where do blue catfish go in the winter?

Discussion in 'Blue Catfishing' started by bigal1, Oct 16, 2005.

  1. bigal1

    bigal1 New Member

    Messages:
    37
    State:
    huntsville alabama
    where do blue cats go in the winter....do they head in to deeper water??
     
  2. Paraguayguy

    Paraguayguy New Member

    Messages:
    1,650
    State:
    Virginia
    Big blues here on the James River head to deep holes where the shad are. Outside bends in the river are my favorites during cold weather. Good luck
     

  3. bluehunter

    bluehunter New Member

    Messages:
    3,004
    State:
    Los Angele
    During the winter its deeper water. I have found that during and after a rain during the winter time they will come in closer around run offs to feed.
     
  4. RiverratSC

    RiverratSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,646
    State:
    Gaffney, SC
    Deep pockets on the rivers where I fish.
     
  5. bigal1

    bigal1 New Member

    Messages:
    37
    State:
    huntsville alabama
    thanks to all yall
     
  6. Dave53

    Dave53 New Member

    Messages:
    411
    State:
    Lonedell M
    Bluehunter..when you guys talk about deep holes, what kind of deep holes are you talking about..the Missouri river has so many deep holes I dont know where to look..there are normally deep holes behind dikes, at the end of dikes, in front of dikes and in the channel..which ones in the winter are more productive? I fished a lot last winter but nothing but frost bite to show for it. I have always heard how the catfish stack up but have never been able to locate one of these spots on my fish finder..
     
  7. BKS72

    BKS72 New Member

    Messages:
    3,361
    State:
    East of KC
    This link is to an article on winter catfish on the upper MS river. Not much about blues, but a pretty cool article on what they are doing in the winter.


    Dave, I'm with you, I don't know where they'd be hiding on the MO in winter. I'm kind of thinking maybe in the main channel holes, but I don't catch enough fish to claim I'm thinking right.


    http://www.nativefish.org/articles/wintercat.php
     
  8. bluehunter

    bluehunter New Member

    Messages:
    3,004
    State:
    Los Angele
    A lot of times on your finder you will see drop off areas taht also an other area of increased depth. More so like a dredge area for example a flat depth of 50 feet than all of a sudden it goes to 65 feet than back up to 50. There vare all kinds of variations but deeper pockets of water especially those with structure be it rocks, stumps, or trees is what I mean by deep holes. I would look in deeper areas of the river that has underwater structure. The spots you named is fine as well. Its a search mission finding winter blues but when you do find them you will noticed them schooled up a lot.
     
  9. NoCat2Big

    NoCat2Big New Member

    Messages:
    54
    State:
    Warsaw, Mo
    Besides going on my stringer, they like to go down to warmer water around 35-60 foot deep or deeper where the water is properly oxygenated, and will normally follow the shad that suspended between those depths. I just found an approx 90 ft hole that the graph showed big fish suspended along with some baitfish.

    I'm heading there right now, will let you know how it goes.
     
  10. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    Stolib, that's a great article - with several interesting tidbits that ought to help folks figure out where to look for winter blues:

    "For years it has been known that each winter catfish gather in the Mississippi's main channel in deep scour holes on the outside bends where there are strong currents."

    "And what they saw were catfish lying on the silt free sandy bottom, always behind rocks. The rocks ranged in size from as small as a fist to as large as a basketball."

    "Bottom depth wasn't so much a factor as the bottom features. Level sandy areas behind rocks appeared to offer the fish what they needed, for all fish chose such areas. Catfish were not found behind rocks along the irregular and steeply sloping bank or wing dam face."
     
  11. Mathersm

    Mathersm New Member

    Messages:
    230
    State:
    Darbydale, Ohio
    That was a great article and a little sad too. It sucks that the corp of engineers would thing about silting the river in. I can't imagine how many fish kills would be caused by filling in them holes. Makes me wonder if they were able to tag these cats under water that you would have to have perfect bait placement to catch these fish.
     
  12. vlparrish

    vlparrish New Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    State:
    Bedford, Kentucky
    Today, November 20th, my buddy Skipjack and I went fishing at the local power plant for cats. We caught 9 or 10 cats and several drum. Skipjack caught the biggest cats. A 50+ lb blue, a 20+ lb blue and a channel around 15 lb. What a day. We were using fresh caught shad hooked dead and alive whole. If you have a warm water discharge at your local power plant, I suggest you give it a try. Good luck, Vern
     
  13. Big Country01

    Big Country01 New Member

    Messages:
    964
    State:
    brandon,florida
  14. Leakyboat

    Leakyboat New Member

    What range water temp are you talking about,that you consider in the
    winter mode?
    Leakyboat
     
  15. vlparrish

    vlparrish New Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    State:
    Bedford, Kentucky
    I'd have to say the water temp is in the winter mode for blues anytime the water temp is below 50 degrees. At least the cats think that it is winter. Vern
     
  16. Leakyboat

    Leakyboat New Member

    Hey Vern,
    The main lake i fish,the water temp right now is in the upper 60's.Our day time high's
    have been in the upper 70's to middle 80's.Plan on fishing all winter!
    thanks
    Leakyboat
     
  17. Katmaster Jr.

    Katmaster Jr. New Member

    Messages:
    4,644
    State:
    Wilmington, NC
    Here in NC, I fish all winter every year and it gets real cold. Blues seem to bite pretty much all winter esspecialy after a good rain, they will go to the mouth of creeks that enter into the lake. Also you can get into alot of blues in shallow water in the middle of the winter. Surprised me the first time I got into alot of blues in like 10 foot of water in the back of a creek when the water temp was in the 40 degree range!!!

    good luck :)
     
  18. Leakyboat

    Leakyboat New Member

    Thanks Zak,
    The weathermen around here all say we are going to have a very mild winter from what they see.Sounds good to me!I set myself a goal for a 30lbs Blue this winter.Going to hit it hard this winter.
    Leakyboat
     
  19. Katmaster Jr.

    Katmaster Jr. New Member

    Messages:
    4,644
    State:
    Wilmington, NC
    Yeah man, good luck. My goal is a 50+ lb Blue cat. I'm going tonight matter of fact. I'll give a report when i get back. :)

    Also the previous world record "splash" (121 lb) caught by Cody. Was caught in lake Texoma in middle of the winter. And I belive I remember reading the article and he had caught it in shallow water that was on the edge of a deep channel. I belive he was fishing sort of close to a creek channel that ran into the river channel, or something to that effect. :)
     
  20. Catcaller

    Catcaller New Member

    Messages:
    1,511
    State:
    SoutheastKansas
    In the winter the blue cats arent what you should be trying to find first...use your depth finder to locate the shad in deep water near dropoffs, holes, and river channels. Structure inside those areas are prime. When you find the baitfish...you've more than likely found the blue cats too.