Your opinion needed

Discussion in 'Blue Catfishing' started by Kutter, Jan 7, 2007.

  1. Kutter

    Kutter New Member

    Messages:
    5,379
    State:
    Arnold, MO
    I am looking for you opinion on something. For the most part, I fish for blues along the Mississippi River south of St. Louis. As a general statement, springtime is the time for blues to gorge themselves on the dead shad that were winter killed up stream and start floating down upon spring thaw, up north. This year has seen much warmer weather both here and upstream.
    What do you think:
    Will the shad kill be much less than usual?
    If so, what effect will this have on the blues normal bite this spring?
    If the shad are not in normal numbers, will the blues bite on something else or will they hit every shad they see?
    If the shad numbers are down, what will be the overall effect on the size and numbers of blues?
    What strategy would you recommend for us catfolk who rely on the spring winter kill off of shad?
    Any effect you can add would be appreciated along with your opinions on the above questions.
     
  2. crazy

    crazy New Member

    Messages:
    2,090
    State:
    Kansas CIty, MO
    Only thing I can think of is there are going to be more larger shad still alive. Really though I think it will have little to do with anything. I do think that the water temp going in to spring will play a factor. The faster that water worms up the faster they will go to spawn. But winter is not over yet.....
     

  3. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

    Messages:
    1,497
    State:
    OK
    Although I don't fish your river and live a little farther South I believe that you will see no difference in your springtime fishing. I don't care what time of year it is there is always going to be sick and dying shad. The shad winter kill in my experience comes in late fall in early winter when the temps drastically fall and kill that precentage of sick and dying shad all at one time. The dead of winter when water temps are even in the low thirties I still find large quanties of shad. If there was a large shad kill on my river or lake it happened eariler in the year. My experience with early springtime is that the prespawn blue cats are eating everything in site but not eating winter kill shad. Sure there's dead and dying shad in the river but probably no more than any other time of year execpt when the first cold weather kills in sick ones. I bet even with a warmer winter that the water temps in yor river really are not too much warmer than whats normal for this time of year. We have had a fairly warm winter here in Oklahoma but yesterday the water surface temps were still at 42 degrees pretty normal for this time of year. I caught plenty of shad yesterday and also in the past when cold days in Feb when air temps were in the teens and water temps around 34 degrees.
     
  4. Michael Jake

    Michael Jake New Member

    Messages:
    808
    State:
    Troy, Missouri
    Tom, since you asked for opinions, quess everyone has one so here’s one to chew on. This year (correction, last year) saw more bait fish and their fry than I have ever seen before. With the milder winter there will be less die off giving the bait fish even more numbers. With less dead fish, my call is there won’t be as intense of a feeding frenzy in the more shallow waters, rather more action around groups of concentrated live baitfish. Just might have to move more often following the now concentration of baitfish. That’s my call for the river so far, will have to see how it pans out.
     
  5. Kutter

    Kutter New Member

    Messages:
    5,379
    State:
    Arnold, MO
    Thanks for the replies.
    For you southern fisherman, perhaps I missed the point I was making about the winter kill. Here in the St Louis area, every early spring, shad kill doesn't occur "here" as much as further upstream. Those shad that die are normally frozen in ice on the river and when that ice thaws up north, the large flotilla of dead shad show up all at once, floating down the river. This can last several weeks but usually lasts only a week or so. Blues count on this large food source and triggers a feeding frenzy, especially below lock & dams.
     
  6. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

    Messages:
    1,497
    State:
    OK
    I've never heard of frozen shad coming down the river. I bet that does make for some very busy action on the river when they come downstream. I doubt it will make much difference, there should be plenty of shad in the river that are alive to gorge themselves on during the prespawn. I know it's my favorite time of year because they seem to be eating nonstop and makes for lots of action.
     
  7. Willy

    Willy New Member

    Messages:
    242
    State:
    Missouri
    Time will tell and who knows what is happening up north of ya. Bundle up now and get after them as the stories I am hearing is the fish are on the feedbag now and its game on.