Lake fishing vs. River fishing

Discussion in 'NORTH CAROLINA RIVERS TALK' started by kylekutta, Jan 22, 2007.

  1. kylekutta

    kylekutta New Member

    Messages:
    59
    State:
    NC
    I have fished the neuse river for 15 years and never fished a lake for big cats.I was wondering if someone could help me with the whole idea.I have a 16' lowe jon boat with 25 horse set up for river fishing.I find a likely hole and anchor up steam and put 6 rods on a frame that is over my outboard. It has 6 driftmaster rod holders on it,with various baits(live/cut).I use fish finding rigs only with no roll(tear drop) weights.It is my understanding that lake fishing is very different.I would love to fish a lake but not knowing how keeps my away.Is my boat big enough?Do i set my rods up differently?Do you use fish finding rigs?Can anyone help with this idea?
     
  2. shellerflat

    shellerflat New Member

    Messages:
    154
    State:
    north carolina
    I have a very similar boat set up as you and I have been fishing lakes primarily for the last year or so. Your boat will be more than enough and it sounds like your rod set up will be great for it. First thing I would say is it really depends on the lake. I fish a steam plant lake that keeps the water temperature at 70 or so for the majority of the winter. If you are on a regular lake I would recommend fishing deep holes in the winter time near channels or structure. You can also drift fish on a windy day with bobbers at different depths. It really shouldn't be too bad of a transition for you I wouldn't think.
     

  3. kylekutta

    kylekutta New Member

    Messages:
    59
    State:
    NC
    So you dont have to drift to catch cats in a lake?I thought that was the only way.I can still find deep hole and fish it like a river?Thanks Shellerflat for your help!
     
  4. mudkip

    mudkip New Member

    Messages:
    645
    State:
    SC
    Kyle

    Think of the lake as a flooded river. The river channel, bends, flats, head and tails of deep holes are still there just covered by water. A sure way to get a headstart on fishing a lake is to find where there is current. Usually the upper end of a lake near a dam or in flowing river is a great place to start. Catfish love a little current.

    Cats in lakes migrate with the seasons. In the spring they head toward the headwaters. If there are stripers and blue cats in your lake, you can bet they will be pretty close to each other as they make their way up the lake from deep winter to spring.

    In the summer we drift for blues and channels. Many times the fish will disperse over the flats and drifting is a great way to cover a lot of ground. Not to mention when a cat slams a rod during a drift it is a pretty thing to see!

    Get a good lake map. Look at the river and how it bends as it courses through the lake. Find the dam at the head of the lake and look for the first big bend in the river channel below. That is usually a great place to start.

    Hope this helps.

    Rodger
     
  5. FishBrew

    FishBrew New Member

    Messages:
    329
    State:
    North Texas
    Tons of vaibles here depending on the lake, but the basics normally include:
    - A good graph/sonar well help you a ton.
    - Creek, river channels and tributaries - especially if they hold some structure. Don't over look the mouth of a secondary creek feeding into the main channel.
    - Humps - submerged humps near deep water or the middle of a flat can be a honey hole. If it has timber, rocks, or a form of structure one it, give it a good look.
    - Wind swept banks - if the wind has been blowing in the same direction of a couple days, odds are the plakton has been pushed to the bank ... which brings the bait fish (shad), which brings the cats. There is a good reason why experienced bank fisherman always want to be casting into the wind if they can help it.
    - Spring to Fall - early mornings in shallow water (anchored, tied off) can be a gold mine. Find a submerged creek or main channel that winds it way under no more than 10 foot of water, less than 5 can be better. You can anchor, tie off and cast to the inside and outside bends of the channel. Literally pin point a location and let your bait sit there, tight lined, on a carolina rig or three way. If you can locate structure on it, standing or submerged timber, brush, rocks ... give it a try.
    - Don't limit yourself to fishing "in" the submerged creek or channel. Fish on the edges, ledges, drop-offs that have structure nearby - a brush pile, timber, a point, hump, pocket, etc.
     
  6. BILLYP

    BILLYP New Member

    Messages:
    415
    State:
    Fayetteville, North Carol
    I have fished rivers all the time, and i just started fishing lakes and its not that hard of a transition i thnk. That hardest thing is if nothings bitting where you are move about 20 foot and they might be there. Where in the river if they are up stream of you then they willl come past you at some time.
    FishBrew you have a lot of information on this subject thank you and hopefully we will see each other on the water.
     
  7. bigcatwannabe

    bigcatwannabe New Member

    Messages:
    166
    State:
    rowland, nc
    i have a very similar setup to yours, but lake fishing i like to run 10 or 12 rods because there is no current and u can cast in every direction. personally i like to follow the shad in the lake, right now the shad are on the river channel ledges and in the river channel, you can fish the ledge and be successful, but if you use your depth finder and see shad schools pushed up off the bottom of the river channel with arches under them, you can drop one anchor and put your baits a couple feet off the bottom, it works very well sometimes, and in the spring and summer the shad seem to move into the feeder creeks and backwater areas so thats where i go and have been succesful. lake fishing is a world of difference, but it wont take you long to figure it out