I have a theory, What do you think?

Discussion in 'Blue Catfishing' started by healthydrink, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. healthydrink

    healthydrink New Member

    I was pondering the way catfish start biting when I am fishing. Seems like you can get on a pod of Blues and sometimes you have to wake them up so to speak to get them to start feeding on your baits. I have heard other catmen say the same thing. So after some thought I wanted to ask this question:

    What my theory or question is, do you think a Bluecat gives off some sort of phermone or scent in the water when it starts feeding, kind of like bees do? or is it just the noise of them feeding? Or maybe give an under water bark or oink like a pig when he feeds?

    Seems like you can start getting lots of action after you catch one or two fish in close proximity of eachother, then it is almost like a feeding frenzy. I have had this happen and actually had to start fishing with fewer poles because I could not keep up with the ones I started out using.
    What do you guys think?

    I ask this in part because alot of the Blues I have caught have bulging full stomachs and it would seem they could not even get anymore in their stomachs, yet they will agressively attack when others are feeding.
  2. Snagged2

    Snagged2 New Member

    Verde Valley AZ
    Sounds interesting,,, Might be on to something..
    I'd also,, like to have the problem of being too busy catching fish keep up with my other rods!!:006:

  3. rich crabtree

    rich crabtree New Member

    well, sorry bud, no deep thoughts here . at lest not like yours, but i have sat there poundering as to why they ant biting:confused2::smile2: and man i sure have nt had to stop useing so many poles, b/c of so many bites, keep up the good work bud :wink:
  4. Pip

    Pip New Member

    might be on to something with the sounds. Might be the vibrations also. i've sat with idle rods a few times. Seems when you get a big ole boat or tug pushing a barge I'll get a couple bites right after it passes. It has happen more then once to be a coincidence. Don't know if it has anything to do with the harmonics or vibration coming off a diesel engine or what.

    Wouldn't mind narrowing it down so I could reproduce it if possible once in a while, though.
  5. JPritch

    JPritch New Member

    Lynchburg, VA
    I've heard and experienced the "barge bite" as well Pip. It's not a guarantee when one goes by, but there is something to it.
  6. Dirtdobber

    Dirtdobber Guest Staff Member

    Vian Okla
    I agree. I have seen it happen on the Arkansas river after a barge has gone by. Also at the lock & dam, went they pass a barge through and discharge the water the bite will pick up.
  7. katsandsuds

    katsandsuds New Member

    North Caro
    I think it may be the barge churning up the water, and running thru shad schools. The fish may follow the barge to pick up chunks floating to the bottom, similar to blues hanging out below a ball of bait. They hang below a ball of bait, eating a few live ones, and picking up leftovers from stripper and bass feeding, and pieces falling to to the floor. Just a theory.
  8. catoon

    catoon Board Clown!

    good question i never thought about it till now . thks fella
  9. tnvol

    tnvol New Member


    That's what I think.
  10. Kansas Tree Rat

    Kansas Tree Rat New Member

    Waverly, Kansas
    I don't know much about Blues but I have seen the same thing when catching bullheads for bait. Once you get them hitting in one spot they seem to swarm to that area.
  11. Fishgeek

    Fishgeek Active Member

    Catfish can vocalize...I'm sure you've all heard them "quack" when you pull them out of the water.

    I was thinking that along the lines of a feeding frenzy. One cat hits a the prey & squeezes some blood & body juices into the water. Other cats smell that & start looking for food too. Kinda' like chumming. Just a thought.
  12. tbull

    tbull New Member

    SW Ohio
    Thats a good question...9 times out of 10 when we catch big blues we catch them in numbers...I don't know if they are "hunting" in packs, or what, but I definatley think you are on to something...

    However, lately I think when blues see my bait they give off some kind of "DO NOT EAT!" signal...:eek:oooh::smile2::wink:
  13. unclebuncle

    unclebuncle New Member

    I think your on to something and its not just blues.I've done a lot of bass fishing and many times when I get one close there will be two or three more with him.I even caught two at atime once when another bass came up and got hooked on treble hanging out of first ones mouth.I've seen it lots of times with sunfish fighting over food that hits water.Could be same thing with blues.You have it I want it.
  14. SkiMax

    SkiMax Well-Known Member

    Rising Sun, IN
    We have noticed this alot of the Ohio over the years. We always wondered if it the barge grinding up baitfish or whatever.

    But one night we were sitting out there fishing, and I usually turn my depth finder off when we anchor up (the walleye fisherman from Erie in me) but this night I have forgot to turn it off. We were on top of a large school of shad, I was marking them everywhere but mainly suspended in 40 feet of water. The fish were in the area but kind of slow. Then a barge went by an d we started getting a ton of hits. I looked at my depth finder and watch the large schools of shad swim to the bottom. Several more barges went by that night and everytime the shad would swim to the bottom and within a couple minutes of the barge passing go suspended again. We have seen this on several trips since.

    So my new theory is that the shad get spooked by the barge and go to the bottom. The cats have learned that when a barge goes by the shad are coming to bottom and that makes them really active. That is my theory on the 'barge bite' anyways. Check it out sometime on the water and let me know if you notice the same thing with the shad.
  15. buddyodie

    buddyodie New Member

    One of my favorite spots to fish, is just up stream at ferry crossings. I cast out and walk my bait as close to the route of the ferry as I can. There are times when the bite is almost constant, both blues and channel. Also have expierienced the barge bite.
  16. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat Well-Known Member

    Good theory Ski. Yeah, I'm guessin' most of the shad get out of the way of the barges, and it would make sense for them do dive to the bottom for a minute or two.
  17. jagdoctor1

    jagdoctor1 New Member

    When fishing for bait, (blugill and talapia) I have experienced this bigtime. I can see 30 or 40 fish down there.... Takes me 15 minutes sometimes tossing around different ones to find that one that will mess with my worm, it's usually a little tiny one. I've always called it the teenager theory. Once that little guy is intrested then all of a sudden the bigger guys try to punk him and take it. At that point I can catch all I want as fast as I want. In another spot I've seen spawning blugill sitting on a bed and several bass mixed in. Once I catch a bluegill the bass start nailing my worm or bobber or weight or anything I throw in. If they are big enough sometime's they nail the bluegill once they are on the hook. Just a minute ago they were all sharing the same space peacefully.

    I believe it's something like being in the bank with a guy who's about to rob it. Most likely you know damn well something is wrong with that guy. No matter how calm he tries to be he puts out nervous, scared, adrenaline vibes. I think when these fish change their vibes it effects the fish around them. Like when a bluegill goes from sitting on a nest to caught on a hook they put out the "I'm in trouble vibes" and the bass that was hanging with him suddenly launches into action!
  18. Fishhead1

    Fishhead1 Member

    I believe the "barge bite" is a real phenomenon and there's even some research to support or at the very least strongly suggest it as more than coincidence. My thesis work looked at fishes moving in response to barges and it also hinted that this was indead the case. Scientifically I can't say I know for sure, but I did see fish move to get out of the way of a barge as well as return to the channel relatively quickly after a barge is passed. Take it for what it's worth. I think it's common sense really, shad face a pretty strong selective pressure... move or die when faced with a barge. So they move to the bottom or to the channel borders where predator fishes also have learned to avoid barges and reap the benefits of the moving bait.

    Remember your high school science class talking about Pavlovian Response? Knock a dogs food bowl and the dog starts to drool? Well fish hear that barge and they anticipate a relatively easy meal and go into a feeding mode. Along the same lines, most of you have seen Seagulls following barges eating turned up invertebrates from the bottom of the river as well as chopped up or disoriented bait fish... why wouldn't fish be doing the same?

    As for fish communicating in some way, I haven't seen or heard of any research that suggests this, although that doesn't mean it isn't true. I tend to think Blues are like wolves, probably not that intelligent or organized, but maybe they often hunt in "packs" and if you happen to catch a "pack" that's on a "hunt" they are moving and already aggressive. Once 1 fish eats and then fights on the line the others sense the feed is on and search for prey in that area. Whether it's the vibration of the fish fighting the line, the smell of the fish crushing the prey, or the fish releasing a pheromone the others might pick up on it... not quite communication but cause and reaction.
  19. Big Sam

    Big Sam Well-Known Member

    Booneville AR
    As you may have experienced a lot of times at a new spot say around dead trees you bait up & cast out..then while your baiting another rod the 1st one goes off:tounge_out: and it continues for a while.....then dies out.....you move & the same occurs..it happens a lot around here....:eek:oooh: These places are wher there is a higher content of food & they compete over it...it is a place where the commarants roost so there is chum & 1/2 digested shad in the water..i believe they respond to the "sound" of the bait hitting the water thinking the birds just deposited "breakfast":wink: fish communicate like any other animal does so you are correct in my beliefs...as for when there gorging themselves it is a matter of keeping there body fat at a higher level in the winter to assure their survival...plus a "little" skips might entice them more than shad!!!:smile2:
  20. jolie

    jolie New Member

    In trout fly fishing and occasionally in bass, they stress on 'multiple' reasons why a fish might strike, a lure, fly or bait. Hunger is one and only one of those motivations. I would think more than likely if you see a school of fishing lazily hanging around anything, they are not particularly hungry. Hungry fish would disperse and roam around looking for food.

    However fish detect whats going on, it seems certain that a competitive behavior will bring out more aggresive behavior in those that stick around.

    thus a competitive, aggresive feeding by one fish might enliven the whole school; sounds fun to me. On the other hand, I have cast into huge schools of fish with not so much of twitch They aren't in huge shallow schools to actively feed.

    These days, I am trying to (with every fish) spend less time on the lazy neutral fish (and schools) that I see and be more proactive in finding more active ones.:cool2:

    not sure how fish communicate (smells, sounds); but I've heard some fish have actions/gestures/or poses that are significant to their own kind.