Newbie questions and introduction... A novel by CK...

Discussion in 'Channel Catfish' started by CeeKay, Aug 13, 2007.

  1. CeeKay

    CeeKay New Member

    North Dakota
    I've been fishing all my life, mostly just for sport... My earliest memories are shore fishing the Missouri with my late father, using not much more than a worm or minnow on a hook... We usually fished for walleye, and usually caught two or three 2-pounders, 3-pounders, and my personal best walleye before the age of 16 was a 5-pounder. I also got the chance to go fishing with my uncle and great uncle outside Jamestown, ND, and managed to catch a 23" Northern with a green jig w/white tail...


    Around last year, I got more acquainted with my ex-girlfriend's brother. I had known him for a few years prior, but not really known him personally, basically just of his existence...

    We were LANing (as geeks do, we hooked up computers and played video games all night), and started discussing fishing... I hadn't been fishing in years, mainly because my father had died when I was around 12, and he was my only fishing buddy at the time...

    So, we took some worms, a pack of hot dogs, and misc. other supplies out, and went fishing. We had a blast, but didn't catch much. We caught maybe two 2-pound channel cats, a skipjack or two, and assorted other garbage fish...

    I believe it was around that time when we got addicted to the Cats... They were ugly fish, slimy and stinky, and usually always a good fight! So, we decided we wanted to try Cat-exclusive fishing.

    We tried everything... Cheese, hot dogs, beef jerkey, worms, minnows, etc... The hot dogs were the best bet, but we were losing most (if not all) of our bait every time we casted, and we weren't really catching much...

    So, we took a trip to Dakota Tackle, and bought a jar of "Sonny's Super Sticky Catfish bait..." Naive kids we were, we asked the shop keeper what the best way to use it was...

    "Well, ya take these lures here," as he showed us these two orange grub things with ribs and treble hooks on around 30-60lb test line, "and ya take a stick, dip it into that bait, get it nice and covered, and throw it in! Simple as that!"

    "Why a stick," we asked...

    "You'll see..."

    So, we get out, pop the lid, and took a whiff... It was rancid. HORRID smelling stuff... We could barely get the stick in the jar to get the bait on the grub! By now, we've gotten used to the stink... It's a good stink... A stink of reassurance... Every time you smell it, you know you're gonna get at least a bite... Even if it were in a rain puddle, you'd probably get a nibble from a cat! :smile2:

    But, when we cast it out, it didn't take more than 10 minutes, and we got ourselves nice 5-pound cats!

    We kept using it over the span of last summer, and were catching upwards from 5-pounders constantly... It wouldn't take more than 20 minutes to land at least one at almost any spot we went to... I will admit, though, that we have been skunked in a few spots, but definitely none too many...

    We eventually lost the orange rubber grubs to snags, so we started making our own stinkbait rigs from 30lb test, treble hooks, swivels, and a small chunk of sponge... It works just as well (except when it comes to re-baiting the damned things... Gotta completely dry them off before rebaiting)...

    So, the hunt continues...

    We're after that 10-pound monster cat... We know it's in this river somewhere, and we know we will catch it...

    Anyway, what should we be using to catch big cats? We found a nice spot way out of town where we can catch 6-7 pounders pretty constantly (with the occasional 1-pound aquarium catch)...

    In North Dakota, however, there is a limitation on live baits... Minnows, worms, stickleback, smelt, or leeches, I believe to be the only allowable live baits to be used in ND...

    Would increasing the size of our cat rigs be enough to land larger cats? Or would it just be easier for smaller cats to pick the stink bait off the lures, and leave us with clean yellow sponge material?

    What about locations? What should we look for in our fishing spots? Right now, we have a good spot, I believe... There's a small sand bar right in front of our spot, and there might be a shelf in the water... The water seems barely deep enough, and the channel can't be more than 30 yards wide, as I can cast clear to the other bank with ease (and frustration as the lure gets caught on the weeds). There's not much for current, but there is a steady current. It looks like dead water, but it does have a current... I believe there might be a shelf under the water, as my lure can hit in one spot and not take any sinking line (as with casts off a boat with bottom lures, you have to let them sink for a while, same with shore fishing in deep water), but in other spots, it will take a foot or so of line...

    So, where should we go for monster cats? What should we be looking for in spots and lures? What kind of rigs do you all reccomend?

    - CK.

    P.s. Sorry for the novel... I seem to be a bit too thorough when I'm explaining things...

    Also, my real name is not "Chris..." I just don't use my real name on the internet. Just a personal quirk, I guess...

    Also also, we practice Catch and Release. Neither of us have any intention to eat anything that came from the Missouri... :p
  2. jeremiad

    jeremiad Well-Known Member

    Well, "Chris,"

    Welcome to the BOC. I'm sure that your questions will be answered as you search around the site. I can't really answer your question about bigger cats because I target the catfish you are catching. There are plenty of folks in the BOC hunting the monster cats, but not me; I'm perfectly satisfied with those in the range that you are catching in that they taste pretty good! :big_smile:

    If I were to guess, your problems of catching bigger catfish is most likely due to not being where they are. Any body of water will only support fish up to a certain size at any particular place; finding where the big ones are is the intrigue of catfishing. You will also need to switch from stink baits to cut bait fish or live bait fish for the whopper blues and flatheads.

    In any case, good luck in the learning experience!

  3. teaysvalleyguy

    teaysvalleyguy New Member

    GC, OHIO
    Welcome to the BOC, always great to have another new member.
  4. bluejay

    bluejay Well-Known Member

    Napoleon, Mo.
    Welcome to the BOC "Chris".
  5. CeeKay

    CeeKay New Member

    North Dakota
    You guys don't have to call me "chris..."

    Use CK or CeeKay or something. More people (even in real life) know me by CK anyway. :p

    - CK
  6. Arkansascatman777

    Arkansascatman777 New Member

    Welcome to the BOC/SOC :cool2:.
  7. CJ21

    CJ21 New Member

    Montgomery, Alabama
    Chris welcome to the BOC!
  8. Mickey

    Mickey New Member Supporting Member

    Chris Welcome to the BOC.:0a25::0a18::0a25:
  9. porboy

    porboy New Member

    TX Panhand
    Hey Chris, Glad you joined the BOC and hope you will enjoy it as much as I have.
  10. KnotGillty

    KnotGillty New Member

    Northern Califo
    If you want bigger fish, get rid of the stink, and begin consistently using cutbait.

    Smaller cats love the stink, bigger cats love the meat.

    Bigger baits for bigger fish.
  11. Ol Man

    Ol Man New Member

    Welcome to the BOC, "Chris"... My real name ain't "Ol Man":smile2:
    A conclusion is simply the place where you got tired of thinking.
  12. yeppa

    yeppa New Member

    Topeka, Kansas
    Welcome CK. I would NEVER complain about 5 pounders. Folks might think I was greedy. Actually I'm jealous.
  13. DemolitionMan

    DemolitionMan New Member

    Tupelo, Mississippi

    Welcome to BOC....Like they say, go to the cutbait...Use this site and put it in favorites....

    You should find a "Contact" option on the page somewhere....Fill in the info and ask the question(without the novel) and tell them what you're fishing for and ask them what "live" baits is legal and what method is legal to catch the bait with.....
    Here's another link to the same site that may be the answer to your question on cutbait....

    The above link is about nuisnance species of fish...There you will find the "carp", which is a good oily fish that good for cutbait....No only that, their fun to catch once you get the hang of it.....there's also a catfish1 link in my signature that will take you to the "Members Library".....Have Fun....Dwight
  14. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat Well-Known Member

    Yeah, what they said.:big_smile:With big catfish, and little ones, you might as well be fishing for 2 totally different species of fish. I don't know what the cut off size is exactly, but you won't normally catch anything over 8-10# if that on stink bait, but smaller fish will eat cutbait, but are normally in the 5# plus size. For the bigguns, it is esential to be in the correct location, and they can be difficult to find. It takes experience, and patience. The folks here at the BOC do have infinant knowlege of catfishing, and will head you in the right direction though. Tight lines, and good luck to ya. Welcome to the BOC!
  15. SubnetZero

    SubnetZero New Member

    Sherman IL
    Boy, ND has quite the section on their Bait Fish regulations :crazy:

    You didn't mention what river your fishing or if your fishing daytime or nite time..
    First thing you need to do, Find/figure out WHAT you are allowed to use (pop an email off to your Game and Fish Dept. to clarify) .

    Sonny's will put fish on the Bank. Used it for years.. Biggest me and buddies ever landed through years of use was *I think* 14lbs.... +90% off all the cats we caught on it were 6lbs and under. Its great for pan size or action fishing, not so great for catching BIG BOYS, imho.

    If you find ND has really restricted your fishing bait selection, try big gobs of NiteCrawlers (you probably will catch a variety of fish on it ; Carp, Bass, Cats, etc) .. Many a big Flathead and Channels have been caught on a plain old worm :big_smile:.

    Fish the shallows at nite, preferably next to logjams/structure. If you have a spot with current seams, fish that. Also, if you have log jams/blow downs, fish the up river side of those... Creek Mouths are very productive as well.
  16. catfishjohn

    catfishjohn New Member

    Greenup Co. KY
    Welcome to the BOC CK!!!
  17. Mr_WhiskerHunter

    Mr_WhiskerHunter New Member

    Welcome to the BOC, listen to what these folks got to say and they will have you catching the biguns in no time.
  18. CatFishingFinatic

    CatFishingFinatic New Member

    Flat heads like deep water under logs or cuts in the bank where the water looks like it is bubbling. They don't tend to travel very far, rumor has it they are lazy fish. We have seen our share of large flat heads, up size of 20lbs, hiding under old cars pushed off in the river, Big channels and blues will travel the river at night, looking for any thing they can find to grab hold of. I myself have never had much luck on any kind of stink bait other than a bull head here and there. Like several other posts said, you need to see what is legal in your state. Here, one of my favorite baits is spotted frogs or blue gills. But again that depends on the water I am fishing in, different areas have different baits that work best. Sometimes chicken livers work great and some places the only thing you catch with a treble hook is a snag. Or turtle on liver. One area I used to fish, the cats went nuts over river chubs. Horse shoe bends in the river are also good places to find the larger cats. Look for a sandbar where the water goes from ankle deep to a straight off drop off at the end of it. Good place for the cats to come up looking for minnows. Log jams, or sometimes a single log in the river will house a big old flat head. if there is a deep hole of water under it. I think some of these rules for finding cats are general no matter what state you are fishing in. I personally have only fished 2 states for cats, Iowa and Illinois and basically same rule of thumb for those states. Good luck. Have fun, Welcome to the site. And keep us up to date. :wink:
  19. baitshop 2

    baitshop 2 New Member

    welcome to the boc and the noval was great i like to read diffrent aspects and you will learn a lot here i have its a great bunch of guys and gals around here are great to help you.....
  20. Cat Man Joe

    Cat Man Joe New Member

    Welcome to the BOC CK, its good to have you!!