How to catch bluecatfish - Tips and Tricks

Discussion in 'Blue Catfishing' started by matt, Sep 23, 2005.

  1. matt

    matt New Member

    Messages:
    99
    State:
    Anderson SC
    What is the best bait for the big blue?
    How big does the bait need to be?
    And what kind of hook do i need?
     
  2. Whistler

    Whistler Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,084
    State:
    TN
    I use cut bait for blues. Usually skipjacks. I use whole heads at times. We also cut them up with whole gut pockets. Sometimes those baits are 5 or 6 inches long and a couple inches around. A head from a 3 lb skipjack is pretty darn big. The rest of the skipjack gets fileted and used in strips. I use Kahle hooks exclusively, usually in 7/0 up to 10/0. I also use Gamakatsu Big River hooks in the winter in 12/0. But they tend to be a bit expensive. 3 hooks for about 5 bucks. But if you are targeting big fish(30 lbs or more) I firmly believe in the bigger bait = bigger fish theory.
     

  3. tank3544

    tank3544 New Member

    Messages:
    201
    State:
    Fredericksburg, VA
    that's a loaded question! :D

    where are you fishing? how big do the blues get?
     
  4. Southernraised84

    Southernraised84 New Member

    Messages:
    207
    State:
    Fayettnam, North Carolina
    I would have to say whistler hit it on the head.But aother bait to use is eel.I caught my biggest blue on that.I was useing a 7/0 gamakatsu circle he was a 38 pound blue.Im not sure if they would be good for your neck of the woods but it might be something to look into
     
  5. highwayman582004

    highwayman582004 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    I dont mean to cut Matt short or anything but i just wanted to add a question to his. I want to know more about where to find the bigger blues in the mississippi river. Any information you guys can give on that? Thanks.
     
  6. Cataholic

    Cataholic Guest

    Hey Highwayman check out the "BlueCat Club" up by the Casino around Tunica! They hang out for the buffet and an occasional "Good Lookin' Momma" :D

    On a more sreious note check out the deeper holes in the day and under cut banks in the evening around early fall. Summer time they'll usually stay deep night and day, but i've found they are best early fall and winter around cut banks fairly shallow just inside the slack water with access to a deep hole or quality snag.
     
  7. elshale

    elshale New Member

    Messages:
    170
    State:
    Snellville, Georgia
    Cut bait and plenty of line.
     
  8. highwayman582004

    highwayman582004 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Catholic. Thanks for the imformation--That at least gives me an idea where to start. Im thinking maybe i may be starting to understand river fishing a little better.
     
  9. bluehunter

    bluehunter New Member

    Messages:
    3,004
    State:
    Los Angele
    Anykind of cut bait will normally do, especially that which is native to the lakes or river that you are fishing. I like using cut mackeral and bonita out my way as that is very bloody and oily as well. Seves as good bait for channels and blues for me.
     
  10. Ravensmavsfan

    Ravensmavsfan New Member

    Messages:
    202
    State:
    Cincinnati,OH
    Try a couple strips of bacon folded into balls on a circle hook.
     
  11. MadKater

    MadKater New Member

    Messages:
    378
    State:
    Evansville,IN
    Best advise i can give you is use equipment that is capable of handling the biggest fish you ever dreamed about, i like a reel with a low gear ratio a good solid drag and a rod that is capable of casting heavy weights and bait a MH-H action rod in the 20-40# line class and capable of casting up to 8oz{somtimes more}{i like the shakespear sturdy stick,BP cat maxx or quantum big cat rods}
    as far as hooks i prefer the 8/0 gamakatsu octopus circle hooks also the diiachi chunk lite circle are very good hooks as well but a lil on the pricey side.if you dont like circle check into eagle claws king kahles hook they range from 8/0-10/0 and are very reliable hooks.
    use good line,i prefer berkley big game in 40# test,and i also like the fireline and power pro braid in 80# test,i also use a mono leader i like Andes line in 60-80# test for my leaders.
    as far as bait i prefer cut skip jack,but alot of folks catch the bigguns on cut shad,dont be afraid to use hand size chunks of bait,itll keep the lil fellers off{most of the time lol} and a big cat can fit more in thier mouth then most people think..good luck and catch a big one for me.
     
  12. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    I'm with Whistler. If you're targeting blues of 25#-30# and up, a whole skipjack head is prime bait. My ideal size skipjack is one that makes a bait roughly 6" long; but I want to make an angled cut from somewhere near the back of the head to somewhere near the anus. The idea is to cut into the body cavity enough to let out juices and scent, but not to open it enough that everything washes out. That's certainly not saying that steaks off a skipjack or large shad aren't effective. My largest blue, about 65#, was caught on a 1" shad steak while primarily targeting eating size blues.
     
  13. tncatfishing

    tncatfishing New Member

    Messages:
    916
    State:
    clk. tn
    A big blue is gonna take whatever bait he wants, so cover all bases by using several poles. A different style bait on each one. I usualy set out three poles and lure fish with the fourth. Those three poles will be baited with a whole shad or skipjack alive, 2nd will be cut bait and third will be shad or skipjack guts. My biggest catfish was caught on shad guts. And I know their weight was right a fellow fisherman weighed it with a digital scale 32lbs. I am now using hooks from the 7 to 10 range and use circles, tru turns and j-hooks.Gonna start looking at kahle hooks. I would keep the bait off the bottom. Make sure your pole is secure to something a big blue can pull your pole in water in a blink.
     
  14. Patmansc

    Patmansc Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,537
    State:
    Cordova, TN
    Highwayman - I hear that the MS river in Memphis, in the area between the 2 bridges that go to/from AR, is a great spot! Gotta be careful in that water, tho, and watch out for barge traffic and debris.
     
  15. photocat

    photocat New Member

    Messages:
    803
    State:
    HOCO, Maryland
    TN- be weary of those digital scales... they aren't all calibrated correctly and give false readings... i had one that said 8oz of lead weighted 5 oz and a 5 lb scale that gave a reading of 3 lb 5 oz on a 5 lb weight and then bottomed out... so you can't trust them... some of the analog scales aren't reliable either... the best ones seem to be the ones that have a spring and just pull straight down rather then around a dial...
     
  16. tncatfishing

    tncatfishing New Member

    Messages:
    916
    State:
    clk. tn
    Photocat I have found out first hand about the analog or mechanical ones that they are off or atleast the one I had was. I have a new one but it is not digital, but seems to be pretty accurate as I have compared with others and used weights to indicate if it is reading correctly.
     
  17. photocat

    photocat New Member

    Messages:
    803
    State:
    HOCO, Maryland
    yeah some of the analogs are off frequently too, i don't trust the "deliars" for all my stuff but when i put the 5 lb weight on it it registered 5 lbs... some others haven't... The best way to find out is if your a member of IGFA have them certify it... its like $15 plus shipping to and returned i think and they check it to see if its accurate and can be used for record weight verifications...

    I just know the digi's i've used haven't been as accurate as i'd like them to be.... the 8 oz of lead and saying 5oz annoys me a bit... thats why i try and carry 2 scales with me at all times... one thats a dial face and the other is on my lipper tool... i compare the 2 and average them out... doesn't help though if i forget to bring them with me though (like i did the night i caught my PB, bottomed out the deliar type scale at 13lbs and i know it was more then that, measuring estimates ranged it around 15-18 lbs so thats what i go with)
     
  18. brad kilpatrick

    brad kilpatrick New Member

    Messages:
    2,666
    State:
    Kansas City
    This is the scale That I use. it was from cabelas goes up to 150 lbs and can be zeroed by hand. don't remember what I gave for it but it was pretty cheap they have smaller models also.
     

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  19. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
    Great questions Matt. Depending on the type of impoundment or stream ur fishing, would dictate your equipment and bait selection. I'm very fortunate in that I live right in the middle of Monster Blue Land on the Mississippi River. Standard tackle out here is Penn or Shakespeare level wind reels with star type drag systems. (A very smooth drag is absolutely critical) Rod types very, based on preference and taste. I prefer the 7 1/2 foot Shakespeare Ugly Sticks, with a light action tip and a heavy butt section. This allows me to have fun with smaller fish, and have lots of available leverage on my bigger fish. Most guys around here use a minimum of 40 pound test, either mono or braided dacron lines. I prefer ANDE Saltwater Monofilament as it doesnt stretch much, and is superior to freshwater lines in abrasion resistance. (pretty pricey is the only downside) As far as bait selection, totally depends on time of year. Most guys around here will scale there bait sizes way way down during winter time. I primarily use fresh gizzard shad for bait. I'll take a five inch shad and cut it in half right through the gut pocket, and use the half that includes the head. I hook them through the eyes so it moves in the current, which leads to better scent dispersion. For summer time, I scale my bait sizes way up. I routinely use baits a foot long. I like to use the really large gizzard shads and cut them the same way. Another favorite bait of mine is the Asian Carps, specifically the Big Eyes. I'll filet these fish out and use large long, but narrow strips. I hook the bait in the very end of the piece, so it SWIMS if you will. For hooks, I absolutely am a huge fan of the Gamagatsu Circle hooks for summer time. I leave the rods in the holders and those big blues hook themselves on their initial run. Winter time, I think its probably best to go with the straight shank hooks as the bite is very subtle and they dont run hard enough to set the hook. With circle hooks, make absolutely sure you dont ball the bait up in the curve of the hook as it will interfere with the hook penetration and u'll lose alot of fish. Hope ive helped a little bit. Best Of luck Fishing. :cool:
     
  20. tkishkape

    tkishkape New Member

    Messages:
    782
    State:
    Gore, Okla
    I have been using small circle hooks here on the Arkansas River in eastern Oklahoma all winter with very good results. By small, I mean 2/0 VMC hooks, fine wire, extra sharp and the hook is slightly kirbed.

    The fine wire seems to hook up easily on pickup. The bait I prefer for wintertime bluecat fishing is the head and gut pocket of a smallish 3" to 4" long fresh, still bleeding shad. I'll change the bait every fifteen or twenty minutes to ensure that the bait is still dispensing scent.

    Shad are hard to keep alive, even in the winter. In order to keep the shad fresh, I'll drop the shad directly from the castnet onto salted ice in an icechest. The shad will flash-freeze and remain fresh for several hours. Do not allow the saltwater to accumulate in the icechest, but drain it off at frequent intervals.