boat last Spring.

    I use any fresh cut bait or live bait, I love Shad and White Perch. In the summer I seem to do very well using Slip bobbers set around 10-15ft deep and fishing in anywhere from like 40-75ft deep. I caught them from like June through August using only Slip bobbers.

    In the Fall, we did a lot of fishing at the mouth of a major creek and caught a lot of nice Blue Cats.

    Now, this Winter, so far we've been really tearing them up fishing mostly 60-70ft of water, we anchor near saddles and other bottom structures mostly around coves as that's where the bait has been and we think the fish we are catching are sitting at the mouth of the coves waiting to get the bait.
     
  6. BigCatDreaming

    BigCatDreaming New Member

    Messages:
    263
    State:
    Illinois
    Since you live in texas and its not quite what we in the midwest would call "cold" I dont think you really need to search for cats in the deep waters. Like everyone said try and find where the bait fish are hiding out and look for good structure nearby them. If your just after channels you cant go wrong with just livers, but you might want to go buy a castnet and give livebait a try. They're cheap and if you spend time on it you may never have to buy any kind of bait again. All waters seem to be different so just soak in as much advice as you can get and experiment. Good Luck!
     
  7. crazy

    crazy New Member

    Messages:
    2,090
    State:
    Kansas CIty, MO
    Well man I mostly catch my fish from 2 foot - 15 feet. Then again I fish a river mostly. Having a boat just makes me a lot more mobile.
     
  8. rambilt

    rambilt New Member

    Messages:
    59
    State:
    Texas
    How often do you guys catch a big fish like the one in your avatar? Man, I soooooooo envy you guys.

    What size perch is a good bait and where do you place your hook? Shads are hard to keep alive. The few that I catch with the throw net when I accidentally get it to spread out, doesn't stay alive that long. Also, I seem to catch white bass or hybrids more than catfish with the shads.

    BTW, I like to thank you all for all the info/tips you guys provided. One of these days I'll post an Avatar that I can be proud of like you guys.
     
  9. allworknofish

    allworknofish New Member

    Messages:
    147
    State:
    texas
    on a jug or trotline......from the size of your hand on down....on a rod and reel i like em about 4 inches or so. aint no need for envy there brother, your times a comin...just keep a hook in the water and sooner or later, youll land that big one. i like to put the hook right about where the dorsal fin stops, and just above the lateral line. good luck, and hope i help a little
     
  10. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat New Member

    Messages:
    4,875
    State:
    Missouri
    Rick, welcome to the BOC! I have no idea what the fishing conditions are like in TX, but the important thing is to get on the water, and toss out your bait. Wet your hook, they will come.
     
  11. rambilt

    rambilt New Member

    Messages:
    59
    State:
    Texas
    allworknofish, this is very good information what you just wrote. Thank you very much I really do appreciate your help.
     
  12. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,160
    State:
    NC
    Your initial boat fishing experience sounded like mine!

    You do not always need to be in the middle of the lake to catch the "big 'uns". MOST of my fish come out of shallow water, but out of reach of casting from the bank. Usually 12-17 feet of water. Underwater terrain changes are usually where the fish are. Bait likes to hide there for safety, and the big fish follow. The fish may be on the edges, above them, or at the bottom, but you can usually bet on catching them around these areas.

    At night use the boat to anchor up and cast into shallow water near the bank to target cats running in shallow to feed. I have caught some nice cats that were so shallow they came out of the water when hooked.
     
  13. loki1982

    loki1982 New Member

    Messages:
    420
    State:
    Texas
    "I bought a boat thinking I can fish in the middle of the lake where all the big fish are. Yeah right!:lol: I find most of my catch are in the shallow by the banks. So where do you guys catch those big catfish? More in the shallow or in the deepest part of the lake. what do you guys look for? What is in your favorite spot besides chums?:lol: What is the best off the shelf bait? I don't know how to make my own. Do you guys make your own bait?"

    I think just about everyone that has bought a boat thinks/hopes that it will be a miracle fish producing machine. I was the same way, about 2 years ago we got our boat and I thought man, now we can catch the big fish.

    The truth is, the boat gives you mobility, gives you access to places you wouldnt have from the bank, but it doesnt guarantee fish.

    So in reguards to your questions "So where do you guys catch those big catfish". I caught 6 fish last year that I call big. 18,24,28,32.5# blues, and a 45 and 55# flatheads. The blues were all caught in Lake Grapevine, on shad and live perch. Around 25 foot of water, no structure that I know of, and all but the 18#er was caught 5 foot under the surface. The 18#er was caught 5 foot off the bottom in 30 foot of water. The flatheads were caught in 20-30 foot of water near the bottom on live gold fish, in Lake Fork. The max depth of the lake is 50-55 foot, most of it is 30 foot and shallower though. Ive never caught a fish in the 30-50 foot range.

    "More in the shallow or in the deepest part of the lake" It depends alot on the time of the year. The colder the water is, the deeper your likely to find them. The warm the water gets, shallower them seem to get. I try to fish around 15-30 foot year around, and catch fish year around at these depths.

    "what do you guys look for?" One thing to look for is bait fish. Look for schools of shad, or look for where sand bass are schooling(which means there chasing the shad). Another thing to look for is structure, logs, trees, sunken stuff. Another thing to look for, paticularly when targeting big blues is drop offs, in lakes the main channel is usually a good place to start. I dont have much experience with it, but others claim the mouth of the feeder creek can be a nice location,I just dont have good access to test this out.

    "What is the best off the shelf bait" If you want big fish, there is no off the shelf bait I would recommend. Nothing beats fresh shad, perch, or goldfish on producing large fish. If I was going to recommend a bait for catfish off the shelves, I had realtivily good luck using Magic bait(blood flavor), danny kings punch bait(not sure which flavor)<-- best used under commorant roost.

    Ive tried making my own bait with little success. Either it falls apart or just doesnt work.


    "How often do you guys catch a big fish like the one in your avatar? Man, I soooooooo envy you guys."

    Some of the members seem to catch large fish quite often and others only once in a while. I think im in between. But none of my big fish have been on rod and reel. The only way your gonna catch fish like the ones your talkign about, is get out there, take the good days with the bad ones, and learn your waters, the fish patterns, and some patients.

    "What size perch is a good bait and where do you place your hook?" What ever size you can get. 3 inch is the smallest I try to use, and ill use up to about 7 inches, although a 20# flat can eat a bigger perch than 7 inches if it tries.

    "Shads are hard to keep alive. The few that I catch with the throw net when I accidentally get it to spread out, doesn't stay alive that long. Also, I seem to catch white bass or hybrids more than catfish with the shads."

    Shad do not need to be alive to catch catfish. I would doubt even 5% of my fish were caught on live shad. If your catching whitebass on your shad, you are using small shad. Try to get bigger shad. Also maybe fish alittle deeper. Larger shad also live longer than the small white bass sized ones.

    "BTW, I like to thank you all for all the info/tips you guys provided. One of these days I'll post an Avatar that I can be proud of like you guys."

    No problem, the BOC/Catfish1 is one of the best forums around. And remember there is nothing wrong with having an avatar of smaller fish. There are quite a few people on here that dont have a fish in there avatar, or use smaller fish pictures. No one is judged on the size of there fish, the quality of the poster is much more important than any trophy fish. You can see this by the reaction when people post the "son's new record catfish" and you see how happy the kids are holding up there fish.
     
  14. F150Catfish

    F150Catfish New Member

    Messages:
    369
    State:
    Wisconsin
    I caught some big catfish around 7 to 16 feet deep, but I also caught big flathead about 3-4 feet deep in summer night.
     
  15. ohiocatman62

    ohiocatman62 New Member

    Messages:
    18
    State:
    Ohio
    I fish the ohio river we fish 15 to 30 feet or so find a hump or some junk on the bottom use shad live or cut or some bluegills, sunfish, you'll find a big flathead!
     
  16. GMC FishHauler

    GMC FishHauler New Member

    Messages:
    1,335
    State:
    Waco, Texas, Un
    i dont catch alot of big cats either. I think that i have been targeting too shallow of water. My biggest since having a boat was 16lbs. this is not a small fish but i want one over 30. I see lots of bait and fish on the fish finder in about 30-40ft of water with no structure. i have been fishing in 12-28ft inside an old river channel. The FF is also showing fish and bait there. What would some experts recomend?
     
  17. loki1982

    loki1982 New Member

    Messages:
    420
    State:
    Texas
    I see your in the Waco area, that alittle south of my location(Dallas). The water in my area is soo screwed up because of the draught that I really couldnt tell you where to find them this year. In the last few years though around this time, we would hit them pretty good in 20-30 foot main river channels. Use fresh shad if you can, although they are pretty hard to find this time of the year. I spent 2 hours last Sunday throwing my net and didnt catch 1 piece fo bait.

    Also I seem to catch most of my blues where there is little to no structure.