I need some help. I'm stumped.

Discussion in 'Blue Catfishing' started by jlingle, Mar 26, 2007.

  1. jlingle

    jlingle New Member

    Messages:
    1,036
    State:
    Altus, Okl
    Our local lake has channel cats and blues, and both are in a pretty fair abundance. I know that in most lakes, the blues have moved shallow and are feeding pretty actively there.

    We have received a fair amount of rain lately, and the wind has been out of the south for about a week. With that in mind, I went to the north end of our lake Friday and fished my fanny off in several different spots. The north end of our lake is the most shallow end, and where the only river runs into the lake. I figured the fish would be there feeding on the food that the river was pushing into the lake, or at least on the northern banks because of the southern wind. In about 7 or 8 hours of fishing, I only caught 2 silly little channel cats.

    I'm stumped. I am running out of ideas on where to look for fish. I'm thinking that maybe the cats are up around the rocks on the southern end of the lake now, because the walleye and croppie are spawning around the rocks. Maybe they're eating the eggs, I've heard some folks say that they do that. Heck, I don't know. Last week I also tried fishing the more sandy areas around the mountains on the south end, thinking that maybe the cats were hanging out around the more shallow ends there, looking for baitfish or smaller feeding fish. Didn't catch anything there either.

    Do you guys have any tips for me to try to catfish around those rocks? How would you fish if you were after cats that might be feeding on other fish's eggs?

    Oh by the way, I haven't been able to find the shad anywhere on the lake. I've fished from the bank mostly, but last week I took a tour all around the lake in the boat and couldn't find shad anywhere. Our lake has a pretty decent shad population, but I can't find the baitfish either. I've been thinking that wherever the baitfish are..... there would the cats be also. I can't seem to find either one.
     
  2. rebcatman

    rebcatman New Member

    Messages:
    555
    State:
    Manassas, Virginia
    Do you know if the catfish are spawning? If they are, that could be one reason for not catching them, though not all catfish spawn at the same time.

    I would try drift fishing with cut bait in shallow, deep, and the transition areas. Good luck.
     

  3. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    Jerrod, I believe we had a fairly significant shad kill this winter. Our lakes, for the most part are pretty shallow and that prolonged cold front we experienced with those lows did take a toll. I haven't found any shad in my area lakes either, but can't truthfully say I have looked to hard. Maybe you can call in a game law violation in an extreme part of the county and then chunk some dynamite to find out where the cats are at. LOL No, don't do that.
     
  4. FishBrew

    FishBrew New Member

    Messages:
    329
    State:
    North Texas
    If you are not finding shad, I'm guessing you are not fishing with shad. If you are able to find shad (bait), the cats should be there. Spawn could hamper you a bit, but I would not think enough for a dry run. What are your water temps running (shallow and deep)? Water temps in north Texas basically running 64 to 68 degrees 9less than 10 foot). The shad in north Texas, on avergae, are scattered. Finding them from 10-15 foot deep, maybe a little shallower, but pretty tuff to find them in real large groups, especially the big gizzard shad.
     
  5. jlingle

    jlingle New Member

    Messages:
    1,036
    State:
    Altus, Okl
    Right, I haven't been fishing with shad. I've tried cut carp, shad gizzards, and danny king's. They haven't been biting worth a flip on any of it.
     
  6. loki1982

    loki1982 New Member

    Messages:
    420
    State:
    Texas
    I live in North Texas Dallas/Fort Worth area. I went out 2 weekends ago and this weekend.

    2 weeks ago we set out 2 jugs with fresh shad, and drift fished 6 poles with shad. Four hours later no bites on the poles, 1 fish on a jug. The fish was on the first hook which was 5 foot down in 30 of water. we were quite suprised they would be so close to the surface at early.

    Saturday we went back out. 3 jugs with fresh shad, and 6 poles with fresh shad. 4 hours later...1 5 pound blue on pole(5 foot off the bottom in 20 foot of water), and 2 on jugs 5 foot under the surface in 20-25 foot of water.

    Im stumped this year. We cant get fish to bite on rod and reel but catch them in the same location using the same bait, at the same depths on jugs.

    We've tried the bottom, all throughout the middle, and 5 foot from the surface. Even let one rod out with a ballon about 100 yards from the boat to make sure the fish werent being spooked by the boat. I just dont know what to think this year. It been my roughest fishing year so far.
     
  7. FishBrew

    FishBrew New Member

    Messages:
    329
    State:
    North Texas
    It's spring, go shallow, total water depth under 10 foot, less than five may be even been better.
    Don't know if you seen the post but this past weekend, ACATS tourny on Tawakoni (north Texas) we just murdered the blue cats. 30 teams and nearly every team weighted full stringers fish. A lot of teams caught over 30 per boat, the tounry set a record for largest stringer. Several teams limited out prefishing Friday and during the tourny Sat. Most caught in less than 10 foot of water, many in less than 5 foot (total water depth). The winning team five biggest fish (max you can weight in our local ACAT tourny) weighted over 200lbs. ... yea, over 40 lbs average per fish.
    More sever than normal shad kill may be part of the issue. In north Texas, we are just hammering them ... if you have shad and fish shallow. And consistently finding shad has been an issue here as well over the past few weeks or so, but improving. Generally speaking, at daylight around boat ramps or marinas seems best.
     
  8. Lngbo

    Lngbo New Member

    Messages:
    622
    State:
    Marion Ark
    I tmay not help, but I was fishing a lake this weekend with depths running from 40 on up. I used worms and caught eight cats in depths from five to fifteen feet. Largest was a five pound flathead. Lake is not fed by a river and I did not see any bait fish on the depth finder.
     
  9. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,177
    State:
    NC
    Lots of variables to contend with concerning your fishing situation.

    First, some days are just not good for a bite. You may have showed up 20 minutes too late or left 20 minutes too soon. It could be the bait, or how shallow or deep you were fishing.

    As far as the shad go, like other have said, a sigifcant shad kill could play a part. Also, the bait could be in the upper part of the water columnm perhaps only a couple of feet below the surface. If this is the case you will never seen them on your graph.
     
  10. jlingle

    jlingle New Member

    Messages:
    1,036
    State:
    Altus, Okl
    I think you guys are nailing it..... I'm nearly positive that we've had a shad kill at our lake. I haven't seen it first hand, with dead shad everywhere but I know that our lake was extremely low this winter. We had a very cold winter, and with the shallow conditions I bet the smaller shad are toast.

    You guys have given some great advice.... but what if the blues are actually feeding on the spawning walleye and croppie eggs? How would you go about rigging for them and what methods would you use? Bottom fishing, float fishing, no weight......

    I think I may try a float and some danny king's up in the rocks, just move around a lot and move that bobber through the tangles of rocks some.
     
  11. CJ21

    CJ21 New Member

    Messages:
    4,303
    State:
    Montgomery, Alabama
    What rig are u using? Try using a slip float rig with some cut or live bait.
     
  12. loki1982

    loki1982 New Member

    Messages:
    420
    State:
    Texas
    Thanks for the update and the huge boost of confidence. We are going to be fishing for 2 days at Lake Fork 30 miles or less from Tawakoni on April 6th. Maybe we have been fishing to deep. Thing is our fish finder is showing nothing, no bait fish, no game fish or anything at depths less than 20 feet. We'll definitely give shallower water a good try now.
     
  13. beakus

    beakus New Member

    Messages:
    243
    State:
    derby kansas
    i 've been hearing on kaw lake in northern ok. that there catching blues on shad in 15-25 ft of water,along the dropoffs.2weeks ago pulled about 200 shad with 2 throws of the net,2-3 inchers,last weekend 10 shad with 10 throws,5-6 inchers.
     
  14. TDawgNOk

    TDawgNOk Gathering Monitor (Instigator)

    Messages:
    3,365
    State:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Try catching some crappie or sandies, clean them, take their eggs, and use their eggs as bait. Wrap them in panty hose like some do liver and give it a whirl. Heck, what do ya have to loose?
     
  15. poisonpits

    poisonpits Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,792
    State:
    arkansas
    Name:
    johnnie
    i think its a little early for cats to be spauning right now but if you are going to fish the rocks at the dam use a slip float rig and fish right in a mongst them.we can catch a few any time of year on the dam here.
     
  16. loki1982

    loki1982 New Member

    Messages:
    420
    State:
    Texas
    Well my family and I were planning on fishing Lake Fork this weekend 4/6/07. After hearing your storey and seeing the reports that Tawakoni has been excellent catfishing for a few weeks and Fork is listed is just "Fair" we changed our trip to Tawakoni. Ill let you know how it goes.
     
  17. Rookie12

    Rookie12 New Member

    Messages:
    1,324
    State:
    Kannapolis, NC
    It is still too cold for blues to spawn it souns like. I think thy spawn in water around 72-74 degrees. If you mark fish in deep water on or near the bottom, then don't bother, these fish aren't feeding. Shallow fish can't be marked on a depthfinder. Fish shallow flats close to drops with shad. When fishing in areas of crappie spawning or mussel beds, use smaller pieces of cut bait. They will eat them, but will not eat big baits. They are keying in on smallert baits if they are in these areas. Hope this helps!