Original post by James Ronald Phillips(Scificatman) on May 22, 2003
Fishing with the odds in your favor is something I would assume most cat-fishing men and women would enjoy doing a few times a year. Why not all the time you may ask, well thats why it is called fishing and not catching. But let me assure you that if you can match the conditions that I will describe you will have to admit that when everything is right you are fishing with the odds in your favor.
Most everyone who catfishes should know of a place within a short drive from home where there is a large creek or small river that empties into a lake that has a good population of catfish. If you can say yep I know a place like that you are on your way to a great fishing trip. Now all that is needed is to get the weather to cooperate with the plan, and the plan being to get a rain just right so as the river or creek is running bank full with a good current of colored to muddy water going into the lake. When I say current it might be described more as rolling, I am talking water that is moving on pushing the muddy water out into the lake and muddying up the cove the river empties into. This muddy water is usually enough to keep the ba## and crappie fishermen home and a lot of times you will be on the lake by yourself. One bad thing with this trip is getting it to stop and stay stopped raining, so a good rain suit or parka is a must to bring along on this trip. Rubber boots are a good idea also and always be careful cause you can bet your last jar of dip bait that river bank is slick as owl, well you know slick.
Now lets talk tackle I will tell you what I use and you can modify to fit the way you fish no set rules on this. I like open face spinning reels spooled with 10-50 spiderwire on a seven ft ugly stick med to med light rods. Now for your terminal tackle this is the way I rig up and there is a reason this is the only way I would recommend. I use a 2/0 to 4/0 circle hook on the end of line then a good swivel 18" above the hook, next I use a no roll sinker with a piece of rubber band tied between the swivel and sinker to protect the knot,you can use a bead but I am convinced it is as hard on the knot as the sinker. The reason for using this rig is leaves and trash that is coming down the river will hang on the sinker and not the hook and bait when rigged like this.
Now we are almost ready to start fishing but I like to chum the spot with something that will draw cats to the area you have chose to fish. I buy chicken livers by the ten lb bag at a poultry wholesale place very cheap compared to a regular store. Take about 3 lb of the liver and liquefy them in a blender and put them in a gal jug with a few rocks to weight it down finish filling with water for volume,it will still be pure enough to draw the cats into the area. Freeze these and cut slits in the jug and toss them in with a strong cord so you can retrieve them when you leave.
Now for baits this is the easy part these cat have come to the mouth of this river or creek for one reason and one reason only and that is to gorge on the food stuff the flooding water has washed down for them. Most any bait is ok to use baits I like are in this order night crawlers, shrimp, chicken liver, leaches, shad guts, cut creek chubs or bluegill. Baits don't have to be large and these fish are not pick-ie about what you offer. Now just fan out 3 to 5 rods and place in a good rod holder that you know will hold and not loose the rod. I like to set the drag where a cat of 6 to 8 lb can just barely pull off line. Now with circle hooks just wait till the rod is loaded good remove from holder and reel in the fish. If you should choose to use regular bait holder or kale hooks remove rod on strike and set hook hard. If you are lucky enough to have a boat just anchor in mid stream and spread out rods as you normally would and place in rod holder.
In closing let me say this, these conditions happen maybe 3 to 10 times a year in west Kentucky where I live and always bring great fishing. Even in the wintertime these fish will move in and feed when conditions are as described above. Early spring is one of the best times for this type fishing as the fish are unusually hungry after winter is over and spring has started to arrive. So the next time you have a small flood check out the channel cats at the mouth of a small river or creek, you might just find out you are fishing with the odds in your favor.