Scouting

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by gargoil77, Apr 26, 2006.

  1. gargoil77

    gargoil77 New Member

    Messages:
    859
    State:
    Clarksville, Indiana
    I'll be fishing in a tournament in two weeks and I'm going Friday to scout for some good spots in a lake that we never had fished for cats before. I have no depth finder and no topo maps. Usually we just say, "This looks like a good place." and end up moving because we don't catch anything.
    What would ya'll do if you didn't know anything about a lake? What would you look for. May 13th is the tournament. Will the fish be on the flats, around cover, deep?
    Usually we don't care how we do in the tournaments. We just enjoy getting out and fishing. But we would really like to win just one.
     
  2. photocat

    photocat New Member

    Messages:
    803
    State:
    HOCO, Maryland
    depending on how clear the water is you may be able to see break lines/ etc...

    What i would look for is the shore line.... look for spots where its steep next to a gentle slope... that tends to carry into the water atleast a little ways and you can predict breaks and drop offs... Also look for bait... if you see blugills cruising around or shad you can assume that the catfish (and probably other species) won't be too far behind...

    I would try fishing a bluegill live either under a bobber or free lined along the drop off too... there is a possibility you may catch an unwanted species with that but its worth the risk plus blugills are usaully a dime a dozen so you can get more if that happens...
     

  3. center12

    center12 New Member

    Messages:
    1,444
    State:
    KS
    Call all the local bait shops, if there are any guides working the lake call them and see if they will narrow down your search, call the biologist for the lake. If you can make eliminate 3/4 of the lake without ever casting a rod you are way ahead of the game.............long distance phone calls are cheaper than gas!! Fresh cut bait is very hard to beat for quaility tournament fish. I'd also make it a priority to purchase a quailty depthfinder for the boat..........no need using up 2 hours of fishing time drifting a flat when you can motor over it and mark fish.

    Good luck to ya.
     
  4. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    No depth finder and no map, you're pretty much fishing blind. On the lake I fish most, I've been amazed at how different the depth and bottom contours are from what I always assumed -- I had no idea there were 6 ft deep humps clear out in the middle of what I assumed was 50 ft+ deep water.

    If it's a major lake, you should be able to buy a topo map at the local bait shops. You can bet the other guys in the tournament will have them if they're available!
     
  5. mudkat

    mudkat New Member

    Messages:
    96
    State:
    Nebraska
    i would look for fallin down trees and fish about 7 to 10 ft from it and i would fish with live bluegill and cut bait carp
     
  6. gargoil77

    gargoil77 New Member

    Messages:
    859
    State:
    Clarksville, Indiana
    No one that is fishing this lake in the tournament has fished it before as far as I know. It's way out of the way for most of them. There isn't a local baitshop around there. I guess I can ask the person at the gate who I need to talk too.
    I appreciate all the feedback.
     
  7. TDawgNOk

    TDawgNOk Gathering Monitor (Instigator)

    Messages:
    3,365
    State:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Whats the name of the lake? What state? Maybe we can find some info for you on it!
     
  8. cumberlandcat

    cumberlandcat New Member

    Messages:
    1,161
    State:
    Tennessee
    I agree you are fishin blind, it is worth it just to spend 50 or 60 bucks on one, When i got one a few years ago my fishing sucess went up a hundred fold.
    Chris
     
  9. gargoil77

    gargoil77 New Member

    Messages:
    859
    State:
    Clarksville, Indiana
    Celina Lake in Indiana. It's in the Hoosier Nat'l Forest.
     
  10. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    If the lake you're talking about is the one I found on the internet, it's pretty dang small for a fishing tournament.

    164 acres, 1 boat ramp and only electric motors are allowed.

    http://web2.jefferson.k12.ky.us/bc/Maps/TwinLakesMap.gif

    Celina is the one on the lower right part of the map.

    A depth finder might help on this lake, but it's so small that you might as well just make a guess and go for it if getting a depth finder isn't an option.

    Just based on the shape of the lake, I'd say that first cove on the lower right would be a good place to fish. The upper end of the lake would be good if there's any streams flowing into the lake there - nightcrawlers will probably catch some nice channels in that area. And the area right in front of the dam will be the deepest - might hold some catfish during the daytime.

    Good luck!
     
  11. gargoil77

    gargoil77 New Member

    Messages:
    859
    State:
    Clarksville, Indiana
    I've fished the lake before, but it was for panfish. Yes it is small but our tournament is private and only about 10 -12 boats. we fish only lakes. I have never been back around the dam. I just usually make it to the first two or three coves on the left side of the lake and catch 10 -20 and call it quits. That's enough fish for me to clean. I just never catfished there and don't know anyone who has.