WHITNEY CATS UNDER THE EGRETS

Discussion in 'LUKE CLAYTON' started by Luke Clayton, Jul 2, 2007.

  1. Luke Clayton

    Luke Clayton New Member

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    WHITNEY CATS UNDER THE EGRETS

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    Luke Clayton​

    I recently spent the morning hours fishing Lake Whitney with Catfish Gold pro staffer Randy Routh. My arm is still a bit tired from setting the hook and filleting fish! The trip was no less than awesome and I learned something new about catching catfish: cormorants are not the only birds that will lead you to catfish action! Randy called a few days ago and invited me and a couple more from our staff to come and get in on the red hot catfish action. The conservation went something like this: “Luke, there’s a spot on the lake that cattle egrets are using for roosting and nesting; there’s thousands of them there. The river channel is just a few hundred yards away with plenty of deep water. The water around the trees the egrets are nesting in ranges from one to four feet. The natural chum from the birds has created the ideal catfishing situation. Better get on down here and get you some of this action!”


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    Cattle Egrets, just like cormorants, serve as a natural “chum” source for catfish. Find an egret roost along the shore of your favorite lake and you’re on your way to a big fish fry!
    Photo by Luke Clayton​

    Just yesterday morning, Randy eased the boat up to the roost, positioned the craft parallel to the shallow water with two anchors and we promptly had Danny Kings Catfish Punch under floater setting up close to the base of the willow trees. The water was about 3 feet deep. The ensuing three hours was the stuff from which great fishing memories are made. Three of us were fishing and rare was the occasion when any of our floaters set still for more than a minute. Blue and channel catfish weighing between 1.5 and 6 pounds were pounding our baits hard, then heading to the protection of the submerged root system of the willows. The trick was to keep a close eye on the floater and the instance it disappeared, rear back and set the hook and attempt to get the fish coming toward the boat and away from the underwater cover.

    We learned quickly that it wasn’t necessary to fish tight to the cover. The catfish were attracted to the area in large numbers and many were working the peripheral of the area, a few yards away from the jungle of cover. These fish in the more open water were much easier to bring to the landing net. These nesting egrets are obviously in the area for the summer and Randy predicts the action to remain steady.

    Whitney truly is a catfish destination and fishing under the egret roosts is not the only game in town. “Drifting big chunks of fresh shad or punch bait along the submerged river ledge is a good way to catch the big blues. We occasionally catch trophy size fish here in the summer but winter is prime time for consistently boating the big boys. Summer catfishing usually equates to lots and lots of action on “eating” fish weighing less than 10 pounds.

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    Lake Whitney guide Randy shows off a nice catfish landed around nesting/roosting cattle egrets.
    Photo by Luke Clayton ​

    We stayed in a comfortable cabin at Uncle Gus’ Marina on our trip and I gave my new Coleman propane skillet a real work out. Randy and his cousin Andy were so impressed with the ease of cooking on the portable skillet that they decided to purchased a couple for themselves. Our meal the first evening, cooked on the Coleman skillet, of course, consisted of grilled squash, onion, bell pepper, minced garlic and jalapeno, followed by fajitas made from the breast meat of a gobbler I harvested this spring. We cooked everything and even heated the tortillas on the little skillet on a picnic table outside our cabin. Breakfast the next morning consisted of breakfast tacos with homemade Chorizo sausage I made from wild pork, and eggs. For lunch, we fired the skittle up again on the picnic table and, our guessed, grilled some fresh catfish fillets that three hours earlier were landed under the egret roost!

    To be truthful, the scenery at Whitney is reason enough to come to spend a few days. With its many high sheer rock bluffs covered with cedars, every cove provides a spectacular look at God’s handiwork. Tips from me, though, don’t forget your fishing rod when planning a trip to Whitney. Remember what Randy Routh said about those catfish staying put under the egret roosts: COME GET YOU SOME!

    GUIDE SERVICE - Randy Routh www.teamredneck.com 254-582-5970

    MARINAS - Uncle Gus’ Marina www.unclegusmarina.com 254-622-3333

    Check out Luke Clayton’s Outdoors show at www.catfishradio.com