Small bites compared to no bites

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by Pfunk, Mar 29, 2008.

  1. Pfunk

    Pfunk New Member

    Messages:
    141
    State:
    Lake Fork - Texas
    I was fishing one of my honey holes all day yesterday, getting tiney bites non stop. obviously these were very small catfish hitting my bait.

    I usually don’t set the hook with these small fish, because I use 2-inch hooks, and don’t want to risk taking an eye out or hurting it.
    Or the smaller fish will often peck at it like a bird, and 50% of the time the hook wont set anyway, and it wastes bait.

    My question is, i know we all have time limits on how long we'll wait for a bite before moving to another location. But do any of you have limits on how long you put up with the small schools hitting ur bait, before moving to search for larger fish?

    Usually if I sit and wait it out, the bigger cats will move in eventually. But this wasn’t the case yesterday. I sat it out all day and didn’t get a single bite that was worth pulling in.

    I assume a small bite is better than no bite. But is it?
     
  2. massa_jorge

    massa_jorge New Member

    Messages:
    2,137
    State:
    TEXAS
    i catch a few little cats or get those little pecking nibbles over the period of a few hours, and i'll move. a lot of the time though, the bigger ones will move in where the smaller ones are feeding, so that's why i stay put for a while. i use big chunks of cut shad or carp, so most of the time the little ones are not a problem anyway.
     

  3. Pfunk

    Pfunk New Member

    Messages:
    141
    State:
    Lake Fork - Texas
    Yea, maybe the water tempt is still too low for the big ones in this specific spot i was in. Because the big ones never came in. I too use big bait, but those little ones were all over it allll day long. It drove me nuts because i felt like i couldnt take my eye off the tip of my rod, thinking any minute i was going to get a bite worth pulling in.
    They were teasing me all day. But i didnt want to move, for i felt the big ones were due any moment. So i pretty much spent all day watching those little hits.
     
  4. bobby-catfishing

    bobby-catfishing New Member

    Messages:
    404
    State:
    Highland Villag
    Allen,
    Just because the bite isn't big doesn't mean the fish is small. I'm not sure what method of fishing your doing, but channel cats can be very sensitive to line pressure. They will often spit the bait as soon as they feel any resistance. Often times the smaller fish will hit more agressively than larger fish because of the competition from all of the others. I set the hook on any bite big or small. You never really know how big that fish is until you get him in the boat. When fishing baited holes straight down, they will often bite as light as a crappie. Any little bump, tap or heavy feeling could be a 10" fish or a 10 pounder. If I'm fishing shallow water with rods in the rod holders I'll do things a bit different. If a bait clicker just get's a short burst it's usually a channel cat. I'll pick that rod up and give it about 2 feet of slack and watch the line. The fish will usually come back and hit the bait again, but this time there is no resistance with a carolina rig and the slack in the line. I let him take the line until it's almost tight and then cross his eyes or let the rod load up if using a circle hook. I hope this helps you a bit. Let me know if you have any more questions. I'll help you out as much as I can.
     
  5. uttatoo

    uttatoo New Member

    Messages:
    1,797
    State:
    greatbend kansas
    i have learned that the big ones hit very slow i can watch my pole bend very slowly then stop then start again then i set the hook but the eaters will take off like a bag in the wind
    are you sure the bite were not blue gill or carp or bullheads hitting your bait
     
  6. brinley45cal

    brinley45cal Active Member

    Messages:
    2,606
    State:
    kentucky
    yeah it could have been a bunch of bluegills,those little bait steelers will rip you off given the opportunity.
     
  7. catfisherman_eky3

    catfisherman_eky3 New Member

    Messages:
    2,296
    State:
    Kentucky
    Yea ive caught cats before thats bit like blue gills, then all at once take it under
     
  8. Junior42

    Junior42 New Member

    Messages:
    500
    State:
    Catlettsburg, KY
    Yeah it probly is bluegill. They love to still your bait.
     
  9. crazy

    crazy New Member

    Messages:
    2,090
    State:
    Kansas CIty, MO
    Like others have said just because the bite is light does not mean the fish is not. As far as the hook in the eye goes. The fish could be 20 pounds and you still can get it in the eye. It's just part of fishing. It sucks but it happens. Go to a smaller hook and see what's bitting.
     
  10. Ahquabi_Master

    Ahquabi_Master New Member

    Messages:
    999
    State:
    WDM Iowa
    I feel your angst - the whole staring at the pole thing for hours makes me dizzy on the drive home. When I use worms this kills me but if I'm using cut I figure its a turtle trying to get a bite to eat. What I do is drop down to a smaller hook on one of my rods to make sure it isn't a bigger fish trying to outsmart me. I'll bring in little fish 75% of the time. But every now and then I'll get a bigger fish, even on a smaller hook. Plus...catching little ones can be somewhat fun and you're learning something new while not getting sick from staring at your pole thats getting nibbled at for hours. All fishing is fun right? lol.
     
  11. Pfunk

    Pfunk New Member

    Messages:
    141
    State:
    Lake Fork - Texas
    Yea, ya'll have a good point about the tension on my line. Some of them may have been worth pulling in, but may be getting spooked from the line tension..

    When im in deeper water I fish straight down, with my bait about 5 inches off the bottom. I think my sinker was a little too big, and may have been spooking them when they were hitting the bait.


    We had a lot of rain this last weekend. So after each rain i went out, but this time I used a bobber, removed the sinker, and moved in shallow.

    Caught 8 fish all between 5 - 7 lbs each. Sure is easier watching a bobber than the tip of an ugly stick lol.
     
  12. uttatoo

    uttatoo New Member

    Messages:
    1,797
    State:
    greatbend kansas
    try a bobber with a brain they are great for cats
     
  13. orion_xxvx

    orion_xxvx New Member

    Messages:
    397
    State:
    North Central Missouri
    Sometimes you have to create a scent trail. To bring bigger ones in it may take several hours.
     
  14. zeboman

    zeboman New Member

    Messages:
    2,883
    State:
    Pennsylvan
    Some of our best fish we ever caught were on those little hits, you just can`t tell sometimes by the hit whether the fish is big or small.
     
  15. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,160
    State:
    NC
    "...do any of you have limits on how long you put up with the small schools hitting ur bait, before moving to search for larger fish?..."

    If you are after trophy fish then you need to move away if smaller fish are all that you are catching. Generally, the bigger fish will not be in the same area with smaller fish.

    One thing to remember; if you are getting pecked to death then all of a sudden it stops, STAY PUT! Bigger fish may have moved in a scared off the smaller fish.