Shallow or Deep in the Spring?

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by catstalker, Feb 22, 2006.

  1. catstalker

    catstalker New Member

    Messages:
    25
    State:
    kentucky
    All my life me and my family most usually fished on the bottom for catfish. Last spring I noticed on my trot lines that I had no fish on the hooks that touched the bottom only the hooks that where suspended had fish on them consistently. We fished one night with rod and reel on bottom over my trotline and never got a bite when I checked the trotline there was a fish on every hook from the bottom up to the tree. My question is do the fish feed shallower in the spring than they do in late summer? I had bait to rot off of the hook on the bottom last year. (See attachment for diagram)
     

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  2. Katmaster Jr.

    Katmaster Jr. New Member

    Messages:
    4,644
    State:
    Wilmington, NC
    Well, I would have to say that around here they definitely will suspend and feed shallower in the spring. Due to the fact that alot of times in the spring around here you wont hardly get a bite unless you use a slip bobber suspending your bait. They will swim up in like 3 feet of water in the spring also! Remember that in the spring the cats, along with most of the other fish are in "spawning mode" (as I call it).

    We fish at this one spot on the river in the spring that is about 45 ft deep and we have used bottom rigs and slip bobbers at the same time and the slip bobbers outfished the bottom rigs by far everytime!!! So it does not really surprise me about the trotline thing.

    Good luck fishing buddy. Zakk:)
     

  3. T-Bone

    T-Bone New Member

    Messages:
    1,125
    State:
    South of Dallas
    Well, here's how we fish 2' to 6' year around. A few poles set on the bottom or bouncing off the bottom, a few set with a lil slip cork (bobber) to keep the bait about 10" from the bottom. We do fish a lil deeper also but most of the time it's 2 - 6 for me and my buddy.
    Not offten but will try more this year with using a cork on top of the water (the ones that look like a stick). I hear a few guys are doing well this away.
     
  4. catfishrus

    catfishrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,569
    State:
    north carolina
    catstalker i dont know what depth water that you are fishing but in the lakes here i seem to do better with the bait suspended in the hotter parts of the summer. we get a thermocline in the water and that is the area i target the most. i dont see many fish below this area on the depth finder at night. its not uncommon to catch fish at 20ft in say 50-70ft of water. now when the lakes turn over(september) i go back to the bottom for the most part. i catch mostly blues with this method in open water. right now im seeing alot of bait around 25ft with no thermocline and fish all under them but ive been fishing the bottom without much luck. so this weekend im going to try the slip corks.
     
  5. Rajun_Cajun

    Rajun_Cajun New Member

    Messages:
    228
    State:
    Olathe, Kansas
    Deeeeep!!!! Well In Kansas
     
  6. JimF

    JimF New Member

    Messages:
    151
    State:
    IL
    Early sping they are just coming out of the wintering holes(still deep) when the water warms up they will move to sallow water( pre spawn) I catch fish in deep water all year long. But I fish the IL river 25' is deep & 2' to 6' is shallow.
     
  7. photocat

    photocat New Member

    Messages:
    803
    State:
    HOCO, Maryland
    catstalker- you never said what your fishing? river or lake? cause if its a river there may be a particular current pattern that caused the fish to go for the ones that just happen to be shallower... they may also just be relating to the shoreline and the ones on the bottom aren't close enough to shore...


    I would try placing a bobber on the ones closest to the bottom and see if that makes a difference in your hook ups for that section it'll raise the bait off the bottom a bit more and if they are just going shallower then you'll get bit on those too...
     
  8. davesoutfishing

    davesoutfishing New Member

    Messages:
    479
    State:
    Menominee Michigan
    when the banks are full of flowing water I go to the small rivers as long as they are bankfull move up into the feeder creeks small no,4 eagle claw hook and just enough warm to cover them lots of cats but when the water goes down take em out one year we caught a herrin then big birds are mean and you will catch alot of turtles stretch the lines from tree to tree
     
  9. catstalker

    catstalker New Member

    Messages:
    25
    State:
    kentucky
    Photocat,

    I fish a lake, the lake is around 63,000 acres, very large and deep around a hundred feet but at this paticular time last year I was in the headwaters in about 20 feet of water. I plan on doing a lot of fishing in that same spot this year as well.

    Thanks for all of the great replies.
     
  10. Doyle

    Doyle New Member

    Messages:
    582
    State:
    Illinois
    I can’t even imagine fishing in water over a hundred foot deep. I personally don’t like bobbers and will not use them. (I may miss out on some fish} I would just find some shallower water. I think cat fish are bottom feeders mostly, althou when it gets dark they raise some. But ….. hey I don’t have a big fish in my Avatar.
     
  11. comanchero

    comanchero New Member

    Messages:
    119
    State:
    Minnesota
    In the spring when the ground is saturated from spring rains and there is a lot of runoff with rising waters I fish shallow and close to the bank. My theory is that the cats are feeding on worms and other food that is washing into the river. I still catch fish on the bottom but I think they are stacked up several feet looking for floating food. You may be on to something based on the experience you mentioned, this might be a good time to put a small crappie type float on your leader up about 6" to 8" up from the hook. This would float your bait up enough for those cats to find it.
     
  12. nuthinlikeacat

    nuthinlikeacat New Member

    Messages:
    517
    State:
    Eden Prairie, Minnesota
    I guess to me it really doesnt matter. When Spring rolls around, I just go to whatever spot I think will produce best.
     
  13. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,177
    State:
    NC
    If you mean spring as warmer water temps, i.e. the 70's, then yes you will fisn fish in shallower water as they are in prespawn. If it is spring by the calendar and the water temp is still in the 60's, then they are not going to be commited to shallows as much as when the water temp goes up.

    Bait movement will dicatate this more than anything. Today I was marking shad schools at 18 feet in water depths of up to 28 feet, and bream were holding on cover in 4-6 feet of water. The surface water temps are in the upper 60's to lower 70's on this particular river arm that is fed from a hot water discharge of a power plant.
     
  14. master_cat

    master_cat New Member

    Messages:
    686
    State:
    tennessee
    putting floats on the trot line will probly most likly work great all the talk about slip bobbers they are a big yesss they work great