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Discussion in 'LOCAL MICHIGAN TALK' started by kat buster, Mar 10, 2007.
When in the heck do you guys start to fish for catfish in rivers?
Wellllllllllll........... That's a loaded question, so here's a loaded answer....
IF you could find some open water, and a deep hole with slow moving current, you could fish right now for channel cats.
IF you wait for the ice pack to break up and park a boat over a deep slow hole, you can bounce jigging spoons for dormant catfish, but mostly you'll just snag them. Still too much ice here in GR to launch a boat.
IF you have the means and the opportunity, there is probably good fishing from California to South Carolina and several states in between.
BUT, if you're like the rest of us, you just have to wait for 50-55 degree water for channels and 60-65 degree water for flats. So take a deep breath, organize your tackle again, and keep repeating "spring will come, spring will come, spring will come...".
I tried the "spring will come" mantra and it almost worked. Then I went outside and slipped on some ice and realized it was still winter. However, I did see my first woodchuck of the season yesterday. Of course he was running across the snow, but at least they are de-hibernating. I did clean and oil all my reels last night and made up a bunch of leaders, while I was wearing my new catfish t-shirt. Got the grill out today and had backstraps and taters for dinner. It definitely is getting close.... Can't wait to wet a line.
I'm hitting the White River in Indiana today. Supposed to be 60.
Channels @ pre-spawn.
I'm planning on hitting the river as soon as the ice brakes up. Hopefully with this warm weather were getting, that will be the end of next week.
We're supposed to see 56 this week, but there's still 30" of snow on the ground and the river is still all ice except for little strips along the shore.
My guess is that after a few days in the 40s and 50s, that river is going to climb out of it's banks and start pushing the ice pack downstream. Then when the ice jams up and the river floods, it's going to get ugly. There's a LOT of snow out there...
I usually begin targeting channel cats around the last week of March. I usually catch 1 or 2 fish that week and it gets progressively better each day after. By the 2nd to 3rd week of April I'm catching 20+ fish per outing. Water temp is key. 50 degrees is pretty much the standard for signaling the pre spawn period. Which is an awesome time to be on the river. I'm heading to the lower Grand in the morning to scout for the upcoming cat season and drag around some Hot N Tots for Steel/Walleyes.
Dan, I am not a "river guy" nor am I a very good "lake guy". When you say lower Grand what cities are you by? I am near the Grand and the Red Cedar nearly everyday in the greater Lansing area. It would be sweet to cross paths sometime and wet a line, particularly if you are in this area. I am eager to learn more about fishing the rivers around here, especially the Grand as it is the biggest, and also the Maple. Do you think the same water temps. apply to lake fishing? I know last summer the water temps where we fished were in the low 80's. We usually did real well until after Labor Day, then it began to taper off. The more I read though, I think maybe we should have changed the way we fished and where we fished as the temps cooled off.
Hey Dan, I'ts good to hear from you again. I see you made it through the rough part of winter all intacted. I hope to get together sometime this year to do a little cattin.
Keep your gun barrel clean and your lines tight!
When refering to the " Lower Grand" I mean near Grand Rapids below 6th Street Dam. I fished all day today without any luck. Water was very high and rising with alot of big timber floating down. Tough to fish as floating junk kept fouling our planer boards. We did see a guy catch a walleye off Fulton St. bridge in downtown G.R. As far as water temps in lakes go, I would bet that as the water nears 50 - 60 degrees channel cats will start congregating in backwater areas such as creek arms where a small stream empties into a lake or reservoir. Water warms quicker there and that concentrates bait. I've personaly never had much luck targeting cats in lakes. I always wind up catching pike on accident.