Planning Blue Cat Trip - Help!

Discussion in 'Blue Catfishing' started by hanson, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. hanson

    hanson New Member

    Messages:
    94
    State:
    Plymouth, MN
    Hello fellow cattin' addicts.

    A couple of us boys from Minnesota are thinking about a Blue Cat or Flathead Cat trip down south. I'm thinking it will be Blues since we don't have any up here. I figured I'd try and tap some of the knowledge on this site to plan for the trip.

    -We're looking to do a trip within about 600 miles of Minneapolis, MN. Any suggestions as to a location for real big blues. We've had a few ideas such as the James, Cumberland, Santee Cooper but a few of those may be too far to drive.

    -Would tentatively like to do a trip mid to late March. So our location would depend on a favorable bite at this time of year.

    -So far, I do not think we are looking for a guide but rather do this freelance.

    I would appreciate any information and a big Thank You in advance for the help!
     
  2. Catfishhunter

    Catfishhunter New Member

    Messages:
    332
    State:
    Lanesville, In.
    Hanson, Are ya'll going to be fishing out of boats? If I were you, I would fish the Mississippi river starting around Missouri. My fishing partner fishes around St. Louis and does real good. I think that would be the closest for you...
     

  3. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
    Hello Hanson. Sounds like a fun trip you have planned. If its big blues you are after, you cant beat good ole Saint Louis Missouri. The area just below the dam in Alton, Illinois and south to the confluence of the Missouri River, and then again for the next 40 miles or so is well known for the numbers of Monster Blue Cats that are caught every year. Just this past May, the new all tackle world record Blue was caught by Tim Pruitt of Alton, Illinois. It was a beautifull wish that tipped the scales at 124 pounds. If you research all of the Missouri, and Blue Cat threads, you will find the latest techniques, tackle and latest trends. As well, Getting to SAint Louis from Minnie is a pretty easy drive. There are lots of ramps, lots of economical hotels, and lots of good places to eat. If you do your homework on the fishing here, I have no doubt you wont leave dissappointed. We truly have a phenomenal fishery. Bring a good camera, and get some nice photos of those Big Cats you will catch, then throw em back so you can catch em again next year. Best Of Luck on your fishing trip.
     
  4. tank3544

    tank3544 New Member

    Messages:
    201
    State:
    Fredericksburg, VA
    i would encourage you to take a trip to the james however being so far i would think the mississippi would be a good bet for you

    i can't give you much advice on where but there are some real giants swimming around in there!
     
  5. photocat

    photocat New Member

    Messages:
    803
    State:
    HOCO, Maryland
    I'd have to say for Blues or flats, mississippi's your best bet... If you want Channels, RED RIVER is one of the best fisheries for them. though it'll probably be cold if you go in March.
     
  6. hanson

    hanson New Member

    Messages:
    94
    State:
    Plymouth, MN
    Thanks for the help so far guys.

    I'm sure I'll find much more info when I can get a little more specific. Sounds like the mighty Mississippi is a very viable option. St. Louis is about 600 miles from the Twin Cities here and that is within our range.

    The plan is to bring a boat down with us. Not a very big boat but it will hopefully do the trick. The Mississippi up here is nowhere near as large as it is down in St. Louis but we have barge traffic and are familiar with locks.

    Red River is not an option. Besides, its frozen solid in March. :) Actually, I grew up living 20 miles from the Red on the US side. That river is truly incredible for large channel cats and numbers of large channel cats. The Canadian side at Lockport (Winnipeg/Selkirk Canada) is definitely a channel cat Mecca and destination for cat anglers all over. Later summer and fall (Sept.) are good times to hit the Red.

    Here's a couple big channels from the Red last fall.
     

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  7. sal_jr

    sal_jr New Member

    Messages:
    1,390
    State:
    Ithaca, MI
    Hey there, Hanson....

    Funny thing is, Im looking for somethin similar, except Im leaving from michigan in march sometime, and want a 4 or 5 day weekend trip. I just want to hook a big fat blue in my life, and with the wife getting outta school, I think she and I may actually do it this march.

    Im gonna watcvh this thread. If all goes well, maybe Ill follow your lead and find a spot on the Mighty Miss.

    Keep us posted!

    -sal
     
  8. Shawn

    Shawn New Member

    Messages:
    408
    State:
    Illinois
    I did a write-up last summer about the world record blue cat. I can't quote my entire piece here, but here's a few tidbits about it to wet your appetites if you plan fishing the St Louis area ....

    The Illinois DNR has reported netting blue catfish up to 90 pounds from the same stretch of the Mississippi (near the confluence of the Missouri and Missippi rivers) where Tim Pruitt’s fish was taken. (In a 2003 interview, Rob Maher talked about the Mississippi fishery telling me that the stretch from Lock and Dam 26 to the mouth of the Missouri was an outstanding fishery. He related how in a single net they caught 13 fish totaling over 420 lbs., including the 90lb one mentioned above) The fish were caught in 35 feet of water in very heavy current off a wing dyke.

    Maher commented after Pruitt's record catch that “it’s really an undiscovered fishery from St Louis on down because of the lack of public access. But there are a lot of good fish in that area.” Maher feels that Pruitt’s catch signifies the Mississippi as a true world-class fishery.

    Pruitt's fish was taken from a current break in about 19 feet of water near the confluence. He fishes structure at times, and deeper water also. Of course, Pruitt was fishing the Alton area for 13 years and released a 95 pound fish a couple years before the record cat. So he's done his homework, it obviously was not an accident.



    Shawn
     
  9. TeamCatHazzard

    TeamCatHazzard New Member

    Messages:
    517
    State:
    Illinois
    Definately recommend the Mississippi River near alton, below the alton dam is one of the easier areas to fish, it is my home waters and there are plenty of areas to find bait and large fish, there are many large holes below the dam. Good luck and let me know if you need any help should this be the place you decide to venture to, depending on when you come I may be on the water and can give you some tips or something.