Trolling Blue catfish

Discussion in 'MISSOURI LAKES / RESERVOIRS TALK' started by diodeman, Jul 15, 2006.

  1. diodeman

    diodeman New Member

    Messages:
    49
    State:
    Benton Co. Mo.
    Blue Catfish Trolling

    At this time the waters are prolific with vast numbers of ¼” newly hatched game fish & ½” shad, thus abundant food is readily accessible making fishing challenging. Week-end water traffic further changes normal fish behavioral patterns.

    Suggestion for success;

    Stripers, hybrids, large-mouth bass, walleyes, etc. are attacking large schools of tiny top-water baitfish that surface 1-½ hours before dark. Their splashing while attacking clearly shows the game-fish locations.

    Blue catfish are attacking baitfish but they are showing a preference for sub-surface larger fish which do not readily show themselves on top of the water this time of year, so…for blue-catfish I troll very slowly with a carp, goldfish, bluegill, perch, sunfish or shad, hooked through its bottom lip only with the hook protruding out of the bottom of it’s mouth. The baitfish is suspended about 2 feet off the bottom of the lake below a piece of 2” long ‘noodle’ (foam water play toy) that is used as a float. I place a small weight (1/8 to 1/4 oz.) on the line 10” in front of the fish to keep the fish lower in the water yet it has limited room to swim freely thus attracting fish with its movement. I pull this floating bait rig about 20 feet or more behind my boat (rods over the sides to avoid entanglement) so that the presence of the boat and noise are as far as possible from disturbing the fish.

    This rigging must be fished slowly using trolling motor, drifting or improvised sail. It allows bait to stay alive for long periods, presents a natural looking bait to predators and the slow boat trolling or drifting provides coverage of large areas of 4 to 12 foot deep waters where schools of larger shad are feeding. Avoid as much as possible electronics and motor noise as the baitfish and predators can be startled easily. At 4:30 A.M. this morning the blues I harvested had 2” or larger shad and small game fish in their stomachs. I have been fishing this way for three weeks now while the spawn fish population is prolific and lake traffic is day time heavy, it has proven successful on blue-catfish only after dark and traffic has quieted.

    Diodeman
     
  2. spoonfish

    spoonfish New Member

    Messages:
    3,780
    State:
    Warsaw, Mo.
    Thanks Diodeman, very good tip.
    I have been experaminting with the Cat Bobbers sold here from Maine wolf products doing basically the same techniques while drifting and trolling. With all the baby shad every where it has been challenging. I haven't tried at night and that may be the secret for improved sucess. With the continued hot weather and week end traffic night fishing only makes sense. One thing I have done in the past at night that is basically the same tech. is to put a 8 in. glow stick in floating jugs set at around 6 foot and let them drift.
     

  3. dougc

    dougc Active Member

    Messages:
    1,711
    State:
    Independen
    Thanks for the info! Changing tactics this weekend, pulling an all nighter at Lake Jacomo tonight. Will be targeting Blues and big Channels. The lake was stocked with Blues some 20yrs ago, and the experts say they aren't spawning in the lake. There have been several over 40lbs caught this year, and several in the 20lb range. I would think the 20lbers wouldn't be from the original stocking, so I am going to experiment this weekend and see what I can come up with. Hope to post some fish pictures Monday. Good luck for the weekend!
     
  4. Fastman

    Fastman New Member

    Messages:
    75
    State:
    Arnold, Mo
    Excellent info from diodeman as usual.
    I always look forward to your posts.
    Reps to you as soon as I can.
     
  5. blackhorse83

    blackhorse83 New Member

    Messages:
    1,008
    State:
    missouri
    Great post and solid information, I've been using a simlar set up for some time and it usualy works great, but haven't tryed it at night makes since about the water traffic though.
     
  6. grunt111

    grunt111 New Member

    Messages:
    10
    State:
    ga
    get some of that skip jack they smell like saltawater fish like mullet so they can't miss the smell!
     
  7. Catfishhunter2U

    Catfishhunter2U New Member

    Messages:
    17
    State:
    mo.
    thanks again DIO. keep them coming
     
  8. Catfishhunter2U

    Catfishhunter2U New Member

    Messages:
    17
    State:
    mo.
    :smile2: yes info. is the key
     
  9. spoonfish

    spoonfish New Member

    Messages:
    3,780
    State:
    Warsaw, Mo.
    Would really like to try some skipjack, anyone know where I can find some around here? Would be willing to make a trip if they can be caught some where.
     
  10. cschottfish

    cschottfish New Member

    Messages:
    128
    State:
    Ofallon, Mo.
    That was two good post. Also for last try bait when cant find other things i use 5'' to 10'' drum. Thanks for the info.