LAKE FORK: THERE’S CATFISH IN THEM WATERS TOO!

Discussion in 'LUKE CLAYTON' started by Luke Clayton, Aug 24, 2007.

  1. Luke Clayton

    Luke Clayton New Member

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    LAKE FORK: THERE’S CATFISH IN THEM WATERS TOO!
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    Luke Clayton​


    The word has been out for several decades that Lake Fork in east Texas is a bass fisherman’s dream. More bass weighing over 13 pounds have been pulled from these heralded waters than any other lake in the state. Did you know the same fertile waters that cause such accelerated growth for Bucketmouths has created a world class fishery for Mr. Whiskers? Fork can hold it’s on with any lake as a producer of quality channel catfish. It also has a very healthy population of blues and flathead catfish.

    With such an untapped population of catfish, Fork was ripe for a personable fellow that loves to take people fishing to begin a guide service that specializes in putting folks on lots of catfishing action AND a big pile of catfish fillets to take home! Enter Stan Kuhn! Stan and his wife Carol live on the lake and have for years known just how good a catfish fishery they had right in their backyard!

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    Lake Fork catfish guide Stan Kuhn shows off one of many “good eating” catfish landed on a recent outing.
    Photo by Luke Clayton​

    “When we began the guide service, it was obvious there was an untapped resource in the catfish here on Fork. Bass anglers come from far and wide to fish here but we knew there were lots of folks that would love the fun fishing, not to mention the good eating, that a trip for catfish would provide. We keep the cost of our trips reasonable ($75 per adult) which includes a fried fish lunch back at our headquarters. We’re having the time of our life, enjoying fishing with our clients and making lots and lots of new friends.” says Kuhn.

    Just yesterday, I spent a few hours on the water with Stan and I’m here to testify that the fertile waters and abundant cover that made Fork famous as a bass fishery, has also created a hotspot for channel catfish. Stan keeps several spots baited with grain to attract catfish. And, as he says, “if they are not biting at one spot, chances are good they will be at the next.” As Stan eased his boat up to a couple of treetops in water about 25 feet deep, a big carp rolled on the water’s surface. “That’s a good sign, he chuckled. That big old carp has probably been feeding on some of my grain but you can bet there’s plenty of catfish down there waiting for their daily smorgasboard of hen scratch and range cubes.”

    We tied the front of the boat to a tree and the stern to another. Then the area was baited well and hooks baited with Danny King’s Catfish Punch Bait lowered to near bottom. “I fish exclusively with Danny Kings Punch Bait. I have found it to consistently produce catfish. It’s easy to fish with and it works. In my business, the name of the game is catching fish and with this bait, all I have to do is open the lid, bait the hook and fish. No throwing a castnet for hours looking for shad!”

    We were using light spinning tackle and #8 treble hooks, which is a bit different from the norm by the standards of most catfishermen. After spending a couple hours enjoying a very good catfish bite, I became a believer in the light tackle for catching “eater” size catfish, most of which averaged a couple pounds. In about two hours fishing, we caught a total of 17 catfish. The total weight was 38 pounds. Most of the fish weighed around 2 pounds but Stan says his clients regularly land fish twice that heavy and bigger. Granted, this light tackle catfishing is not for targeting trophy size cats, but it’s perfect for catching large numbers of smaller fish. Light tackle greatly aids in detecting strikes on days when the bite is subtle, as it was on our recent outing.

    When catfish bite softly, there’s two methods that help detect strikes; watching one's line closely and fishing with a cork. In the deeper water we were fishing, using a cork was not an option, but watching the tip of those light action spinning rod for the tell-tale bounce that indicated a strike was! Catfishing with light tackle does require some getting used to, especially for someone like myself that’s more accustomed to using broom stick rods and heavier bait casting reels.

    Stan offers half and full day trips and includes an excellent lunch of fresh fried catfish, prepared by his wife Carol, as part of the package. Carol is busy getting lunch ready while Stan fillets and bags his client's catch.

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    Guide Stan Kuhn hauls in the makings of a great fried fish lunch.
    Photo by Luke Clayton​

    After spending a few hours fishing and CATCHING catfish at Fork, my idea of this great watershed on the Sabine River will forever be changed. I will still occasionally chunk a plastic worm or spinner bait here for bass but you can bet your last container of Danny King’s Catfish Punch Bait that I will be back to enjoy the whisker fish action!

    Guide Stan Kuhn can be reached at 903-383-2921 or online at www.thecatfishguide.com.

    Listen to Luke and his guests talk hunting and fishing at www.catfishradio.com.