Lake of the Ozarks and Truman Lake winter blue catfish

Discussion in 'MISSOURI LAKES / RESERVOIRS TALK' started by Mr.T, Dec 23, 2006.

  1. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    Had the opportunity to fish 3 times in the last week with Steve Brown, 2 days on the Lake of the Ozarks and today on Truman Lake.

    I had a spectacular time, increased my catfishing "knowledge bank" by several orders of magnitude, found out that the hardest part of winter catfishing is finding bait and decided for certain that my next boat will have a walk-through windshield and full stand-up top with side and rear curtains -- we fished quite comfortably for many hours in temperatures from 35 to 55 degrees. You can't do that out of a center-console or single side-console boat...

    Most of all, though I found out that several "truths" I've heard bandied about here on the BOC and elsewhere about catfishing are absolutely false. For example...

    Myth: The bite is much lighter in the winter.
    Fact: The big fish bite in the winter nearly as hard as they do in the summer. They don't fight as hard, but if you lived in 45 degree water, you'd be a little more sluggish as well.

    Myth: You have to use smaller bait and smaller hooks in the winter.
    Fact: The same big chunks of bait on 8/0 circle hooks catches the same variety of fish in the winter as it does any other time of year. The biggest I caught was 24 lbs; the smallest was less than a pound and we had dozens in the 5 to 10 lb range.

    Myth: Blue cats don't bite during the daytime.
    Fact: They bite all day long if you put the right bait in the right place. Drop your bait in the wrong place and you won't catch a thing. And if you're not getting bites within 15 or 20 minutes, you're in the wrong place.

    Myth: Circle hooks don't work when fishing still water.
    Fact: Sure they do; the hookup isn't quite as automatic as when you're drifting or fishing in current, but we caught more than enough fish to convince me that circles are the way to go. It's about technique as much as anything -- let the fish load up the rod, then crank the reel several times while it's still in the rod holder and you catch the fish almost every time.

    I suppose it goes without saying, but you can bet I'll be dragging my boat back down to Warsaw on the next warm day we have!

    Here are a few photos... #1 is me with a 24 lb blue; the second is my brother and I with a pair of 15 pounders and the third is Steve Brown holding a 68 lb monster blue he caught on Friday up on Truman. (I fished with him on Thursday and Saturday. Bet you know which day I wish I was fishing with him... :roll_eyes:)
     
  2. brad kilpatrick

    brad kilpatrick New Member

    Messages:
    2,666
    State:
    Kansas City
    WTG Marty looks like You had a good day. Much better then Doug and I did on the river today.
     

  3. catfishrus

    catfishrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,569
    State:
    north carolina
    congrates on the catch! as far as the facts and all ive seen it go both ways on given days. sounds like you are targeting aggressive fish with them being close to the bait and i think thats the key to alot of it. ive been drifting in the last week and most of the time the blues will hammer the rods but from what i have seen this week its hard to say whats tapping on my line until i set the hook. ive also seen them in colder water than we have now slam the rod when anchored. you may go back next week and see it totally different. just my opinion
     
  4. Bigmagic

    Bigmagic New Member

    Messages:
    382
    State:
    Edwards Missouri
    Marty I'm glad to hear those thoughts about the "myths" of catfishing. I have been trying to convince more anglers that the best time to fish is the daytime. The fish are much more predictable and as far as the bait issue thats why I have the ten foot radius net/1/2 mesh in my boat. I bought it just for winter fishing and when finding bait is tough. Steve and I are planning on going out next week and doing some catfishing and filming up on Truman. Steve is a great guy to learn from and is well prepared.
    Now on the boat issue....now I need to do a little work on my boat but I'd put it up against most boats as far as the warmth comfort and effectiveness categories. I bought it to tournament fish and haven't really done that much this past year. I may find the right partner and hit it hard this year though. Day in day out its hard to beat a pontoon if you don't have far to go to get to your favorite spots. Some rivers ya need a jet boat like Jim's River Pro(a very well made boat) or a boat like Jeff's involved with putting together.

    The guy that converted my SeaArk was a catman and he did most things right but there were a few mistakes made. I hope to correct those this year. #1 mistake weld the @#%! tread plate in don't screw it. I like Anthony's pontoon but I've seen it sitting alongside the road way too many times. Steve's boat is nice and handles rough water very well and I would say can handle more fisherman than mine. The cabin restricts space somewhat on my boat but I don't plan on having over three people with me that often. Most people that have fished out of my boat have liked it.

    I think your well on your way to making a great choice for a catboat. Having experience fishing the different types of water and methods will put ya on the winning track. I chose aluminum because I don't want a new boat every year and I hope this is the last boat I buy. I shopped for over three months before deciding on my boat and test drove several including Jeff Williams old 350 Mercrusier flatbottom Jetboat(a crazy fast ride). I think you wise to plan ahead for bad weather fishing I've never regretted buying a boat with a cabin even though it might cost a little in fuel and wind resistance I love it. Good luck with the eyes surgery and don't forget that Jeff is offering a $500.00 rebate on his boats.(ya might ask him about a top)

    See ya on the water!
     
  5. fishingbuddy4

    fishingbuddy4 New Member

    Messages:
    1,564
    State:
    Warner Rob ga
    The cabin is a must on my next boat ,i have been in rons when it was cold and going across the water was nice with no wind in the face,I was also in my boat during a thunderstorm looking across the way at ron and jay staying high and dry when i was soaked to the bone .A cabin is the way to go.
     
  6. jdstraka

    jdstraka Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,720
    State:
    Council Bluffs, Iowa
    Name:
    John
    SWEET Marty ! I Need about Three days off work in a row so I can go south ad get My winter catfish Fix,Can't hardly stand it,so I have been on Ebay after work Buying more catfishing geer and the Wife is ready to shoot Me,says I can't posabily use what I own now (Crazy Old Goat ! What's She Know anyway,LOL.) On another note Thats one Super fish Steve is holding there in the third picture.I'm curious what make of rods was Steve useing there in the boat? I don't think I own any like that they look Good.Got to get me a copple of them.Anyway if the better Half is going shoot Me,I might as well give Her another reason !:beat_brick: Thanks or Sharing. J.D.
     
  7. 1sporticus

    1sporticus Active Member

    Messages:
    1,006
    State:
    Iowa
    Hi ya Big Magic, and Steve. can you post some pics of the cabin on the boat, I like that idea, and also some specs would be nice. Later Andy
     
  8. Terry Day

    Terry Day New Member

    Messages:
    298
    State:
    Parkville, Missouri
    I would also like to see pics of the cabin on the boat. I have a 20 polar craft with a center consol and may have to get a bigger boat! Also, is Steve a guide or what? If so, how do I get in touch with him? I need some pointers -BAD! You can post responses here or send me a PM. Thanks
     
  9. cat tamer

    cat tamer New Member

    Messages:
    694
    State:
    MO
    Here are a couple of pics of my boat with a cabin, I can't imagine not having the cabin now that I have went through some storms and been dry when it was over.
     
  10. cat tamer

    cat tamer New Member

    Messages:
    694
    State:
    MO
    I am having a brain fart trying to attach some pics from another post,
    I will keep trying.
     
  11. cat tamer

    cat tamer New Member

    Messages:
    694
    State:
    MO
  12. Duckshot

    Duckshot New Member

    Messages:
    4
    State:
    MO
    You got a GPS reading on those holes?
     
  13. fishingbuddy4

    fishingbuddy4 New Member

    Messages:
    1,564
    State:
    Warner Rob ga
    kirk with a boat like that you should fish all winter.
     
  14. Burwell40

    Burwell40 New Member

    Messages:
    247
    State:
    Iowa
    If I had known then what I know now...
    Bought a brand new boat year before last and then went fishing in Steve Brown's boat later in the year. I shoulda waited and shopped for a walk-through windshield.

    BTW, Marty, that looked like a pretty nice 3 days of fishing!
     
  15. Bigmagic

    Bigmagic New Member

    Messages:
    382
    State:
    Edwards Missouri
    My cabin is just like Kirks only without the back(optional from SeaArk). I love it! You can see mine in my profile picture. Don't get in a hurry when buying a boat. Its not the time to give in to impulses. I'll put up a photo up just to stir things up. See ya on the water!
     

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  16. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Kirk, is that a TRIPLE axle trailer I see under your boat?
    I've thought about rigging a cabin on my boat for cold weather fishing, but it seems like it would be in the way a lot. I found that I just couldn't fish comfortably off a pontoon with a metal hard top because it was in the way every time I picked up a rod.
     
  17. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    Hey Ron -- There's something wrong with that catfish in the photo - he's got a real long nose. Maybe he's the Pinnochio of catfish??
     
  18. cat tamer

    cat tamer New Member

    Messages:
    694
    State:
    MO
    The boat dont need a triple axle trailer but when I went to order my boat I already had that trailer sitting around taking up space so I decided to set it up for my jon boat and put it to use.
     
  19. Terry Day

    Terry Day New Member

    Messages:
    298
    State:
    Parkville, Missouri
    Kirk,

    How much does that boat or yours weigh? I may not have truck enough for a rig like that. What size engine do you have on it? Is it a SeaArk? Just full of questions aren't I? You can post your answers here or send me a PM. Thanks
     
  20. cat tamer

    cat tamer New Member

    Messages:
    694
    State:
    MO
    Terry, The boat and engine wieghs aprox 2,000 lbs, The bare bones version of the Seaark c.u.b. 24/72 series wieghs 1120 lbs without the cabin,ice runners, 30 gal fuel tank,livewells,seating,trolling motor, engine. I have the suzuki 140 4 stroke and it wieghs 421 lbs. Kirk