Slow day that ended with a bang! 44lb Blue catfish Picture an catch details

Discussion in 'VIRGINIA RIVERS TALK' started by gottafish, Jan 10, 2006.

  1. gottafish

    gottafish New Member

    Messages:
    308
    State:
    Chesapeake, VA
    Fished the James today with Tank. First order of business was to collect bait, which turned out to be an easy task to fill, with the exception that we hung the gill net up on some underwater garbage and tore the net up pretty well. Had a lot of "by-product" in the net today - lots of catfish and even a couple of crappie. All went back into the water unharmed. Though somewhat expected since we were exploring new water and locating some new holes - it was SLOW! Had to work half the day for the first bite when Tank hooked up with a small 13 pounder. That was it for the day - until we decided to call it quits at about 4:15 and hit one more hole before heading to the ramp. Shortly after getting our baits in the water, nearly all six rods started bouncing. Bites!! But they weren't the smaller fish that we were used to. The frequency of the bouncing was slower - they were bigger fish. But they wouldn't take the whole bait. We set up on several fish and pulled the bait right out of their mouths - even losing some bait occasionally. These fish were much stronger. So we downsized our baits by cutting away the gut pockets and making nice compact shad steaks. It wasn't long before fish started hitting the deck. Mostly smallish fish in the teens - but we boated a few. Then my rod went off again. This one was heavy! Half way back to the boat, while Tank was getting the net out - his rod went down. Another good fish on the line. My fish was the first to the side of the boat so it went to the net. Meanwhile Tank landed his fish by hand. About that time, another one of my rods went off. I dropped everything and made a dash to the back of the boat to tackle that fish. A small one - about a dozen pounds so I tossed him back in to get back to the fish I still had laying on deck. I finally got it out of the net, pulled the hook and onto the scale. 44 pounds! Awesome, a new Personal Best for me. Man I love Blue Cats!! Tanks fish weighed in at about 26 pounds if I remember correctly.

    In all, other than a couple in the 20s and the 44, the fish weren't large but we must have landed 140 pounds of fish in 45 minutes of fishing. What a way to cap the day.

    Sorry about the pic background, but it's a necessary evil.

    /Scott

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Katmaster Jr.

    Katmaster Jr. New Member

    Messages:
    4,644
    State:
    Wilmington, NC
    Awesome! Glad to see someone getting them. I plan on trying to fish the james this winter with a guy off another forum. Named Joe and he's from oxford, NC, have yall ever heard of him? He's pretty good and fishes the James alot.
     

  3. jholl949

    jholl949 New Member

    Messages:
    836
    State:
    Mannford. Oklah
    Just ONCE I'd like to get something CLOSE to that size. Heck, I'd settle for HALF that size!
    Nice fish, Scott!
     
  4. Leakyboat

    Leakyboat New Member

    Good Fish,big ole' pig!Glad ya'll had a good day!
    Ernie
     
  5. BAM

    BAM New Member

    Messages:
    827
    State:
    Tennessee
    Looks like yall had a great day, Thanks for sharing.
     
  6. TDawgNOk

    TDawgNOk Gathering Monitor (Instigator)

    Messages:
    3,365
    State:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Very nice fish. Looks like it woulda been one heck of a day topper!
     
  7. teaysvalleyguy

    teaysvalleyguy New Member

    Messages:
    9,751
    State:
    GC, OHIO
    Very nice fish, congrats on the catch.
     
  8. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    I have never caught a Blue, but wouls sure like to someday, that is a great fish!
     
  9. kayakgeek

    kayakgeek New Member

    Messages:
    50
    State:
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Scott,

    Way to go Man!!!! When you downsized your bait did you also downsize your hook size?? What size hook where you taking them on??

    Geek
     
  10. gottafish

    gottafish New Member

    Messages:
    308
    State:
    Chesapeake, VA
    I used the same hooks. The bait was still a considerable size so it's real important to keep the the gap exposed. I use 10/0 Owner circles.
    /Scott
     
  11. tank3544

    tank3544 New Member

    Messages:
    201
    State:
    Fredericksburg, VA
    yeah heck of a way to end the day!

    we downsized because the were so finicky and it worked out .. picked up some decent fish with them .. otherwise i'm sure we would have come home with just a fish or 2

    yeah we left the hooks the same cause in the grand scheme of things it's better to be able to hook up on a big fish if it takes it, rather than making sure the hook is the right size for a little one
     
  12. elphaba7

    elphaba7 New Member

    Messages:
    795
    State:
    Mo'town, WV
    Fantastic fish! Great catch, congratulations!
     
  13. Ol Whiskers

    Ol Whiskers New Member

    Messages:
    290
    State:
    Fairfield Township, Ohio
    nice catch! I need a trip like that.
     
  14. ShilohRed

    ShilohRed New Member

    Messages:
    4,339
    State:
    West Tn
    Sounds like a great evening.
    What kind of net are you using for bait? ARe you talking about a full size gill net?
    I know we could catch lots of bait here in one. but not legal for the size mesh it would take for skipjack.
    PEte
     
  15. gottafish

    gottafish New Member

    Messages:
    308
    State:
    Chesapeake, VA
    We use a 6' X 50' net with 2" square (4" stretch) mesh. The Gizzard Shad we're catching run from about 8 to 12 inches long. Anything smaller than that, I'm not sure if we'd get 'em. How big do your skipjack get? What are your mesh size limitations?

    /Scott
     
  16. brad kilpatrick

    brad kilpatrick New Member

    Messages:
    2,666
    State:
    Kansas City
    WOW scott that sure is a nice fish!!! Way to go! sounds like you all had one heck of a day fishing! sent You an E-mail yesterday, did You get it?
     
  17. gottafish

    gottafish New Member

    Messages:
    308
    State:
    Chesapeake, VA
    Appreciate the congrats brothers & sister :) . I'll be back at it this weekend for more - gotta love it!!

    Brad, got the email - just sent a reply. I apologize for not getting one out sooner.

    Tight lines.
    /Scott
     
  18. gweber

    gweber New Member

    Messages:
    39
    Scott and Tank,

    That's a great way to end a day out there on the James. Why do we keep throwing out these big baits when these fish aren't moving enough to take them? I'm surprised to hear that a bigger fish like a 44#er took a small bait like that. I'll be trying that next time I go, especially if they are tickling the big baits. We fished last Saturday and every bait that had guts was picked clean within five minutes, but nothing would take the big baits. Thanks for sharing the info.

    gweber
     
  19. gottafish

    gottafish New Member

    Messages:
    308
    State:
    Chesapeake, VA
    They sure seemed to take it a little better. It's worth a shot when you just can't seem to get a hook into a fish.

    /Scott
     
  20. ShilohRed

    ShilohRed New Member

    Messages:
    4,339
    State:
    West Tn
    I believe ours is still 4" Sq. But will have to check. I have 8 of the 100 ft nets . But would have to buy a commercial license. To use them here.
    That would sure catch a bunch of them fast. WE have a lot of skip jack that will be way over 12".
    Pete