Time to get serious

Discussion in 'LOCAL MICHIGAN TALK' started by Derick, May 25, 2006.

  1. Derick

    Derick New Member

    Messages:
    25
    State:
    Kalamazoo, Michigan
    allright guys,

    ive been exclusively fishing for bass for the last couple of years, its been great, but it just wasnt cutting it for me, bigger (fish) is better, right? so i joined this site to kinda put my feelers out and maybe see if i have some secret untapped catfisherman in me, and after reading all your posts, i have to say you guys have me pretty pumped about hauling in some cats. so, with payday right around the corner (and gander mountain), i figure my first step is getting some new gear. ive been reading my little heart away in attempt to figure out what gear i need, but it seems like everyone uses something different, hooks, line, bait....so i was wondering what the local michiganders use, what my basic set up should consist of, and maybe some things to stay away from, any input would be helpful, thanks guys

    derick
     
  2. Derick

    Derick New Member

    Messages:
    25
    State:
    Kalamazoo, Michigan
    thanks jim, look foward to seeing some pics of the big cats your going to catch on the summer smash board

    01:07 PM ETEX-JIGGER

    sorry i couldnt pm back, have to hit that 10 post mark!
     

  3. Cherokee

    Cherokee New Member

    Messages:
    1,743
    State:
    Salyersville,Ke
    Welcome to the BOC
     
  4. Sparky Larson

    Sparky Larson New Member

    Messages:
    539
    State:
    Marlette Michigan
    Well Derick, you came to the right place for information. Just remember, you are going to hear a lot from different fella's on this site. It will all be good info. you must remember, we all fish, we all catch fish, and we all use different equipment with good sucess.
    Being that I answered this first, I'll through my two cents in. I fish mainly for channel cats, so my equipment is not as heavy as others would be. You have to ask yourself a question first! How much money do I want to spend?
    I have two basic rigs I use. One is a 7' rod, that is so old, I can't remember where I bought it or what make it is, but it is a med. to light rod. ( really not the best cat rod, but it works and I have caught alot of channels with it. I compliment this rod with a 4000 Shimano Open face reel with 12lb test line. Many catmen will say that is too light, But I don't target 100lb fish either.
    My second rig is a 7' med action ugly stick I purchased at Bass Pro for under $30. I set an Ambassador 6500 c4 bait casting reel with 17lb nylon line. (that reel is between $75 and $100) So far I like it and I feel it was worth the bang for the buck. If it is of any help, The ulgy stick has out performed (dead weight lift) against some great brand name that run from $50 to $80 . Shimano Clarus 44.6 lbs, Browning Medallion GT 39.5lbs, Bass Pro Blonic Blade 31.7 lbs, Cabela's Fish Eagle ll 30.6 lbs, Berkley Lightning 23.1 lbs, Falcon 22.4 lbs. The ulgy stick did not break a 55lbs dead weight. Now, this was not a sci. test, and it was done with rods that were 6-61/2 feet long. But for the bang for the buck, it was my choice.

    I have used nothing but circle hook all last year and so far this year. I am sold on them. I mainly use 0/4. Don't get sold short on the hooks. Buy good ones. Heck Vic uses 0/8 size circle hooks and he catches Dogfish LOL.
    Keep yourself fixed to the site, I'm sure others will chime in.

    Good Luck
    Sparky
     
  5. bwanatony

    bwanatony New Member

    Messages:
    580
    State:
    Grand River Valley, Weste
    Friend, the opinions will soon be flowing. You asked for it, here's mine:

    First, you probably already have a rig that will catch 90% of the channels and 70% of the flats that swim around here. Anything you would use to pitch lures in the 1oz neighborhood will suffice. Therefore:

    Your first dedicated cat rig ought to be a bit heftier.
    Berkley makes a white fiberglass catfish rod in two sizes. Gander has them both, $20-$25. I like white because I mostly fish at night. They are nearly indistructible & highly visible.
    The Garcia 6500 (+/-$85.00 and well worth it, you can give it to your grandkids someday) is a great match for either one. Also nearly indistructible, spool it up with 20-30# mono or super-braid, and you're ready for almost anything. Yet, another level awaits the devote':

    The MAGNUM Rig:
    This is the rig reserved for the biggest of cats in the nastiest cover. Mine is a 9' Cabela's Kig Kat Pro teamed with the legendary Garcia 7000. I spool with 100# Whiplash, with a 60# Ande monofilament shock leader attached with an Albright knot. This winch usually goes to work with 6-8 ounces of bank sinkers and a 12/0 circle hook through the midsection of the biggest bluegill, bullhead, or sheepshead I can get my hands on (I never catch any 8" channels on this rig, pesky things...).

    Welcome to catfishing. Nothing compares to a night on the river, baits straining your lines and rattling your rod tips, while the erie silence is interrupted only by the loon's wail, the squawk of the startled heron, and the sudden scream of your reel...

    Have fun!
    Tony
     
  6. dreamcatcher

    dreamcatcher New Member

    That was a great post Tony. Where are you fishing at in Michigan? You must be doing the St. Joseph River thing.

    I'm going to keep this local and simple. Don't give them catfish a chance! No, seriously if I was fishing from a boat in open water I would recommend a graphite composite (7ft)with a medium light to medium heavy rating. That will get you any catfish in Michigan from a boat in open water. I don't know much about spinning gear, but if I were to make the purchase I would go with one of the Shimano Stradics on a Tiger rod. It's a little pricey combo, but you wouldn't be disappointed if you were in THAT situation. However,...

    If you are fishing from the bank(or boat) where there is a lot of current, mixed with heavy cover, snags and such, and if the water holds big fish, you need to step up to the plate. Some sort of glass casting rod that is at least eight foot or longer. If you want to stay with a spinning combo go with something that is even longer and some type of baitrunner reel (they have a line out alarm which is helpful when you fall asleep). Don't go over 30 pound mono because you don't need it. If you want to go heavier, go heavy on the leader. Don't know anything about braid except how to cut it up after a birdnest! LOL!

    Hook size is really debatable with catfish. You can catch a decent cat in this state with some of the smaller hooks, but small catfish will take a large hook, so I opt to go with a larger hook. I feel confident that a Gamakatsu 8/0 or something similar from another manufacturer will hold any catfish from this state easily without bending or breaking providing the drag is set correctly. The only disadvantage that you have with using a large hook is you need equally large bait. Small baitfish have a tendency to "fill the gap" between the point and the shank. The disadvantage of the smaller hook is getting that penetration in a larger catfish's mouth. Pick your poison.

    I usually use no more than three ounces of weight, and most situations that I've been in here don't require that much, but there aren't alot of raging rivers where I'm at in the state either. Hope this helps some...
     
  7. bwanatony

    bwanatony New Member

    Messages:
    580
    State:
    Grand River Valley, Weste
    Thanks, Vic, good advice in your post, too.
    I mostly fish the Grand just above Grand Rapids, because the launch is only 5 minutes from home. My in-laws live in St. Joseph (I've fished there for salmon & steelies), so I'm hoping one of these days to drag the boat along to one of the "family reunions" down there and let my wife's brothers "reunion" on their own while I'm soaking bait (the mosquitoes are better company)... but I digress...

    The main thing for new catfishers to realize is that if you already have a quality bass casting or pike trolling rod/reel combo, it'll do just fine for lots of catfishing. If you want a dedicated cat rig, match it to the conditions & methods you will use- and to your personal preference (casting vs spinning).

    For me, bigger is better- rods, reels, line, hooks, and especially bait. When my reels start to sing, I know I'm in for a fight; not some puny bait stealing thing that just want to croak at me and poke the tender flesh of my office-softened hands...

    Have a great Memorial Day weekend!
    Tony
     
  8. sal_jr

    sal_jr New Member

    Messages:
    1,390
    State:
    Ithaca, MI
    One thing to remember is that the K-zoo has a LOT of snags in it. Heck- I lost an anchor out there last year!

    I would suggest a 2/0 to 10/0 circle hook, 1-5 oz sinkers, and live gills or shrimp as bait. Stinkbait also seemed to fair well over by the allegan dam.

    For rods, any good medum heavy pike or musky rod will do just fine. Thats what I take as one of my every day cat rods... but I had the blank modified with a few extra eyelets for more backing and a long cork handle.

    I prefer penn's levelwind and the 109, 110, 209, 210, or 309 work plenty good. I have a 110 and a 309. I have the 109 on a salmon trolling rod that I use on the bank and the 309 is on my 13 foot surf caster.
    Shimano's corsair 400 is another one I use on my musky rod.

    My wife has the shakespear big cat combo- I think it has a 700 series zebco "pencil sharpener" spincast reel on it.

    The one note I'd make is use good line. I keep super-heavy stuff on my bigger rods cause that is what IU flathead with and if youre yanking a flatty out of the brush, you may as well have a reel that will bring in the tree with the fish.

    The decision is yours, of course... just remember 80% of the cats you will get will be medium to small range channels, unless you are using 6-9 inch live gills. Then you can get bigger channels, big flatties, and even big dawgfish and snappers.
     
  9. jross1901

    jross1901 New Member

    Messages:
    113
    State:
    IL
    check out the catmaxx combos for basspro shops.
    i have 1 and i really like it.
    there like 90 for the combo. i have the baitcaster i like it.
     
  10. Sparky Larson

    Sparky Larson New Member

    Messages:
    539
    State:
    Marlette Michigan
    Well, there you go Derick! You've heard from some of the more active Catfisherman in the State of Michigan. Good Luck with your choice of gear. I don't think there has been any been information posted on this Thread.
    Have a safe week-end.
    Sparky
     
  11. jross1901

    jross1901 New Member

    Messages:
    113
    State:
    IL
    yo derrick or any one else,

    you wanna get together and do some cattin' in allegan on thurs or fri????

    let me know

    -jim
     
  12. Sparky Larson

    Sparky Larson New Member

    Messages:
    539
    State:
    Marlette Michigan
    I'd love to, but I have other comitments. I'm still coming down, at least one time this summer!
    Good Luck!
    Sparky
     
  13. sal_jr

    sal_jr New Member

    Messages:
    1,390
    State:
    Ithaca, MI
    jross, I would like to drop down there in july some time or august.


    Good luck this weekend! I wish I didnt have to work! :sad2:
     
  14. jspiel

    jspiel New Member

    Messages:
    125
    State:
    comstock park michigan
    jross

    i would love to join you, but weeknights just don't work for me. any sat night i'm game.
     
  15. Derick

    Derick New Member

    Messages:
    25
    State:
    Kalamazoo, Michigan
    jross,

    i cannot get out thursday or friday, but maybe we can go out sometime next week, just let me know, i make my own work schedule so my time is very flexable and driving up to allegan is no problem at all