Setup for catching the big ones

Discussion in 'LOCAL CALIFORNIA TALK' started by gavin310, Dec 26, 2008.

  1. gavin310

    gavin310 New Member

    Messages:
    42
    State:
    Westchester, California
    I know there's probably a better thread for this question, but I like sticking to my usual "Local California Talk" thread. So far the biggest cat I've caught was maybe 2.5 pounds. I plan on going after some of the big guys (20, 30, 40+). I'd like to get some of your thoughts regarding the best gear for this type of fishing... best reels, best lines, best rods, etc. I want to get 2 setups going.

    So far the only heavy setup I have is a tuna setup that's a small Avet SX 5.3 baitcasting reel and a 7' medium action Penn Power Stick Plus (15-40lb. line). Is that a good setup? For larger catfish fishing, are baitcasting reels usually preferred or is it just personal preference? If it's a spinning reel, should it be one of those baitrunner types? And what size for a spinning reel? Is a 4000 too small?

    So yeah, obviously I don't know much about heavier type gear, so I could use some help. I have a bit of Christmas money and we all know what that's going to be spent on... :big_smile:
     
  2. catfish kenny

    catfish kenny New Member

    Messages:
    6,064
    State:
    Iowa
    You have alot of chioces out there that are good ...I dont know what you are wanting to spend per combo & I can only make recomandations I know.......I am using Penn reels - I have a 330 gti on a cabellas saltstriker it run me round $ 250.00 or so then I have a 320 on a berkley glow 7ft /med/heavey ..it would run under $ 150.00...I have a couple 209 & 309 on various rodds they were purchased used but there under a hundred dollerer set ups -have a abu 6500 on a big game snagging rod fer the woman(it was mine LOL) ( 100-doller )couple shakesphere tidewater30lc that are decent but I wanted alot more so I moved on...there cheap reels but I have had good luck with them....they were my first baitcasters so .....still use em once in awhile to......I like power pro line but it is very expensive so I am using mono witch does the job fine when you have a spool that ya can put heavey mono on en
    reading reviews might help you and looking int the specks for gearing /such...if you know anyone hitting it after the big ones check out there set ups and talk to them....Just starting out I'd buy what you want -save for it if you have to and get something yer gonna enjoy that is gonna last.....some cheaper models are good but your gonna get what ya pay for if you do your homework !
     

  3. plumbertom1

    plumbertom1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,902
    State:
    Eugene, Or.
    Gavin, for big fish I mainly fish the Colorado river and the canals around Palo Verde.
    What I use is a 10' King Cat two piece rod mounted with a Abu 6000 loaded with 40lb line.
    The reason for a 10' rod is that it helps me to keep the fish out from the edges and away from places they can tangle you up, at least as much as possible.
    One thing I am planning on changing is the reel.
    I intend to switch to a lever drag type reel before my next river trip. The reason for that is that the Abu spool tensioner does not provide suficient freespool drag to hold the line when river current is running high, even with a good weight the drag on the line itself is too heavy for that reel. The problem is compounded when there is a lot of grass floating in the river.
     
  4. gavin310

    gavin310 New Member

    Messages:
    42
    State:
    Westchester, California
    Kenny, thank you for all that info. I'm checking out the Penn 320 and 330 and they look like good solid reels. And a great price.

    Hey there Scott! Hope you and the fam had a nice Christmas. I couldn't think of the name of that setup you had so thanks for reminding me. I think I want to find something for this new setup that I can use on ocean trips too.

    Tom, that's a big ass rod! So since it's longer you can guide the fish away from sketchy obstacles, right? Thanks a lot for that advice. That Abu is a nice reel... it's a little more pricey than what I want to spend right now though.
     
  5. catfish kenny

    catfish kenny New Member

    Messages:
    6,064
    State:
    Iowa
    I havnt had the chance to use my 320 ..just got it fer X-mass so I cannot give a valid review but I did write a review on the 330...and it is lot like it so.......I love that reel its a nice piece to use...90 or so bucks for it compaired to 149. for a abu 7000 series....I will buy the Penn and I might add I am very hard on my equiptment(LOL) I realey like the Penns for there durrability and ruggedness.I snapped couple pics for ya and if I may suggest TAKE YOUR TIME AND BUY YOU REELS YER GONNA BE HAPPY WITH! There are so many good chioces out there ...I like plufunger...Abu's.....okinama...there all good but I am sold on my Penns
    I dont know your waters or the conditions etc.but any of these set ups I can bout guarentee will work well and be very suffecient fer bout anywhere.I fish the Sippi with them all ....I didnt include the shakesphere tidewater 30lc I have ther on old tiger rods that the reels were smoked by sipp cats(LOL)...
    1st penn 330gti on cabellas salt striker 5.6 ft
    2nd penn 320gti on berkley 7ft med/heavey glow
    3rd penn 309 on a zebco hawg seeker 7ft med/heavey
    4th penn 309 on a old tiger rodd (smoked that cheap reel LOL)think its med/heavey
    5th abu garcia 6500 on a big game snagging rod HEAVEY
     

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  6. bluehunter

    bluehunter New Member

    Messages:
    3,004
    State:
    Los Angele
    Here is a cut and paste I put together. It should give you a basic idea to look for.

    Catfish tackle


    Tackle is very important when it comes to catfishing. This can be the difference between a successful trip, and a unsuccessful trip. There are a lot of things that are an important factor in tackle such as : Hooks, rods, line, sinkers, and reels. You will want to have the right tackle for the right situation and purpose such as fishing for blues, channels, and flatheads. Other factors that can determine tackle is open water, or structure areas such as rocks, stumps, weeds and trees. Size of targeted fish is also a determining factor in what you need to use, as well as the size of bait that you are using. You will want to have in your arsenal the right tackle for a variety of situations.

    Channel cats: When fishing for channel cats you generally need to use a medium action rod certified for 12-20 pound test. The hooks that you need to use can be circle hooks, kahle or either J hook. Size of hook depends on size of bait that you are using and type of bait such as worms and cut bait. For worms, size 4 - 2/0 is fine. For small cut bait, 2/0 - 4/0. For larger cut bait, 6/0 is fine.



    Blue cats : Blue cats are more agressive and tend to grow bigger than channel cats; therefore they require heavier tackle. A meduim action rod to heavy action rod is required in the 20-40 pound class. Fishing line depends on open water or structure, but 25 pound test is a good overall average up to 30 or even 40 for fishing in structure situations. Baitcasting rod or spinning rod will do the job. Hook size is generally bigger in the 6/0 - 8/0 being the average depending on the size of bait used. J's and circles hooks.


    Flatheadcats: Tackle for flatheads is similar to that for the blue. You will want to use a medium heavy action rod - heavy action in the 20-50 pound test range. Fishing line for flats is in the heavier line class range. I would recommend using 30 pound test line on the average and even 40 pound test or higher depending on if fishing around structure. Hook size is in the bigger category since live bait is often the ticket. Size 7/0 - 9/0 would be fine. J, kahle or circle hooks would work. I personally like to use the 10/0 kahles when fishing with bluegills. I feel these hooks are the best for flatheads due to its shape and the style of the hook - fitting perfectly for their flat mouths

    The reels that I personallu use are baitcasters. The Abu garcia 7000 big game has been my set up for the last 4 yrs. The Ugly stick medium action and heavy action is what I use. Also the Jim Moyer rod series in Heavy action. Calstar and seekers also makes good rods too and is a great choice but more expensive. The Ugly stick does all what those rods do at a cheaper price for catfish.

    Cut bait - Mackerel, bonito, anchovies, sardines, shad, etc are all good when it comes to cat fishing. The bait that most anglers in California
    use is cut mackerel. Mackerel has proven to be a catfish catcher in many
    lakes and reservoirs in California. Keep in mind that using game fish
    for cut bait is illegal in most California lakes, so be careful of what
    you use and stay within the states regulations.

    For channels, all of the cut baits mentioned above works. I use mackerel
    on 90% of my cat fishing trips, sometimes using bonito when I can get my
    hands on some. You do not have to use massive cuts of bait too when
    fishing for channels. For example, I generally like to use a thumb size
    cut mackerel on a size 3/0 - 5/0 hook. Circle hooks and J style hooks
    works when using cut bait. Stink bait is also effective when fishing for
    channels especially in rivers. Channels use their strong sense of smell
    when looking for food and stink bait does the trick when using this
    technique. Shrimp also is a good channel cat bait. Mealworms and marsh
    mellow combos are effective as well especially in pay lakes like Santa
    Ana Rivers lakes and Hesperia. It is best to have an assortment of bait
    when fishing for channels because sometimes they may be picky in what
    they want.

    For blues, I like to use bigger pieces of cut bait on a size 6/0- 10/0 J
    and circle hook. The tail portions and the head portions are my favorite
    in targeting big blues.

    Keep in mind the fresher the cut bait, the better. The more bloody, the
    better. Mackerel and bonita in particular are oily and bloody fish. If
    you can catch a mackerel from a pier and put them on ice to use later
    that night at a lake, you have yourself a very good bait. This does not
    mean that frozen bait will not work, but in general, the fresher bait
    will get you the best results. Most of the time it is more convenient
    for us to use the frozen bait when fishing. Frozen bait can work just as
    well as fresh bait at times. You can find frozen mackerel, anchovies,
    and sardines in most tackle and bait shops. Lakes and reservoirs also
    carry frozen mackerel as well.

    When using cut bait it is best to keep them on ice and not let them lay
    out in the sun. Keeping the bait on ice keeps the bait from becoming
    mushy and soft. The firmer the bait, the better it will stay on your
    hook, and the better the results will be.
     
  7. Capt Steve

    Capt Steve Active Member

    Messages:
    728
    State:
    Clovis, CA
    What does the beeper sound like on those? My Mitchell fullrunners sound just like crickets. :big_smile:
     
  8. catfish kenny

    catfish kenny New Member

    Messages:
    6,064
    State:
    Iowa
    Very good post...this sums up alot of questions/answears for many asking and even for those vetrans of cattin it is informative I had to rep you on this AWSOME!
     
  9. gavin310

    gavin310 New Member

    Messages:
    42
    State:
    Westchester, California
    Brian,

    You answered a LOT of questions I had :big_smile: THANK YOU!! That's all very good info. Not sure if you saw my PM but I'm excited to tag along whenever you want company. I'm heading out to Irvine Lake tomorrow to get some trout. If I had a boat I'd be going for cats, since I never have luck from shore with the cats. So yeah any time let me know! I'm always up for fishing.

    Gavin
     
  10. gavin310

    gavin310 New Member

    Messages:
    42
    State:
    Westchester, California
    Hey those are some fancy new seats you got there!! Good Christmas colors too :) I'm counting down the days til the weather gets warmer so we can head out there. That sounds like it will be an awesome time! Sounds like I'll need to get me a Colorado River stamp for my fishing license...
     
  11. gavin310

    gavin310 New Member

    Messages:
    42
    State:
    Westchester, California
    oh i'm definitely game ;) that sounds like a lot of fun. i used to live by a river in Sacramento and they had normal boat launches in certain areas. it should be just like launching at Corona. when are you thinking of heading out there?
     
  12. gavin310

    gavin310 New Member

    Messages:
    42
    State:
    Westchester, California
    Well alright, I'm putting an open date for Colorado River Catfish Trip w/ Scott sometime around May!! That'll be a fun trip. Hey I'm heading to Irvine Lake tomorrow for some trout. If you'd like to head out to Corona tomorrow AM let me know and I'll just keep driving until I reach Corona :)
     
  13. bluehunter

    bluehunter New Member

    Messages:
    3,004
    State:
    Los Angele
    I thought I pmed you back but if not thats ok have to be on p's here. I can always be reached. BTW the Vine was slow today for trout with only a few spots doing good. The best spot was trout island at tip and also the small dirt point on your way to trout Island there was a red bouy out in front of it. I am going to San Diego tomorrow and will be fishing with an old friend son he never been fishing. Hopefully I can come up on something. I may do 1 more trout run at the Vine during my break after new years. Will also get back out MLK weekend and fish the trout derby at the Vine so if your up for that let me know. Quite a few things poping that day.
     
  14. gavin310

    gavin310 New Member

    Messages:
    42
    State:
    Westchester, California
    Thanks Brian, any idea if the West Shore was producing anything? Most shore fisherman don't go there because you have to hike to it now that the lake is so high, but I keep hearing it's good fishing there.
     
  15. gavin310

    gavin310 New Member

    Messages:
    42
    State:
    Westchester, California
    haha that sounds great. we'll need a good place to rest after hauling in all the huge cats we'll be catching.
     
  16. bluehunter

    bluehunter New Member

    Messages:
    3,004
    State:
    Los Angele
    No word I left around 11am. A dd trout was caught from a boat but I have no idea which spot. It is a hike most people on west shore were boaters. Wind kicked up something good today but tomorrow may be no wind I hope since I am going to SD.
     
  17. catfish kenny

    catfish kenny New Member

    Messages:
    6,064
    State:
    Iowa
    I tried to stress that it dont matter what yer using if ya are diong it but if ya can and have the money go head and get it....what ya realy want shoot this is yer hobby & ......I have a buddy that dont like baits all he uses is spinns that has a zeb with the alarm and I will say that its gettin put to the test.he is worse then me when it comes to fishing obssion...he fishes more then I do(LOL)...he has caught a 20lber cat and several 15-16 lb carp in my boat ...10lb gar .........and it dont pear to be a bad reel...gears are metal.....Id fish with one and be cool ...but I am a bait man.....for a 40 doller set up there good definatly..........we will be sippin alot this summer he usualey fishes a smaller river so the regiment will be a lill rougher on him this yr if he tags long in the boat...
    I fish the Missippi my faverite fishing hole is what I call the wall it is part of the loc/damb here my faverite pole is my 330 on the salt striker,I dont have a faverite rig I use a lot of different set ups and they all work.....main bait is shad-cut gut and hole depending on the time of yr.There is a world of difference in our waters I have never found the lake nitch but give me a river we will find em...:eek:oooh:
     
  18. plumbertom1

    plumbertom1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,902
    State:
    Eugene, Or.
    What's wrong with a few snakes? I use a tent most of the time and have yet to have any snake enter my tent. I'm more concerned with keeping mice out as those in the desert have been known to carry a deadly type of Hantavirus that spreads easily to humans from their Urine which they dribble everywhere they go.
    Makes me happy there are so many snakes around.
    Almost every time I go to the river I run across one type of snake or another (Just ask Bert).
    So far I haven't had any close encounters with Rattlesnakes, I have on a number of times came close to walking up on Garter-snakes and while camping with Bert had a King-snake come right through our camp.
    Along the Colorado river you might encounter any one of 16 species of snake including Sidewinders and two types of Rattlesnake.
    Also there are scorpions and the black widow spider in abundance.
    Not to mention bees and wasps.
    It's all part of being in the outdoors. I can tell you from experiance that there are plenty of Rattlesnakes where you live. You are just as likely to encounter one doing yard work where you live as out along the river.

    Launching and retrieving Your boat in the river current is a little trickier than on the lake.
    At Mayfair Park the launch is directly in the river current.
    There is a sheltered launch down river at McIntyre Park. But it's a long way south of the dam.
    Attaching some side guides at the rear of your trailer would be advisable before trying to load in current as there is nothing to keep your boat from turning sideways on the trailer.
    [​IMG]
     
  19. bluehunter

    bluehunter New Member

    Messages:
    3,004
    State:
    Los Angele
    Good info. I ran into the mice and a few snakes as well out there. Do it enough times its going to happen just have to be alert.twice came across rattlers one that was near death from being ran over already.
     
  20. gavin310

    gavin310 New Member

    Messages:
    42
    State:
    Westchester, California
    that looks great! we can keep our catches alive in that pool until we get home :big_smile: