River Bottom

Discussion in 'Channel Catfish' started by Ed1, Dec 6, 2006.

  1. Ed1

    Ed1 New Member

    Messages:
    102
    State:
    Virginia
    When fishing in rivers what type of river bottom do you catch the most catfish from. Example sandy, small gravels , larger rock bottom , ect. ? I seem to to have better luck fishing sandy to small gravel areas .
     
  2. GMC FishHauler

    GMC FishHauler New Member

    Messages:
    1,335
    State:
    Waco, Texas, Un
    i like sand bars that are about 8-10ft of water on top, that drop off to 15ft
     

  3. catman529

    catman529 New Member

    Messages:
    817
    State:
    Tennessee
    I dont really know, it is in a creek and there is a sand bar on one side and on the other side (a bend in the river) it is big rocks. So I would guess rocky, maybe w/ a little sand/gravel.
     
  4. SkiMax

    SkiMax New Member

    Messages:
    2,012
    State:
    Rising Sun, IN
    it depends, i like sand bottoms but during a spawn riprap or larger rocks can be very productive too.
     
  5. gadzooks

    gadzooks New Member

    Messages:
    1,532
    State:
    Kingwood, Tx (Houston)
    It depends on the river. Catfish live in all types of bottom environments.
     
  6. Catcaller

    Catcaller New Member

    Messages:
    1,511
    State:
    SoutheastKansas
    I fish the Neosho river in Se Kansas. The bottom varies from mud, to gravel, to rip rap, to boulders, to log jams...all depending on where you happen to be standing at the moment....and subject to change into an at times short walk.

    I have had the best production of flathead, channel, and blues in the river during the spring spawn in the gaps and holes created by rip rap and boulders in the two mile section below a local low water dam...using small to medium live black perch mostly...but also cutbait as well.

    Most of this section is wade-able. It can really be something in late May and June when the spawn is rockin' in full swing...and you're wading in 3-4' deep riffles that are slick rock bottoms...pocked plumb full of scattered...sometimes suprisingly deep holes, and large and small rip rap mixed with green moss covered boulders the size of a buick...and you hook a 30 lb angry blue cat while you're constantly trying to get a better foothold in the swift spring current.

    The real trick turns out to be how to wrestle the cat onto the stringer, or back into the water...while holding a rod in one hand...attempting to unhook the fish with the other...keep yourself off your back in waist deep still kinda cold water...all the while slipping and sliding on the moss covered rocks under foot.

    Many times the fish wins that battle if you're not strung up with high tensile braid line,and heavy duty terminal tackle.

    We also have luck...tho mostly for flathead...fishing both the creek mouths...and the adjacent main river channel...or in a log jam, brush pile, or root ball situated in the outside bend of a curve of the river with a lively black perch.

    We also anchor above deeper holes with a 150' anchor cord...and keep slipping downstream as the bites subside in the hole you're fishing...and you decide to move to the next one.

    Depthfinders are a cruical element in finding these deeper holes. My fishing buddies and I every spring make a dozen or better runs up and down the a two mile section where we purse the spawning blues, channel, flathead...spoonbill, whitebass, and hybrids as well. The structure and holes change every year because of heavy currents during the early spring...therefore needing re-mapped every year following the usual high water season.

    However...in the shallower water...trial and error works over time for finding holes. Once you step into a hole that goes from 3-4' deep...to 8' deep in one step a time or two...you tend to start remembering where they are...and paying close attention during times of low water levels as to where the holes, rock piles, and other current breaks are located for future reference/use during normal levels, or times of high water.
     
  7. CJ21

    CJ21 New Member

    Messages:
    4,303
    State:
    Montgomery, Alabama
    I dont know whats on the bottom of my local river, I think catfish lives on any type of bottom.
     
  8. Catcaller

    Catcaller New Member

    Messages:
    1,511
    State:
    SoutheastKansas
    Of course they do...but understanding and taking advantage of the varying topographical differences can vastly improve your chances of a larger and better quality harvest.

    In the Neosho river here in Kansas, you can be standing hip deep in one spot...doing exactly the same thing and using the same bait as the guy standing not 10 feet away from you...and he's catching fish...and your not.

    The reason being is that theres a small narrow channel...or chute if you will...and the blues will lie in wait inside and around this chute...which us locals refer to as "the Meat Hole".

    If you're drifting a weightless chunk of shad side or chicken liver down this chute...and follow it downstream for over 3/4 of a mile all the way to where the river channel begins to deepen...you'll catch more and heavier fish...on a suprisingly consisent basis.

    Some of these places compared to others more typical in their nature...is the difference between having a stringer of 5 pounders...rather than having a stringer of 10...20...and 30 pounders.

    Stalking the bigger cats is no different than chasing a big whitetail buck. They're creatures of habit. You have to establish where the big ones are congregating...their routes to and from the shallow riffles where they roam about and feed the most night time...and the holes and other current breaks where they spend the daylight hours lying in wait for a chunk of chicken liver to bounce off the top of their heads....as they "rest".

    There's places on the Neosho where you can catch a dozen nice blues or flathead...move on to another spot or two for a couple hours...and then come back to the original spot and catch another 1/2 dozen cats. Some places reload fish in a more timely fashion than other places do.

    Those are the honey holes that need to be duly noted on a gps or a map...and put to good use.