shallow fishing

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by catfishscotty, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. catfishscotty

    catfishscotty Well-Known Member

    i have fished in allmost every situation possible for cats consitantly except 1 that being shallow water fishing in early spring and late fall i know a couple of guides here in missouri that do it fish 1 to 3 foot of water in shallow flats im looking forward to doing some of this this coming year. i would like to hear from u catfisherman that do this shallow water fishing pattern and when do u target shallow water ???? water temp , what u look for, how u set up and some of your best days doing this in pounds and numbers. all info i would greatly appreciate. thanks scotty :big_smile:
  2. blazerjet

    blazerjet New Member

    The river here is 10ft at the deepest. I all way sit up in the shollows up river from a hole. Some nights i can see the flat head back out of the water as they swim up to my bait. Thats the best. I fish 3 oz with 1 2 ft leaders. I anchor in 3 ft of water. I have caught 6 one night biggest 44 smalles 9.

  3. Arkansascatman777

    Arkansascatman777 New Member

    Scott, i have posted this recently on another thread but this is what I go by.

    My $.02
    The most important thing to remember when you are going to catfish in the winter time is to think safety first. Go slow and pay attention to everything that is going on around you. The water is cold and it can and will kill you!! Not trying to scare anyone away from this great time of year to be fishing just want you to understand that it can be dangerous.

    Winter time fishing can and will produce not only numbers of fish but also a PB is always a possibility. This is the time of year that the blues will be schooling up and when you find the bait fish the blues will not be to far away.

    There are four things I go by on where I might locate fish in the winter time.
    1. Is wind direction and has it been constant for 2 or more days.
    2. A good graph is a must to locate drop offs, deep holes as well as to locate bait fish and
    3.Surface water temperature is another thing to look at when deciding on where to start looking.
    4. Watch the feeding birds.

    1.The first thing I will try to watch is wind direction for 4 to 5 days leading up to the day I’m planning on fishing. If the wind has been out of the same direction for at least 2 days prior to the day I’m going to fish then I’ve pretty much eliminated half of the lake before I ever get on the water. The wind will blow the plankton toward one bank bringing with it the bait fish and then the catfish.

    2. Without a good graph you are under a major disadvantage. Without one you are pretty much fishing blind and it will be hit and miss at best. The surface water temperature will also determine where I will set up and try to fish. A good graph will give you temp and you will be able to see drop offs and holes or whether you are on a flat as well as show you bait fish and catfish.

    3. There are 3 different surface temperature ranges that I look at when I hit the water. The first range is 40 degrees and above. As long as the water temps are 40 + then don’t rule out fishing shallow water. The catfish are not in full winter mode and can be caught from the deepest part of the lake all the way to 2 ft. flats. This is still not cold enough to drive the bait fish deep so the blues will be in the shallow water actively feeding.

    When the water temps start dropping below 40 but are above 36 then I will concentrate on fishing drop offs. The catfish will still not be in full winter mode at this point. You will catch a lot of fish on the side of the drop as well as out on the flat but the baitfish and catfish usually won’t stray to far from deeper water.
    When the water temps hit 35 and below then the baitfish and the catfish are in full winter mode. This is when I concentrate my efforts in deep water only.

    4. Last but just as important watch for the birds dive bombing the shad. Usually there are catfish, stripers etc... under the shad chasing them to the top. Get as close as you can and kill the motor. If possible let the wind blow you to them then drop anchor and start fishing. You will be surprised how many fish this tactic will produce.

    When the temps keep dropping and you notice a shad kill fish the bank the wind is blowing the dead shad to. We have caught a lot of 30 lb. Fish in 2 foot water during this time. This is when the surface temp goes out the window. The catfish can take the cold water but shad can’t they are just always looking for an easy meal.

    These are some of the things that we do and go by in the winter. They work in this part of the world but there are no guarantees that they will work in yours. There is no substitute for years of just going and learning your local waters. Good Fishing Everyone
  4. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Philadelphia, P
    I fish shallow water (2-4 ft) in the summer (warm water temps). Most of my bigger fish have come in this shallow water. I read about it in previous threads, gave it a shot and BAM! IT WORKS.

    After a nice rain is good time to fish shallow too, not much current by the bank.

    I wouldn't fish that shallow during early spring and fall (cooler water temp).

    Good luck Scotty!
  5. catfishscotty

    catfishscotty Well-Known Member

    thanks for the good info:wink::wink: keep it coming please
  6. gargoil77

    gargoil77 New Member

    Clarksville, Indiana
    I have never catfished in the winter but starting in the spring til I stop fishing I will throw two lines toward the bank and one out towards the deep water. I mostly fish tournaments so I'm looking to get five fish in the boat before I start looking for the bigger ones. We fish only small lakes so we aren't going to catch huge fish. But most of our fish come from 1' to 4' deep. Some small and some 4 - 5 lbs.
  7. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    Scotty ...just about all my big fish have come from deep water. No matter what time of yr. There have been times though when good ones were caught in shallower water. I guess I need to start some kind of recording information on the good fish caught. Maybe time of yr.....depth of water.....bait used.....water temps and so on. Thanks for the good thread. :cool2:
  8. CatAngler

    CatAngler New Member

    Omaha NE
    Most of my fishing is done in the evenings/night in shallower waters. If I'm on the Missouri I'll always cast towards the banks. If I'm setting up throw lines in the Platter river my bait is typically in water no more deep than 2 to 3'.

    Mind you this is a tactic I use during the evenings & night. Fishing during the day is a whole new ball of wax. It's been my experience that you have to go pretty deep to beat the summer heat. I catch 1 vs 3 cats when fishing in the shallows when comparing day vs night.

    Maybe you can fish the shallows in the middle of the day when the suns beating down & I'm just not doing something right?

    My Experience In Rivers;
    Daytime= deeper water
    Eveninings= shallower waters

  9. brinley45cal

    brinley45cal Active Member

    heck i fish shallow water all the time,alot right next to the bank.The key is structure,trees that have fallen in things like that.i usually catch 8 all the way up to 20 ponders doing this.I have found a really good time to do this is when they are spawning and the males are guarding the nests,man they will hit hard anything that even comes close to them.I also use a slip float in shallow water like that and seem to catch more fish that way then on the bottom.Thats just about the only time i use a float.
  10. DCcatfisher

    DCcatfisher New Member

    North Carolina
    I fish alot of shallow water particularly in the spring time when the fish are spawning, most of it being around islands in the river in about 2 - 4 ft of water. I will occasionly venture into deeper water around a Duke Power steam station that is on the river, but that is because of the large amount of baitfish that are in that area. Mostly catch channels and blues and the flatheads seem to come on strong later into the summer in deeper holes after the river has warmed and the level of the water has dropped considerably. During this time the shallow water I fish early in the year may be only a few inches deep or out of the water all together.
  11. tbull

    tbull New Member

    SW Ohio
    Fishing the big lakes around here shallow water wise is awesome for flats if you get them pre-spawn. We just use slip floats alot with live shad and throw it up on the bank, maybe 1 to 5 ft of water. Caught alot of flatheads that way, but it seems to work alot better pre spawn for sure, bite slows down alot afterwards for me in those locations.