Pecking Catfish

Discussion in 'Channel Catfish' started by d1d1d, Aug 1, 2006.

  1. d1d1d

    d1d1d New Member

    Hi all,

    Does anyone have a method of dealing with catfish that just
    peck at the bait. When I occasionally am able to hook one, they
    range in size from one-half to six pounds. Most are in the 1-3
    pound range.
    I have bites almost instantly....30-60 seconds...with both
    poles twitching...but seldom do they actually take the bait.
    I have used circle hooks(good only for strong hits), kahle, J,
    small, medium, large, double, treble, stinger, etc. Still, they
    simply peck the bait off the hook.
    I am river-fishing deadline with one ounce of weight above
    a bead and swivel with 18" of leader to the hook. The catfish
    are wanting the bait, but not the hook....much like finicky

    Any ideas? Thanks for helping.
  2. tspergin

    tspergin New Member

    newark ohio
    try using smaller baits and hooks and see if you start catching then you will see whats been pecking at the bait ,could be smaller fish in the school and the ones you catch are the ones big enough to take the bait

  3. Diego

    Diego New Member

    My thoughts exactly. If smaller J-hooks don't work, #20 treble hooks should :big_smile:
  4. pk_powell

    pk_powell New Member

    Isn't that irriatating,and I'm setting there and I'm sayin to myself if ya want it just take it,and what do they do they just peck it to death till it's all gone. So frustrating. Years and I do mean years ago I was a kid fishing with my uncle on a small river.Back in the day we never heard of live bait other than garden worms.Well my uncle and my grandpa were huge carp fisherman. They would catch these huge carp and that isn't any exaggeration cause if any of you remember the old round mental tubs that I guess the generation before us took baths in,well I was a child and they'd bring these carp home and they's from the head to tail squeezed in the tub. Well I wasn't allowed to go except one time a year and that was the 4th of July. I vividly remember I couldn't buy a bite so I very innocently put just a small was of BJ's cat fish dough on a treble hook and just dropped it down right beside this little bush next to the bank but still the water went up more than half way to the top of the bush.Here we go,peck peck peck,I says to myself "I'm sick of this foolishness one more peck and I'm gonna get ya." To my disbelief I had a huge fish come up out of that water and being a little girl I didn't quite know what to do,I had grown men running at me stop cranking the reel you've got a flat head but being little I was so caught up in the heat of the moment I kept crankin and it broke my line,but not before I seen it's tail and it was big,seemed like it slapped the water pretty hard and was gone. Talk about a letdown. From then on anytime I get the pecking I always wonder what is truly tasting my bait. God Bless ya all family-------------pk:smile2:
  5. Love Them Cats

    Love Them Cats New Member

    Vinita, Oklahoma
    Thats been my luck the last few trips, they would just peck and suck on it.

    Sometimes when they do that, I'll let it set for a couple seconds and go ahead and give it a jerk to see if I can snag it and I've been able to catch a few small ones that way?

  6. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Usaully when fish are just pecking the bait, it aint fish at all...Turtles will do this all the time and drive you crazy.
  7. CamFish3210

    CamFish3210 New Member

    gar do it to me sometimes, especially when i use cutbait....a lot of times ill get irritated and set the hook as hard as i can, then when i think i got em for sure, they drop the bait....stupid gar and their long snouts :angry:
  8. Arkansascatman777

    Arkansascatman777 New Member

    Dan, Try some DK's with a #1 - 1/0 or 2/0 trebble its probably channels just hold your pole and when you feel they have it in their mouth set the hook.
  9. keeyaawww...dat is so bad when dat happens...usually a small fry dat one, I usually tell dat one to go home and get his pa pa or paw
  10. loki1982

    loki1982 New Member

    One thing is, it could be something other than a catfish hitting your line/bait.

    Some possiblities are, fish swimming in the water and hitting your line. Or depending on your bait they might be bait fish biting. I was on more than one occassion getting tons of pecks, and couldnt hook the things. Finally I hook one and it ended up being a perch and I had foul hooked it when I jerked. It could be that the pecking you see is just bait fish, and you happen to catch a catfish in between becuase he actually bite the bait and didnt peck. Gar can sometimes be notoriously hard to hook, or sometimes turtles as well.

    Then another possibility is the bait is too large, the hook to large.
  11. HRCats

    HRCats New Member

    More than likely small fish or like Flathunter said "turtles".
  12. IL Hunter

    IL Hunter New Member

    Normal, IL
    A lot of time when something is pecking at my bait it is an annoying perch. Little catfish aren't too hook shy and if they can fit it in their mouth they will.
  13. tncatfishing

    tncatfishing New Member

    clk. tn
    First are you using live? If so how big. The reason I ask is when I fish with big live bait, it will twitch the pole alot, due to the size of the bait. Also smaller fish could be your problem from bluegill on up.
  14. photocat

    photocat New Member

    HOCO, Maryland
    What kind of bait are you using? That may effect it too... cause if its worms, then its not catfish nibbling... its usally bluegills... same with liver... I've even seen them going after cutbait...

    I would go with smaller baits and hooks just so that you can hook what ever it is biting... usually i go with a size 4-3/0 for chicken livers... depending on how i'm cutting it too... If there are alot of bullheads i'll go smaller so they don't steal my bait all the time... if its mostly channels and whites then i'll go for slightly larger...
  15. GrandpaGoneFishing

    GrandpaGoneFishing Well-Known Member

    Linn Valley, Ks
    If smaller J-hooks don't work, #20 treble hooks should. Good Luck
  16. fishfinder2

    fishfinder2 New Member

    i fish a small i liet it drift the river alot and if the current isnt to swift we do get a lot of pecks so i usually hold my pole and feel for the peck most of the time it turns out to be nice eatin size cats 1 to 5 lbs
  17. LaBlueHunter

    LaBlueHunter New Member

    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Fiddler peck fish bow the rod over with exception to a big ol flatty scaling a big perch at times he will push pull nudge til he's ready to eat it then he's off to china
  18. It's probably small drum or bluegill. Sometimes walleye can do that too, if there's a school of them where your fishing. Channel cats are also known for being light biters too sometimes. Just like everybody else has said, switch to a small hook and a small piece of bait. It also helps to downsize your rod and line. Try a medium 6 ft to 6 1/2 ft. rod with a very soft tip. Don't use too much weight either.

    JERMSQUIRM New Member

    theres a lake here that small (49 acres) and the fish here are always picky. and ive had peckers that turn out to be 5-6 lbs. what i do is freespool them. if your using a spinner open the bail or push the button on a spincast. hold the line between thumb and forefinger and give him a foot of slack. they usually after a few min of pecking at it pick it up and slowly walk the line tight and i lift on em. i use this method and have landed a lot of picky fish.
  20. Red Bear

    Red Bear Member

    white perch are famous for pecking my bait when im fishing...