River Catfish Question

Discussion in 'SOUTH CAROLINA RIVERS TALK' started by johnboy, Jun 21, 2007.

  1. johnboy

    johnboy New Member

    Messages:
    61
    State:
    Columbia SC
    So I have been fishing the congaree and wateree rivers for the last few years....I do fine and usually catch as many 2-10#s as I want....which is awesome fun....but I am after trophies....I just never get a really big bite...and by big I mean 15+....are there any...I am not an idiot...arguable perhaps...but still...I have caught hundreds..so I am about ready to give it up...I mean, i should have had a 30 jump in the boat by now!! already started trying to learn ol monty and marion....oh yeah...I usually use cut herring and bream...but you name it...I have fished it.....I have fished the deep bends tight to cover...and the shallows by the willows....day and night.....I have heard of people catching bigguns....but if I take 3 trips to monty...at least 1 over 20...marion...maybe 2 or 3...so....how about it....what an awesome site and thankd for helping out...
     
  2. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    First off there Johnboy, you need to lay off the caffien a bit. My head started to spin a bit just reading your post.

    Now, what type of cat are you trying to catch, besides just "big?" It does make a difference. My first suggestion would be to target larger flatheads, since we know they occur in the rivers. After all, the state record flathead (74 pounds, was it?) was held by the Wateree for a long while. I believe that one was caught on a catalpa worm, but that was mostly dumb luck. To target flatheads, you need live fish for bait. Catch yourself a livewell full of sunfish - brim, redbreast, shellcrackers, stumpknockers, and/or some live shad. I like to hook mine through the nose (in the mouth and out the top of the nose), but a lot of folks pprefer the tail or the back. A simple carolina rig works fine, with a no roll or egg sinker on the line, then tie on a swivel with a heavy mono leader (12 to 18") and a hook or choice. I like 4/0 and 5/0 kahles. A lot of folks like circle hooks or octopus. Your choice. Fish them close to cover (not in it, just close) after dark. Generally the heads or tails of holes are good, as are creek mouths. If you don't get bit in an hour, try another spot. When you find something that works, look for other similar spots.
     

  3. johnboy

    johnboy New Member

    Messages:
    61
    State:
    Columbia SC
    Hey thanks for trying to help. I will punctuate and be a little more specific. I am targeting blues and flatheads whilst fishing the Wateree and Congaree rivers. I too have read about record fish, both blues and flatheads, being caught from these waters. These methods you mention are the only way I know to fish for catfish. I would imagine I have fished the wateree river over 100 times and caught fish every time. I have NEVER caught a flathead at the wateree river or the Congaree. Almost every trip I fish live herring and catch bream while there to use as bait, As I mentioned before...just seems like I would have lucked into a 30 lbr by now....when almost trip to Marion I catch a couple over 20. Big Pee Dee, catch a flathead about every trip....NEVER seen one at Cong or Wateree.

    jb
     
  4. johnboy

    johnboy New Member

    Messages:
    61
    State:
    Columbia SC
    oh yeah....I very seldomly have fished at night...usually early morning....which works great and never has been a problem at santee, pee dee, monty, etc. When I have fished at night, just catch more channels.
     
  5. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    I do most of my blue and channel cat fishing during the day, but flatheads are usually nocturnal. Usually. I think, though, that if you look at most of the flatheads caught during the day, they will either be in deep murky water or in the spring and late fall, or both. Not always, of course, but to really have the best shot at flatheads, you should be fishing at night, and using good lively live bait, not cut bait. I have caught some nice flatheads from the Santee on cut bait during the day, but always during cool weather and always deep - like 25 feet plus. On the Edisto, my flatheads come from dusk on through the night and usually around 6 to 12 feet deep.

    The comments about your first post were just for fun - didn't mean any harm.
     
  6. sarSWAMPFOX

    sarSWAMPFOX New Member

    Messages:
    381
    State:
    Union, South Caroilna
    Johnboy you are on the right track. Ask and tell. But to catch trophy fish you have to target trophy fish. Like JAinsc said fish your spot for 30 to 45 mins if no big boys then move even if the little cats are wearing you out. Live bait for flatheads, fresh cut for blues. I rarely stay in one spot over an hour. Its been my experience that if there are alot of small fish in a spot its because there is no big fish there to make them leave.
    (The biggest dog in the yard eats first.) My thoughts.
     
  7. Foxhound

    Foxhound New Member

    Messages:
    403
    State:
    Georgia
    The magic hours for flatheads for me have been between midnight and 3 am..........I usually wont even bait up with live bait untill after midnight or at least I save my favorite baits (large redbreast) for the bewitching hours. Sometimes I have to catch these in the rivers around home and take them with me to Lake Marion.
     
  8. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    JD, you are on the money. The biologists who do electro-fishing sampling tell me the same thing. They don't normally find big cats where there are small ones, and vice versa, which confirmed my feelings too.
    Ken, you touched on something concerning bait, too. Once flatheads move in, they will decimate the panfish and bullhead populations. Some of our folks were shocking for redbreast last week and only got a few pairs in several hours of fishing. This was on the Black River, which has always had great Redbreast fishing; same thing on the Edisto. This is upsetting to the panfishermen, naturally. Question: do you guys have flatheads in the waters where you catch your Redbreast?
     
  9. johnboy

    johnboy New Member

    Messages:
    61
    State:
    Columbia SC
    Thank you guys so much for your input...that must be why this site is so awesome...so tips aside....how about catches...any of yall catch any 15+ in the congaree or wateree rivers lately....again...thanks so much for the input...and I still think I am going to monty tomorrow instead of wateree river....
     
  10. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    I used to fish the Congaree pretty regularly when I lived in Cola, but I've been in Charleston since 1987. I now fish the Edisto and Santee, mostly, sometimes the Cooper and Ashley.
     
  11. GatorT

    GatorT New Member

    Messages:
    390
    State:
    Camden, South Carolina
    There are NO big fish in Wateree! (But there is too much boat traffic) So, I repeat, there are NO big fish in Wateree! Go ahead on to Monty, because, there are NO BIG FISH in Wateree. NO big fish! None! Nadda! No use even tryin'.

    But I do pretty good with 'em....

    I know you said you've been fishing there for a long time, but actually learn the water. Each body of water is different. Target just your big fish. You don't get as many bites, you don't catch as many fish, but when you do catch fish, you have a whole lot of fun, and something to be proud of.

    One more time, there are no big fish in Wateree.:big_smile::big_smile:
     
  12. Hoile

    Hoile New Member

    Messages:
    9
    State:
    Shaw AFB, South Carolina
    Harper and I have caught 3 about 15lbs or over on one little patch on the wateree. I can't talk about fish bigger than that because the lack of a boat has us pinned to the bank with no means of looking for bigger ones.

    We just came back from there with a 15ish blue tonight, from the 378 bridge.

    Keep your chin up, its been a grind but we have gotten a few from the bridge alone. So i'm positive they are there.

    Bye the way tonights fish was caught off of a bluegill head, the other two were caught off of Earthworms purchased at Battens. For some reasons they like those much better than the Canadian variant purchased from Wal-Mart. (we've since moved up in bait classes) :big_smile:
     
  13. rivercatsc

    rivercatsc New Member

    Messages:
    1,990
    State:
    South Caro
    Hey Johnboy I feel your pain I have fished there many times and have never boated anything over 25lbs but lots of fish. I think there just doesnt seem to be as big of fish there as in marion or other rivers. I fish Pee Dee and marion very frequently and I have never broke the 50lb mark even though I have knocked all around it. I think you should just stay with it and keep fishing larger live baits. Also dont get discouraged until you try fishing in the fall from August-December there are plenty of big fish to go around it will almost spoil you from summer fishing at least it has me. Good luck and dont give up.
     
  14. johnboy

    johnboy New Member

    Messages:
    61
    State:
    Columbia SC
    This weekends trip to Monty has made it easy for me to decide, no more rivers until the Gamecocks take the field this fall. 378 bridge is closer to me, but my last two trips to monty and marion have yielded a couple over 20, and a few more over 10. I will head back to Wateree RIVER, (I have caught a few bigguns at the lake, very aware of the big fish there, caught 2 over 30)but its gonna be cooler....meanwhile, I will check the rivers section to see what I'm missing.