Logjam Channel Cats!

Discussion in 'OHIO RIVERS TALK' started by catfishrollo, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    As we all know channel cats can be caught in a variety of areas throughout the year. Below riffles, in rock piles, even off of steep dropoffs. But, I don't think there is a better area to catch them consistently than in logjams. Logjams are the home to most of these fish throughout the warm water months. Not, all logjams make a good home though. Channel cats being the scavengers they are, like current. Current brings alot of meals close their homes, and allows them to use their sense of taste better with the passing scents of food. This is why logjams associated on the river channel side are often the prime spots to be. There are times that logjams layed up in calm water can produce, such as in extreme highwater conditions, where I do look to target the inside areas on the river in slack water areas, rather than the raging channel sides and outside bends where alot of these structures lay. So how do we know which logjam to fish? Well, in a way it is pretty simple for channel cats. Of course big narly wooden structures layed up in a fair amount of water is probably an easy given. What I like to see is a shallow riffle above, then as the river channel swings towards the bank, alot of these wooden areas have piled themselves up in a decent amount of water ranging 5-10 feet usually. The faster current from the shallow riffle above, gives enough flow for these cats to want to reside. I have fished many different logjams, but it seems to me that the ones associated with the riffles have been better. Also the logjams that are blown up into a sand and gravel bottom, rather than a mud botttom have been better as well!. How I like to target these logjams is simple. I drive my boat right up into the middle of this mess! Now, you have to be careful. Fast moving water and logs are a bad combination, and you can get yourself into a real issue fast! I have a jet-outboard so I don't have to worry about hitting submerged timber. However, I have used this method for years using a prop motor! Anyways, I always try to start at the head of the structure, then work my way back with the boat, fishing quickly in each area. Let me tell you if you are a tournament fisherman there is no quicker way to get your limit then this. During the daytime most of the more mature channels will stay held up in this mess, coming out at dark to feed around this structure, and often moving into the riffle area to feed. I have found that fishing around the wood often gets you fish as in numbers, but by moving into the core of the logjam and dropping baits vertical, you can call the brutes out to eat as easy meal! My setup is simple. No swivels, or leader! You want your sinker as close to your hook as possible! I rig a 5-8/0 Gamu. Octupus hook with either a flat river sinker or egg sinker ranging 2-4 oz. and bead! I allow the sinker to slide on the mainline down to the hook, with the bead to protect the knot! It is very important you keep the setup close together. After dropping cutbaits down into these crevices, I use a simple lift and drop method to reel my rig in. I slowly lift the bait off bottom, and if I feel the rod loading up, feeling like a potential snag, I simply drop the line, and lift again! 9 times out of 10 it is the sinker wanting to wedge, and it isn't the hook actually snagging. If you don't jerk, you won't bury the hook, and will most likely walk the bait out. Now, my rods of choice are simple. I like to have a shorter stout xh rod to fish close to the boat. And I carry another rod ranging 7-10ft. to reach out and drop baits vertical away from the boat. A long surf rod works great! Likesaid, I will fish each of these tight snaggy spots fairly quickly before starting the motor first, then pulling anchor!!:wink: Move down into the next potential area, sometimes not moving but yards. This is a real fun, and effective method to fish for warmwater channels, and to catch some real good fish by doing so! A little bit of courage to drive your boat into these areas and a few good fish, and you will gain the confidence to go about this method. Remember, safety first! Your river may not have the shallow fast current as mine, or it may be worse, but a capsized boat isn't worth it! Have fun and goodluck BOC brothers and sisters...rollo
     
  2. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    All the logjams in the Schuylkill River are dominated by the flatheads! The poor little channels simply just get bullied out. In my 5 years of fishing various logjams on the river, I have caught a total of 1 channel cat and about 20 walleyes all on live fish.
     

  3. neocats

    neocats New Member

    Messages:
    2,130
    State:
    Steubenvil
    Here's a question.


    You find a large log jam piled up at the base of a bridge footing. It extends out past the footing aprox. 6' on both sides. The current is moderate. Would you be more likely to find fish in fornt of it, behind it, or around the ends?
     
  4. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    i have a similar area that I fish. I usually anchor upstream and fish my baits back, fishing the face of the structure. I have caught fish off the upstream side, and caught them below on the downstream side where the current is shielded. I like fishing the bottom side along the wall with the structure above it as well...rollo
     
  5. firechief4201

    firechief4201 New Member

    Messages:
    1,055
    State:
    Catlettsburg, Kentucky
    In my area there are a lot of barges on the riverbanks that logs jam.
     
  6. katkiller77

    katkiller77 New Member

    Messages:
    1,549
    State:
    dayton ohio
    log jams on the great miami can produce both channels and flathead catfish. also can find carp and largemoth bass as well. mostly flathead cast 8 foot away from them and watch the fun bluegill is the best bait near them rick
     
  7. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,
    My answer to that is that the active fish will be out front and will be the most aggressive. The mildly active will be in the jam facing the outer edge and may snap up an easy offering floating by. The inactive fish will be below out of the current allthough putting a bait in front of them making them crosseyed may just trigger an instinctual hit.
     
  8. bigcat_chaser

    bigcat_chaser New Member

    Messages:
    354
    State:
    Cincy, Ohio
    Interesting concept usually look for dropoffs and structure and avoid the log messes just do to the trouble snatching a big one outta there, maybe i'll give one a shot this year and see what happens
     
  9. uttatoo

    uttatoo New Member

    Messages:
    1,797
    State:
    greatbend kansas
    me i like the jams they are great if the flaties are not there then the channels are for me its great place to set a baite
     
  10. fishhook

    fishhook New Member

    Messages:
    658
    State:
    Willow Woo
    I NORMALLY CATCH MORE FLATHEADS AROUND LOG JAMS BUT THEN I ONLY USE LIVE BAIT WHEN I'M FISHING FOR FLATS WHICH MY BE WHY I ONLY CATCH FLATS AND NOT CHANNELS AROUND THOSE JAMS.
     
  11. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    well, alot of it has to do with the river system. thats why i tried to give specifics on better logjams than others. the upper muskingum is very shallow, and is a great river to learn the riffle, hole, and run, setup. it has a fair amount of mud bottom, but alot of it is sand and gravel. it would be more difficult to take a larger river such as the ohio etc. and find the characteristics that im listing here for an abundant channel cat supply. this probably pertains to the smaller to med. sized rivers more than larger bodied waters. make any sense? lol....rollo
     
  12. fishhook

    fishhook New Member

    Messages:
    658
    State:
    Willow Woo
    There isn't many log jams in the Ohio river, high water keeps them washed out except around those old barges along the shore. I was mostly talking about the Scioto river, Tigart creek and Kennikinick creek that dumps into the Ohio.
     
  13. bigfish08

    bigfish08 New Member

    Messages:
    375
    State:
    ohio
    my favorite way to fish channels is from my canoe, drop anchor, cast as close to the jam as possible, don't even set the rod down, use a j hook and cross their eyes as soon as they take it and it usually isn't long, just hop log jam to jog jam if they don't hit in 15 min move, you can catch some of the highest numbers of channels you have ever caught, good thread, my favorite type of fishing up next to flathead fishing..
     
  14. catfish361

    catfish361 New Member

    Messages:
    49
    State:
    Blacklick, Ohio
    Jason
    you made a very good point. I believe the key words here was current side. All though flatheads love logjams they normally are not in the current side of the river.Yes I catch plenty of flatheads in the current side of the river but most of the flatheads come from the slack side while the big channels come from the current side.