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hi. I’m a catifsherman from Florida, and I am going to the Saint johns river to fish soon. I have pulled a 15lb catfish, as well as Giant gar.But my goal is to get a 30 pound blue cat fish. Is there anyone who Is willing to give me some tips? I am going to be fishing off the dock in the widest part of the river. I am using the TEAM CATFISH GOLD RING reel, and the CHOPSTICK rod by CATFISH SUMO. The reel is spoiled with 65lb test braid. But I am still struggling on what hook to use, and what size it should be. Any information will help. Thank you.
 

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Brendan, I fish the St Johns River around Jacksonville but have fished all the way down to Palatka. From what I have heard scientifically, there are no Blue catfish in the St. Johns River. Lots of people call them blues but I believe they are channel catfish. I am partial to using Eagle Claw Khale hooks. For a big cat I would recommend at least a 4/0 to a 7/0. There are lots of great hooks out there that catch a bunch of nice catfish. Everyone has their own favorites but the Khale is my favorite and I have a lot of confidence using it. Good luck and please share your reports.
 

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Brendan, I fish the St Johns River around Jacksonville but have fished all the way down to Palatka. From what I have heard scientifically, there are no Blue catfish in the St. Johns River. Lots of people call them blues but I believe they are channel catfish. I am partial to using Eagle Claw Khale hooks. For a big cat I would recommend at least a 4/0 to a 7/0. There are lots of great hooks out there that catch a bunch of nice catfish. Everyone has their own favorites but the Khale is my favorite and I have a lot of confidence using it. Good luck and please share your reports.
You are correct correct. No blues in the St Johns system. When I first started catfishing over there several years ago and caught big "dark blue/black" cats I assumed they were blue cats until I started really looking at them. Realized they were dark channels. Checked with local fish biologist and he said they were channels. Get dark there due to the dark tannin water. Small channels, up to about 12 or 14 inches will be spotted.
 

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Steve from Mississippi
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I like circle hooks for pretty much all of my catfishing. I have landed fish up to 30lbs on 4/0 gamakatsu. I also like VMC hooks a lot. Base ur hook size on bait size. I use up to 10/0 on large bait. Just do not fill ur gap with bait.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Oh ok. Thank you for letting me know. This whole time I thought I was catching blues.

You are correct correct. No blues in the St Johns system. When I first started catfishing over there several years ago and caught big "dark blue/black" cats I assumed they were blue cats until I started really looking at them. Realized they were dark channels. Checked with local fish biologist and he said they were channels. Get dark there due to the dark tannin water. Small channels, up to about 12 or 14 inches will be spotted.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well here’s an update. I went back to the St Johns, specifically Jullington creek. I was fishing for gar, and had tossed out a live 9 inch mullet that I netted earlier. At around 10:30 at night, I heard my reel screaming. After a 15 minute fight around the dock, I finally saw, and landed the fish. It was a 30lb channel catfish!!! I was and still am estatic about this. This was about 3 months ago by the way. But thank you so much to everyone who gave me tips and tricks to catch them! I won’t forget this!
 

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Nice Catch Brendan. Thanks for the pictures. Don't get too wrapped up about weight. The picture with something to show size is great. The rod helps.

Tight lines
 

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Dave from ohio
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nice channel, probably not #30, but a trophy fish for sure.Judging by the deck boards he spans, he was around 33", and that is a huge channel
 
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