Targeting individual catfish.

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by just cats, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. just cats

    just cats New Member

    Messages:
    325
    State:
    Leslie Missouri
    Hey guys, I'm taking a weeks vacation next week and planning on spending all of it on the Mo. (Provided there is enough water to launch my boat). I have just started trying to target big fish and set up on them the past couple weeks.I've read what I could find on here about it but haven't been able to find a lot of posts on it. So you guys that do this successfully , got any tips for a beginner? I'll have lots of time to experiment with any ideas you can give me. I know almost nothing about this type of fishing so any thing you tell me will be new stuff for me. When you hunt for the fish, do you drift or run the motor? Does the motor spook them when they are at 10 ft., 20 ft, 30 ft? What factors do you consider when deciding to set up on a fish, size, proximity to the bottom, depth, structure he is around, other things? Well, like I said, I know almost nothing so I won't overload you with anymore questions. Any and all information will be truly appreciated. I really want to learn how to do this. Thanks
     
  2. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    I think the biggest challenge for you will be learning where your boat is in relation to the "big fish" you saw on the bottom -- and, more importantly, learning how to put your bait right on that big fish, all while dealing with a constantly moving current and a delay of 1 to several seconds between the sonar signal arriving and the fish arch showing up on your screen.

    In a lake or slow-moving river, you might have an easier go of it - but with the rate that current moves on the Missouri, I think you're really biting off a lot if you want to be as precise in your boat and bait positioning as you need to be in order to target a specific fish.

    There are several good fishermen here who will swear that they can mark a fish, toss out their bait and catch that *exact* fish. I personally don't (and won't) believe them, but as I've mentioned in other threads, they can't prove they're right and I can't prove they're wrong, so it's useless to argue about it. (Of course, there are also people here who think they can what kind of fish they're seeing on the sonar based on the shape of the arch. It's more hooey, but if it makes them happy, there's no point in arguing. You might be able to tell something about size, but you can't tell species or smooth skin vs. scales. And again, nobody can prove them wrong or right.)

    Let us know how your experiments go -- and by all means, if you have the ability, record your sonar log and post some sonar screen-shots of big arches and photos of the fish that made them!
     

  3. just cats

    just cats New Member

    Messages:
    325
    State:
    Leslie Missouri
    I've only set up on a couple fish since I started trying to learn how to do this and everything you said about the difficulty in getting your boat and bait actually on the fish while dealing with the current is true. Sounds like you have tried it a time or two yourself? When I marked a fish, I would look for a reference point on the bank and mentally try to set the spot in my head, keeping in mind the delay time between the signal and the fish showing on the screen, Then motor back up above the fish, drop anchor and play out rope until I felt I was within casting distance of the fish and then I'd cast two lines towards the spot. I may or may not have been actually on the fish. I really don't know. But I do believe that this can be done and I'm sure it will take a lot of practice and a lot of time but that's my goal. My fishing technique has remained basically the same over the years except for little tweaks here and there and I think it's time to try something entirely new and different.It'll be fun and I am sure I will gain something from the learning process. Thanks for posting.
     
  4. Arkansascatman777

    Arkansascatman777 New Member

    Messages:
    7,782
    State:
    AR
    I dis-agree with the post above that you can't target a specific fish. You can't take a $100 depth finder and do this but if you are willing to spend in the $600 + range then you can. DH posted awhile back on this subject and if you want details he is the man to contact. Send him a PM or maybe someone can find the post about using your sonar there was a lot of good and detailed information in that post. Also with a good depth finder not only can you target a specific fish but if you know what to look for you can actually tell if the fish on the screen is a scaled or smooth skinned fish.
     
  5. just cats

    just cats New Member

    Messages:
    325
    State:
    Leslie Missouri
    I hope this thread doesn't turn into an argument about whether you can or cannot target and catch individual fish or tell if they are scaled or not. I happen to believe those who say they can but each to his own . I am just looking for some information on the subject. I have read everything that DH has posted about using depth finders, don't think I missed anything he's written on it. His posts were excellent and I look forward to more from him and anyone else who targets individual fish. But this coming week I intend to just keep trying to find and set up on big fish. May not catch a thing, but by the end of the week I'll know more about it than I do right now. It will probably be baby steps for awhile but I"m gonna learn this technique, however long it takes. Thanks for posting.
     
  6. TomV

    TomV New Member

    Messages:
    356
    State:
    Warsaw, Missouri
    Good Luck Jack! I for one hope you do it, target a big fish and catch that big fish.

    Targeting big fish is something I need to learn also. Anxious to hear how it goes, Keep us posted and again good luck.
     
  7. Wayne J.

    Wayne J. New Member

    Messages:
    82
    State:
    OHIO
    Yea, what they said lol, Id say just work hard at it, and find what seems best for you. good luck and good fishing:cool2:
     
  8. Arkansascatman777

    Arkansascatman777 New Member

    Messages:
    7,782
    State:
    AR
    Jack, Good luck next week. The only thing I might add is if you are wanting to target big fish only then stay with large baits. This is three baits that work for me
    1. Live gills fished on the bottom with a carolina rig keeping your leader 7 or 8 inches and no longer than 10 inches. Or using live gills fished just off the bottom with a slip cork.
    2. Large skip jack or shad heads fished on a carolina rig with an 18 to 24 inch leader fished on the bottom. Or the same baits used drift fishing.
    3. Take a 5 to 8 inch whole shad and start at the tail and fillet up to the gill leaving it attached. Insert a 10/0 kahle into the tail of the fillet and fold back inserting the hook through both eye sockets this will expose the gut and put out a good scent trail. Fish on a carolina rig with an 18 to 24 inch leader on the bottom or use a slip cork and fish just off the bottom. This is a good bait for big blues.
    I hope some of these work for you, Good Luck
     
  9. Michael Jake

    Michael Jake New Member

    Messages:
    808
    State:
    Troy, Missouri
    Ah vacation... and hopefully it will be a beautiful Indian summer out on the water. Jack, all that any of us here can do is give suggestions but you have to try the different things to see what works for you where your fishing at this time of year. With that here’s what I would do if in your place... Spend your mid day hours SCOUTING... I would look for the “fastest water coming off the wing dyke tips” with a good scour hole trailing it. Find that with a good size shallow flat say 3 to 5 ft. deep next to it then move up thru the hole slowly watching your electronics. Look for structure, bigfish and baitfish and to me most of all the more of the wing dyke tip under water the better. You should also see smaller to medium size fish at around 12 to 15 ft. up against the drop off from the wing dam tip. Now back off and scout some more, don’t worrie about spooking fish yet. Go back after finding several spots to set up at, anchor on the wing dyke tip and back off about 20 ft. I would then use the wisdom on Cuz and drop a line or 2 straight down. Those big ones when hungry will chase the smaller ones away from “their dinner table”. Cast one line right in the middle of the fast currant break (best spot), another over next to the flat drop off then hold on. I favor live gills but keep changing with cut bait and even goldfish for this time of year, down size your bait if need be till the fish tell you what they’re favoring. This scenerio is what I've experienced lately on the lower Mo. Good luck out there and enjoy. Michael
     
  10. just cats

    just cats New Member

    Messages:
    325
    State:
    Leslie Missouri
    Thanks guys, gonna start after em Sunday and hope to fish every day next week. I'll let ya know how it goes.
    Michael I like those spots too but I haven't used my sonar much in fishing them so I will definitly be looking them over real close this week. I usually just pull up to the tip and tie up to the dam itself,avoiding the swing that way. Is there an advantage to dropping back 20 feet and dropping a line straight down over just tieing up tight to the dike and casting back the twenty feet? Thanks again , good fishing everyone, Jack
     
  11. Michael Jake

    Michael Jake New Member

    Messages:
    808
    State:
    Troy, Missouri
    The 20 ft. is just a reference to however far out needed to drop a line down verticle where it be in that 12 to 15 ft. feeding area... That swing your talking about can be pretty wide, I know exactly what your refering to. Just about need 3 anchor points to hold a boat stable. It might be better to flip it or cast it from the dyke. :smile2: My clicker kept going off last time out with the boat dragging it on the swing. Good luck brother
     
  12. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    First off you can with the right equipment target specific fish. I've seen the guys on In-Fishermen show the audience the screen point to the fish and even show their jig bouncing up and down on the sonar screen in the fishes face and catch it. They were catching smallmouth and walleye that episode so it can be done. Next, I read an article on radio tagged flatheads that showed they would move away from the motor sound when the researches tried to get close to them. I think all you need to do is mark fish or structure and bait and set up just an easy cast from there. You don't need to be directly overhead to catch them or get your bait in the general area. When it hits bottom they will know it. If they are in a feeding frame of mind they will bite if not move to a new spot you scouted earlier. If you find a few spots you want to hit start upstream and work back down through your trip, you can cut the motor and drift or just idle or use a trolling motor to get the final position. Also you might not 'see' any fish on bottom sometimes because of interference from logs and debris. If you see bait though I fish it.
     
  13. SkiMax

    SkiMax New Member

    Messages:
    2,012
    State:
    Rising Sun, IN
    I think it is possible to target certian fish you are marking. You need a couple things
    1. a good depth finder, a 100 dollar one definately won't do
    2. patience! it takes alot of practice, i have been trying it for several years and still not good at it.
    3. GPS, i can not tell you how much easier this makes it target individual fish. Set yourself on a high Ping on your depth finder and if you have a good one, the delay shouldn't be huge. move slowly upstream with your gps in your hand, as soon as you makr a good arch, plot that spot. My GPS will tell you how close you are to within 1 foot. So when a GPS Cordinate is set, simply motor on upstream, drop an anchor, and let line out until you are withing casting distance. It makes the whole process 100 times easier and takes almost all the guess work out
     
  14. catchaser19

    catchaser19 New Member

    Messages:
    221
    State:
    UTAH
    I hear that the best thing to use for specific looking would be a flasher like a vexilar fl-18 they run cheaper but i have seen people track an 1/8 ounce jig down to 30 feet and there is almost no delay between the ping and it coming on screen. The one catch is it shows it information by a series of line in a round like screen so it might take some practice to read it but i hear they are very sensitive. Hope this helps