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Discussion in 'Blue Catfishing' started by CJ21, Dec 25, 2007.
Do any of guys fish for Bluecatfish in the winter? and do you have any tips?
this is my first year fishing for winter blues but the water has been really high the last few weeks soi havent got to fish like i wanted to...
I fish all winter, about the only thing I change is the depth of water I fish. Most fish tend to go deeper as the water cools, although there are exceptions. And you may want to try downsizing your bait some.
That's the only time I really fish for them. When it's warm I'm after the flatties. I'd say fish deep and I dunno if downsizing your baits will work or not. We have caught them on everything from small 3-4in. shad to half and three quarter pound chunks of shad. Almost all the big fish we've caught came on the big baits. Also try around bridges and docks/pillings if you're fishing a river. They create nice current eddies and you don't need a depth finder to locate them. Hope this helps.
this is the best time of the year for big blues dont worry about holes to much target travel areas as they are moving more now that the water is cold and holding up in warmer water try frishing cut banks and or shallow flats great time as i said and you can land some hogggggggggggs
This is also my first year for fishing blues in the winter. seems to be great for me. Little slow lately but i would try using cut shad and skip jack:wink:
Ok thanks for the tips guys, I am wondering do they hang out below the dam?
This is my first year fishing the winter months for blues. Its off to a great start. Caught a 47.9 lb blue on november 13 on Lake Barkley. What a fight ! We are fishing a flat that runs straight into a really deep cut, straight into the old river channel. I have a couple other spots to try close to a bluff with deep water. We have caught more fish on slightly smaller baits. Blugil heads !
That goes against everything I've read.... BUT, I haven't caught a fish in weeks. Maybe that's my problem. I'm going to give those areas a shot!
You can catchem deep in holes and up in shallower warmer coves on the same day.It depends on the bait fish/shad. If the bait fish are scattered then the blues will be scattered and if the bait is in one general area the blues will be close by.Thats how it seems to be here in our local lake waters anyway. If its reservoir and they are releasing water you need to be fishing up closer to the dam the Blues will be concentrated more in one area below the dam. JMO
Thats some good info guys...Thanks
I've had pretty good success targeting big blues in the winter the last several years. That being said, what works for me may not work as well on different bodies of water in different places across the country. I like to use big baits even in the winter (usually fresh or frozen cutbait). I don't catch many fish, but at least 80% of my biggest blues have been caught in the late fall through early spring period (my biggest came in early Feb.). I fish the TN River and its reserviors and I like to anchor and fish the deepest holes in a section of river when there's current, even a little current is better than none. In some stretches I fish a hole may 25 ft. deep, other stretches have holes around 100 ft. deep. Fish all around and in a hole, the front, the back, sides, and middle. I anchor and spread out 6 poles usually with small weights behind the boat and bigger weights to the sides to keep the bait in place. I throw 'em out, engage the reel, and stick 'em in rod holders. I usually don't pick up a pole until the fish has hooked itself (circle hooks). When a big blue gets on, It's usually hard to get the rod out of the holder. Even mid-river holes can hold blues in the winter. I like places where the hole is at least 10 ft. deeper than most surrounding water. Fishing can be slow, we've all been skunked before, but use your depth finder to scout for new fishing spots if the fish aren't biting at all, it's paid off for me in the past. I'm fishing a river-like lake during current and there are lots of big fish here (20 lb. fish are pretty common), so this may or may not work for you depending on where and how you fish. Just fish waters where big fish are as often as possible and be patient. I fish holes I've caught fish in before for and hour or more sometimes without a bite, then move up, down or across river some and have a fish on before I get all the poles out. Winter fishing is somewhat unpredictable, but when you find 'em it can be fantastic. Big blues run together sometimes and my dad and I have had back to back 60+ lbers before after hours of nothing biting. When you do catcha biggun', please photo and release it so you can catch it again another day. Hope this helps and good luck fishin'.
hi cj21 i see youre from montgomery . im here in selma ,i have the best luck on the alabama river during the month of july . but i fish year round . never let a little cold weather stop me from fishing
Some of the biggest blues we catch come in the colder months. The fishing is tough, but the fish are there and feeding.
Like others have said, the techniques vary depending on the lakes, so I would search the archives and read up on the bodies of water that you fish.
I been fishing the Coosa River lately Sam, but I aint been since I started college.
One thing I learned this winter, is to watch the birds. This may only be relevant to lakes, but it works well.
We have water turkeys in our lake, and they will swim and school just like a fish, and hunt for bait fish.
So, when I hit the lake, I get some binocs and I look for water turkeys. When I find them I'll anchor and fish right in the middle of where they were gorging, and start pulling Blues in almost immediately. (usualy in 27 - 35 ft deep)
Ive had great luck this winter catching Blues using this technique.
Hope it works for you..
what depth do u fish in in winter
i went today and i stayed in the deep holes and it didnt pay off next time i switch it up and fish both deep and shallow.
The most important thing to remember when you are going to catfish in the winter time is to think safety first. Go slow and pay attention to everything that is going on around you. The water is cold and it can and will kill you!! Not trying to scare anyone away from this great time of year to be fishing just want you to understand that it can be dangerous.
Winter time fishing can and will produce not only numbers of fish but also a PB is always a possibility. This is the time of year that the blues will be schooling up and when you find the bait fish the blues will not be to far away.
There are four things I go by on where I might locate fish in the winter time.
1. Is wind direction and has it been constant for 2 or more days.
2. A good graph is a must to locate drop offs, deep holes as well as to locate bait fish and
3.Surface water temperature is another thing to look at when deciding on where to start looking.
4. Watch the feeding birds.
1.The first thing I will try to watch is wind direction for 4 to 5 days leading up to the day Im planning on fishing. If the wind has been out of the same direction for at least 2 days prior to the day Im going to fish then Ive pretty much eliminated half of the lake before I ever get on the water. The wind will blow the plankton toward one bank bringing with it the bait fish and then the catfish.
2. Without a good graph you are under a major disadvantage. Without one you are pretty much fishing blind and it will be hit and miss at best. The surface water temperature will also determine where I will set up and try to fish. A good graph will give you temp and you will be able to see drop offs and holes or whether you are on a flat as well as show you bait fish and catfish.
3. There are 3 different surface temperature ranges that I look at when I hit the water. The first range is 40 degrees and above. As long as the water temps are 40 + then dont rule out fishing shallow water. The catfish are not in full winter mode and can be caught from the deepest part of the lake all the way to 2 ft. flats. This is still not cold enough to drive the bait fish deep so the blues will be in the shallow water actively feeding.
When the water temps start dropping below 40 but are above 36 then I will concentrate on fishing drop offs. The catfish will still not be in full winter mode at this point. You will catch a lot of fish on the side of the drop as well as out on the flat but the baitfish and catfish usually wont stray to far from deeper water.
When the water temps hit 35 and below then the baitfish and the catfish are in full winter mode. This is when I concentrate my efforts in deep water only.
4. Last but just as important watch for the birds dive bombing the shad. Usually there are catfish, stripers etc... under the shad chasing them to the top. Get as close as you can and kill the motor. If possible let the wind blow you to them then drop anchor and start fishing. You will be surprised how many fish this tactic will produce.
When the temps keep dropping and you notice a shad kill fish the bank the wind is blowing the dead shad to. We have caught a lot of 30 lb. Fish in 2 foot water during this time. This is when the surface temp goes out the window. The catfish can take the cold water but shad cant they are just always looking for an easy meal.
These are some of the things that we do and go by in the winter. They work in this part of the world but there are no guarantees that they will work in yours. There is no substitute for years of just going and learning your local waters. Good Fishing Everyone
Really Great info! Thanks a bunch!