Deadstick Flathead Catfish by Tim Scott Great Expectations by Tim Scott Deep Water Channel Catfish by Kerry Kyllo Catfish Calendar by Tim Scott More and Bigger Catfish by Aaron Gibbons Catfishing Hotspots - Tributary Mouths by Alex Dolbeare Big Bait Debate by Tim Scott Procats E-Magazine Fall 2007

More and Bigger Catfish
by Aaron Gibbons
I use to believe that where an angler fished was the biggest key to landing big cats consistently, but with more fishing experience came a realization that fishing big-cat water wasn’t the only factor—not by a long shot. In fact, there are many parts of an angler’s strategy that play an important role in getting a good shot at lots of monstrous catfish. For years, my fishing partner and I would throw things together and pack up just a few minutes before heading to the river. This always left us with several problems because we did not spend anytime preparing before the trip. When it came to bait we either never had good baits, or simply didn’t have enough of them. Our fishing spots were the same ones that we fished every time and we never took the time to search and find new holes. There would be nights that had potential to be great, but because we didn’t have the proper tackle, enough baits, or new places to go we weren’t experiencing them.... read more
Catfish Calendar
by Tim Scott
When I first began catfishing I was just fishing. The only strategies I had were to find some deep water and throw some baits and if that didn’t work I would try shallow near something that looked interesting such as a point, log jamb, or maybe some patches of willows. Thinking back, I didn’t have any particular reason for fishing deep or shallow, upriver or downriver. I suppose I fished wherever I thought of next. I had a real problem consistently catching catfish no matter what time of year and looking back I certainly wasted way too much time in the wrong areas. When a big percentage of the big cats migrated into tributaries and were holding shallow, I was fishing deep. When they were holding deep I was trying backwaters. When they moved downstream back towards the lower section of the river, I was fishing the upper stretches. At the time I didn’t realize that if I just knew the trends of what catfish were doing at a particular time of year, I would be on fish the rest of my life. ... read more
Great Expectations
by Tim Scott
So far I’ve had a good life. Good parents, good school, and good friends all rolled up in a good-natured small midwestern town. Frogs and snakes, lizards and catfish, were the coolest in the early 70’s. Playing football, catfishing, and girls hit the spot for me in the early eighties. The nineties brought college, lots of different jobs, beer parties, more girls, and of course, more catfishing. The new millennium squeezed in more work and more responsibilities. Everything seemed to change very quickly and I really didn’t think I signed up for that particular program. I resisted.... read more
Catfishing Hotspots - Tributary Mouths
by Alex Dolbeare
Fishing below dams, steep ledges, or wing dikes can all produce many a big cat and are definitely worthy of including in a catman’s list of go-to spots. Another notable hotspot is the area where tributaries enter a bigger body of water—commonly referred to as creek mouths. Tributary mouths are usually one of the few natural existing spots on large rivers were a smaller river or creek dumps into a major river system like the Ohio, Mississippi or Missouri. These areas are not changed much by the river engineers because they sit far enough removed from the main shipping channels to cause too many problems. These are also some of easiest areas to find on a river without spending a whole lot of time.... read more
Deadstick Flatheads
by Tim Scott
“It’s just not working.” I commented to Dale. “We’ve tried lots of proven spots in different areas of the river all day and we haven’t put any big flatheads in the boat. We’re going to have to wait ‘em out if we’re going to get a shot at a big one.” I added with a tone of disgust. “You’re the captain!” Dale replied implying that it was up to me what to do. “But you’re the one with a three-hour drive back home. It might take till midnight.” I reasoned. It didn’t take the avid big-fish hunter but a second to tell me he was staying the course. I had even more to live up to than usual since I had been talking about catching big flatheads all day long. That’s not the unusual part— I usually think out loud and talk about catfishing situations constantly.... read more
Deep Water Channel Catfish
by Karry Kyllo
Deep water is relative to the river or stretch of river on which you may be fishing, but on the 40 mile or so stretch of Red River around Grand Forks, ND and East Grand Forks, MN that I consider my home water, the most productive deep water generally runs between 15 and 25 feet deep and is not associated with sharp bends as many catfish anglers may suspect. More productive than sharp bends are deep troughs and deep runs contained within relatively straight stretches of river that may exceed one half mile or so in length in some areas. While the action usually isn’t as fast as the action that may be experienced if fish are holding in areas such as shallow water cover, the action can be very consistent and predictable. One bonus of fishing deep water is that larger fish frequent deep water haunts and in fact make these areas their homes with a high degree of regularity. ... read more
Big Bait Debate
by Tim Scott
Some catfishermen consider a half-pound slab of gizzard shad or herring big bait, while others think a 4-inch chunk is plenty big. 12 to 20-inch live carp have been used by flathead fishermen wanting to battle the biggest cat they’ve ever seen! It makes sense. “The bigger the bait the bigger the fish”. I’ve heard it thousands of times. I’ve caught hundreds of catfish big enough to eat fish as long and girthy as a pro wrestler’s forearm, and I’m sure they do. Peer into the maws of 50 plus pound blues and you’ll occasionally witness tails of giant gizzard shad still sticking out of their throats. Swallowing whole foot-long gizzard shad seems like it would be a difficult task, but if a big cat is active enough, it’s not a problem. ... read more

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