Southern Recipe For Springtime Blue Catfish

Discussion in 'Catfishing Library' started by Whistler, Sep 5, 2005.

  1. Whistler

    Whistler Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,084
    State:
    TN
    Original post made by Jackie Johnson(Abilene) on May 13, 2005


    Southern recipe for springtime blues

    March has come and gone, and deep down in Dixie, the weather takes a turn toward spring. Wildflowers burst into bloom, and fruit trees adorn themselves with bright blossoms. The mockingbirds sing every song they've ever heard, while the bluebonnets nod in the gentle southern breeze. The bees are busy buzzing bee-lines back to their honey holes, loaded with nectar, and the folks that fish for cats are heading for their own honey holes.

    Sunshine, and southern winds are working their warm wonders in the shallow water coves and flats on the south end of the man made lake, far from the dam with it's deep, coldness. Creatures, large and small, are drawn to the warmer waters, where April’s showers wash nutrients of all kinds into the creeks to be carried on warm currents into the lower end of the reservoir.

    Minnows, baitfish, and crawdads are relocated into these dangerous waters, patrolled by hungry blues, intent on their single-minded mission of search and destroy. They are the hunters. They wreak their havoc, on shallow schools of feeding shad, and anything else they can get their mouths around.

    These denizens of the deep follow the creek channels from the main lake, migrating into shallows, and the more brush, the better. Our goal is to ambush the hunters, and a drainage cut is as good as a creek, especially if it contains running water. Curves, forks, holes, and humps in these under-waterways are good places to “head ‘em off at the pass”, as are points that reach out to them. Or we can fish the brush-lined shallows and the mouths of sloughs.

    Aerial photos, and topographic charts are treasure maps to success, even in unfamiliar waters. Close to center of these charts, you can see the creek channel growing wider as it enters the lake. The surface water temperature here is 72 degrees. Just north or up toward the open water, the temp is 62 degrees. That’s quite a difference, and those 10 degrees can make quite a difference in the bite. The further north you go, the colder it gets, and the slower the bite...and vice-versa.

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    The drainage cut at the top left corner meets the creek channel, close to the upper right corner of the topo. At this junction, southbound fish will take one fork or the other. Here, we may get a shot at them, either way they go.

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    Lower center, you can see another fork where Cedar Creek runs into Elm Creek. This is another good spot, as is the outside bend of the first curve above it, where it enters the lake. Charley and I like to fish this outside bend, as it's produced some nice fish.

    If you fish this creek, starting at the bottom and working your way from the bottom to the top of the chart, you will find the fish get progressively bigger from the south to the north. The biggest fish will be caught closer to, or in the main lake, but the bite will be slower.

    Another good place is the point in the upper left that reaches into the cut, and the deeper bed, which at this point is a wide, underwater floodplain. On the infra-red photo, you can see the road that leads to the end of the point, and the road that leads to the lower fork of the two creeks. These roads make it possible to fish these places from the bank.

    Live baits, cut baits, and punch baits, are all producers, and floats have a definite place in these areas, under these conditions. The mud bottom is soft enough to sink a bait into. One of my favorites is to cast as close to the brush as I can get, with my bait one to three feet under the surface. When your float starts moving through the water, cutting a V-shaped wake as it slowly sinks below the surface, like the periscope on a submarine, hang on, you’re going for a ride!

    Goodtime Charley's got the blues.

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