The "Topper" thread -- Best Catfishing Trips Only

Discussion in 'Gateway Catfishing Club' started by TN Greg, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. TN Greg

    TN Greg Member

    Messages:
    627
    State:
    MO
    I think this would make for some interesting reading as time on the water has all but ceased -- as well as give folks a glimpse of the "light at the end of the tunnel" when all goes well (for those times when we can't seem to buy a bite). It also can serve as a free pass to brag a little -- not that we really need it in the first place.

    Don't skimp on the details as we all have plenty of time to read. I mean who doesn't love a good fishing story. Let's have 'em.

    I will wait until a few folks post their "best" before chiming in to gauge interest and what not.
     
  2. RIVER-RAT

    RIVER-RAT New Member

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    3,128
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    MO / MT
    We want to hear your story Greg....start us off buddy!
     

  3. BEHITJ

    BEHITJ New Member

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    1,014
    State:
    Wentzville
    Where's the story your killing us man!!:cat::0a28::0a28::0a28:
     
  4. BEHITJ

    BEHITJ New Member

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    1,014
    State:
    Wentzville
    I guess I will start this thing. The best trip I ever had was this year on the Mississippi back in the late summer when the water was up and we caught 450 lbs of fish most of them on one spot in about 3hrs of non stop catching.Man that was a blast. All I can say is RIGHT PLACE RIGHT TIME.Alright Greg your turn.
     
  5. TN Greg

    TN Greg Member

    Messages:
    627
    State:
    MO
    Thanks for starting this off BEHITJ. I fully anticipate others will join as we get the ball rolling. I'm really looking forward to the responses of some the veterans. Like I said, I love a good fish story.

    To give a little background, this was basically my third year in the pursuit of the bluecat. First year was a lot of skunks with a few successes. We probably didn't put 10 fish in the boat total. :angry: Regardless, it was enough to begin to learn the water and tactics.

    Last year was a bit better. We went a lot more and caught a few more fish including my own PB. But we still weren't on them like most of you guys. :confused2:

    This year started off slowly, but we kept at it and the data points began to pile up and boy did it start paying off. :smile2: Success certainly had something to do with persistence.

    Anyway, I suspect the timing of BEHITJ best of trip wasn't too far from my best of. It was soon after Pearl and I witnessed the shootings at the cobbles and the river was flooding for about the third time. This forced us to mix things up a bit. And yes, Ratman, it did happen.

    As usual, we were fishing a week day -- so Pearl and I left from work and got the boat in the water around 6. Nessie had run out of marriage capital, so he was unable to join us for the evening. He just had to endure the phone calls and text messages all night. So, it takes us about an hour to get bait and set up. I was on the contrarian kick (similar to when Nessie caught his PB early in the summer), so we were trying a spot that I typically would never think of. I was catching plenty of fish by this point of the summer, but no big ones -- so, we figured what the heck.

    Well, we didn't get any true hogs that night, but man did we catch a lot of fish. We were only able to get four rods out and then WHAM.......they all went down. Four on at once + two people = complete nutroll. The fish ranged from 17 to 25 lbs. So, we clear up the mess and managed to only get three rods out and WHAM! Three on at once. These three fished weighed between 30 and 35 pounds. That's the pic I have as my avatar. We were pretty stoked. I must throw in there that I did manage to reel in two of the three -- so I got the pic.

    At this point, we knew we were onto something. We frantically tried to get in touch with Nessie to let him get in the game, but he was being a good husband. This was a bummer for us, because we needed more hands -- but, mucho bummer for him as he was missing "the night" that we've been waiting for.

    We felt sorry for him for about thirty seconds, but then it was time to get back to the action. It was important for us to keep going as we figured Nessie would have wanted it that way.

    So, we only put two rods out this time and true to form, it wasn't 2 minutes and both were hooked up. So for the next 4 hours, Pearl and I went to work. It was every man for himself. You baited your one rod, threw it out, waited 1-2 minutes, fought and netted a fish. Every now and then, the other guy would snap a pic while fighting a fish. Very few words were spoken. It was a surreal experience to say the least.

    It's now 11:30 and we have managed to use the last piece of bait. (It was a glorious occasion when the bait would slide up the line when the fish hit so we could use it again.) The fish count was up to 38 by this point, and at ~20lbs a piece, that's a lot of fish!!! Considering my best night up to this point was probably 15 fish ~200lbs and it wasn't until this year where we actually caught double digit numbers of fish, we were playing well above of our heads.

    Now, it was time for the moment of truth. Its 11:30 pm, we are beat, hands were a bloody pulp, it takes an hour and half to get the boat loaded up and get home......and we have to be at work at 7:30 in the morning. The decision was easy. Time to catch more bait. 45 minutes later we had more bait and were anchored in the same spot -- the fish were still going bananas.

    We lit up the victory cigar at fish #40 and I was taking a picture of fish #43 with the cigar still burning. The fishing never slowed and we never had time to sit. In a few more hours, the bait tank was empty again.

    All in all we caught 53 that night. I bet we didn't catch 2 fish under 10 lbs. The biggest was 35lbs. I would put the average somewhere around 20lbs which was almost inconceivable to me – still is really (especially after the skunk last night). So, we were probably looking at 1,000lb night.

    We probably lost 5-6 fish after they hooked, broke one off....but all in all the bite to net ratio was pretty darn good – true believer in the circle hooks. It probably help that they all slammed it!! No tap, taps that night.

    I really don’t understand where the big boys were. We used some absolutely gigantic bait to try and deter the smaller ones, but I learned a 20lb kitty has no problem devouring gigantic bait. I was completely okay with it. On the plus side, there weren’t any small ones either. And we’ve caught plenty of small ones in the past as Pearl showed with that 6 inch flatty he caught this summer.

    So, it was a trip for the ages. I hope there is another 1,000lb night in my future, but I suspect the odds are against me. I need the river to flood around the end of July and I need a kitchen pass. Those two things alone happening at the same time have astronomical odds.

    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. And no, it wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t stumble upon the BOC a few years back. Much appreciation for the tips from you guys. Thanks. In fact, I’ll take winter catfishing tips now if you have them.

    All fish were released of course.
     
  6. Nessie

    Nessie New Member

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    173
    State:
    Missouri
    Well said gpolce. It was a tough night for me indeed:angry:. I had previous plans with my wife that kept me busy until about 10pm and I was low on "marital equity" after all our previous trips. After receiving numerous calls and texts from you and pearl, I knew that you guys were on them like we had only imagined. I thought you guys were full if s**t with all your text messages of 30 fish, 40 fish, etc. until I talked to you boys on the phone and saw all the pictures of the fish in the boat and the crazy fishfinder graphs full of fish. I can only hope that I am there next time it happens. It certainly set the bar for a new PB night on the river. Let's hear some more fish stories fellas...
     
  7. stlcatman

    stlcatman New Member

    Messages:
    2,408
    State:
    Imperial, MO
    Great posts John and Greg. I am still waiting on my 1000 lb night. I think this thread will do well, how about including some pictures from these trips. I know that I like to see the pics with the story if you still have them. This was my second year fishing for the trophy cats and reading threads like this one and the random day that I was able to get out last winter was the only thing that kept me from a debilitating case of cabin fever.
     
  8. Nessie

    Nessie New Member

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    173
    State:
    Missouri
    Even though I wasn't able to make it out that night, here are a few pics from Greg and Pearl's big night.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. theonecatfishbob

    theonecatfishbob New Member

    Messages:
    4,100
    State:
    Wright City, Missouri
    Greg, Youre asking me to take you fishin and show you something??? I think you should be teaching me how to fish. Thats some story.
     
  10. TN Greg

    TN Greg Member

    Messages:
    627
    State:
    MO
    Bob, be rest assured that was a fluke as Nessie can attest. The conditions were certainly optimal that night. We weren't able to replicate it.

    As for getting out there with you -- I still want it. On a scale of 1 to 10, I suspect my bluecat prowess is on about a 3 (at best).

    As for this thread, I'm dying to here your input. That one day when we met you coming off the river and Pearl and I were going -- you nailed 8 with the biggest in the 40's. I would have killed for that trip and you made it seemed like it's pretty typical.......so I know you have a good one for us. (We didn't catch a fish that night, btw. It was certainly a low light for team nutroll).

    As for you Ryan -- let's hear it. I've watched that youtube video of yours no less than 10 times.
     
  11. stlcatman

    stlcatman New Member

    Messages:
    2,408
    State:
    Imperial, MO
    Well I have never had a night where I even came close to 1000 lbs, that was a great trip. I have been thinking about which story to post but this year has been by far and away the best year of catting that I have seen. I don't know if I could pick just one, I would say the best part about this year was all of the people that I got to fish with and all of the great trips that we all had. I was able to see Rat catch two fish this year over 50, Cuz loose a fish at the boat over 60, Chris catch a 55 lber and catch two myself in the 60 lb class. I lost a giant at the boat and had one that I couldn't turn. I can't even recall all of the fish in the 30 to 45 lb range that were landed on these trips. Fishing all of the time with Cuz, Grump, Chris, Rat and Stitch, Bob,Kutter, Mike, Jason and Jason, Brent, Willie, Branden, Gary F, Justin, Steve Brown, Swamp and I am sure that I am forgetting a bunch. It has definately been a year to remember, even for a guy who has lost a few brain cells along the way.
    This is quite a bit different to last year where a skunking was more common than not. This year I can only recall 3 skunkings which I will definately put down as a win for the year. I was able to see quite a few people catch their new personal bests, Bill, Uncle Clyde, Willie (twice), my dad, Jon's friend, Heather and myself (twice). Overall it would be hard to just pick one so I will put up some pics that I have throughout the year.
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    this one has sentimental value (right Bob)
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  12. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

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    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
    These are some absolutely great post guys. Please keep em coming. Makes me verrrrry happy to read these. :big_smile:
     
  13. RIVER-RAT

    RIVER-RAT New Member

    Messages:
    3,128
    State:
    MO / MT
    Hmmm, where do I begin to start....

    At the start of this year, Ryan and I began our pre-fishing adventure in hopes of kicking some a$$ at the Gateway Classic. While doing that, I managed to land a 50 pound fish and a couple others. I remember that the water level was high at the time and was considered to be a contributing factor in the poor fishing. The high water never seemed to go away, in fact, it stayed, got higher, drop, raise, drop, raise. For some, it seemed to be a nightmare that would never go away.

    Some how, by pure stupid luck I'm sure, I managed to have one of the most successful, most enjoyable years of fishing I can ever remember. Not just one night stands out more than any of the other fantastic nights spent on the river. The thing that I like to reflect upon are the nights spent with different people. Like fishing with Willie and Grumper all night then riding back to the boat ramp in Grumper BRAND NEW BOAT as it got towed by the CuzCraft! LMAO!!

    I was able to see several people who had never caught a blue catfish, reel in one that weighed over 30 pounds! I fished so many times with Ryan and Kyle where we had nights with over 25 fish caught that I can't recall them all! I became a firm believer in fishing the sand flats during the summer! Hell, of the 3 50+ pound fish I caught this year, 2 of them were caught in 6-9 feet of water or less!! For sure this was a year to remember! I experienced several nights that yielded several 40+ pound fish in one night! I was able to fish a couple tournaments with close friends. I fished one of the Gateway Dollar Tourneys with my lovely bride as my partner! Then I learned to NEVER go fishing when Mrs Rat was angry with me, but also learned that fishing was also excellent when I had her blessing! :wink: Kyle and Ryan, you guys know exactly what I'm talking about as you were with me!

    I guess in a way I'm glad I can't give you one distinct story, I am so grateful that I had so many that it made narrowing down one became to difficult.

    Some pictures for your enjoyment.

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  14. Grumper

    Grumper New Member

    Messages:
    2,277
    State:
    Crystal City MO
    Ya know, I can't recall all the trips I made it out this year, but a few stand out in my mind. I don't remember the day exactly, but there was a hostage situation right up the road from my house this summer, and a normal drive to Ryan's house from mine is about 20 minutes, and that day it took over 2hrs to get there, so the night started off bad. Once we finally got on the water, (We launched at Flamm City) We headed north up around the JB bridge. We weren't out an hour hardly, and mother nature decided she didn't want to cooperate. Ryan and I ended up right at dark hunkered under the bridge trying to stay dry from the pouring rain and the waves that were created by the 30MPH winds out of the south. I was ready to give up after all the BS that I had to go through, But Ryan, being the persisent one, made me stay. LMAO :smile2: We decided to stick it out, and it ended up paying off. No 1000 lb night, but we were knocking on the door of 400lbs, mainly a bunch of 20-35lb range fish.
    The next trips, were a 3 day deal. I talked to Mike, and asked him if he wanted to go out, I was gonna try to get him off the skunk list. We ended up messing around for awhile trying to find bait, cause it was scarce down here. We ended up with an asian or two, so I decided to run up the Illinois bank, and check out wing dike tips on the channel edge. The second one I came too, was loaded with fish, stacked up on something in 60 feet of water. So we set up, and I don't recall how many fish I caught but it was alot! None of them broke 20lbs though. About 11:30 everything was quite, and I was catnapping, and I heard a loud pop, which was my Catfish Safari River rod bent over bouncing off the motor cowl. I jumped up, grabbed it, and started to fight it. I told Mike to reel up the others, and he started. I got that fish to the back of the boat, and it was no doubt one of the biggest fish that I've ever had hooked. He saw that boat, rolled, and headed for the gulf of Mexico. Wasn't nothing I could do to stop in that current.:confused2: The next night, Jon and I went out, same spot, and we caught another 20 something fish, with 4 over 40lbs, which one was 46.5, and it still Jon's PB. We were right on the 500lb mark that night. The next night, Ryan and I went out, and we caught 2 more over 40, which one of them is the last picture in Ryan's post. The fishing was real slow that night, and Ryan and I decided to lay down and go to sleep, and we were gonna try to hit the bite right at first light. I kept hearing something and woke up, and it was the boat sitting on the tip of the dike. It had dropped like 3 feet while we were out there, so we decided to call it a night. I'd say that's the best weekend I've ever had. Probably 10 citation fish in one weekend, isn't bad in my book. :wink:I've made some good memories and friends this year, and got a couple of them new PB's. So, guess I should say thanks to Cuz, Ryan, and Swamp for being my goto co pilots. I had a blast tournament fishing with Cuz this year, especially the classic. We fished really hard and did well in some tough conditions. Thanks to Bob for letting me fish one of Justin's while my partner was at the beach. Lol!:smile2: Also thanks to Mike for coming out that night, Willie, for making me run out of gas! LMAO J/J, Rat, Jon Gupton, and anybody else that I forgot for coming along with me. I'm hoping these gas prices stay down, so I can afford to make next year just as fun as this one. :wink:
    I would post up some pics, but with a dial up connection, I'll be here till next week!
     
  15. stlcatman

    stlcatman New Member

    Messages:
    2,408
    State:
    Imperial, MO
    Man reading your guys last few posts brings back some really fun memories of trips out there on the water. I found quite a few more pics from this year. I won't post them all but here are a few more.
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  16. theonecatfishbob

    theonecatfishbob New Member

    Messages:
    4,100
    State:
    Wright City, Missouri
    This was a slow year for me. I had trouble locating fish. I guess it was partly due to the limited time I had on the water. I guess that is a good excuse. I still managed a few good fish but nothing like last year. It does my heart good to hear all the success stories you folks have written. It lets me know the populations are still good in the river. I tells me you folks had a good time. And the thing I like the most about the stories from you folks is I am sure that all those magnificent fish are still out there waiting for someone else to have a chance at them. Unlike the trotliners and commercial people you folks are true sportsmen and I applaud you all for it. I gotta go to work. As always good fishin one and all
     
  17. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
    ROFLMFAO. Could have done WITHOUT that last one punkin lolololol
     
  18. TN Greg

    TN Greg Member

    Messages:
    627
    State:
    MO
    Bob, it doesn't have to be a trip from this year. I want to hear one from 'back in the day'. I'm sure you have one up your sleave. :wink:

    The same goes for you, Cuz. I know you must have to reminisce on a long layover or something.

    Anyone else out there with a pre-1990 post would certainly be appreciated.
     
  19. katcatchingfool

    katcatchingfool New Member

    Messages:
    2,032
    State:
    illinois
    I couple of nights that stand out for me. One of them was on the Kaskaskia river with my children on fathers day! The Mighty Mississippi was shut down to all recreational traffic and I needed a fix on catfishing so I decided to take my kids below Carlyle dam to find some trophy Flatheads. After fishing with live bluegills for what seemed like an eternity I decided to give cut bait a try. All heck broke lose, the bite was on. But instead of the elusive Flathead we were catching Blues and some nice Blues on top of it, especially for the Kaskaskia.
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    Then another day on the river that really stand out is a day my youngest went out fishing. He managed to put his personal best in the boat! We had to call mom to come down to the boat ramp to take picture's, but be asured the catfish was released to fight another day.

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  20. olejer

    olejer New Member

    Messages:
    1,738
    State:
    Herculaneum Mo.
    Good Looking kids you got there (got momma's looks Huh?)