I put in 300 9" channel cats this summer. Prior to doing this we are pretty sure that we caught out all of the large largemouth from the pond. I don't know a lot about channel catfish and have never had them before. I haven't ever actually seen one. My pond is fairly clear. We see bluegill and bass. I haven't seen any of them floating or anything. Where are they? How can I confirm they are there? Fishing with worms just seems to catch small bluegill.
That's kind of troubling.
By comparison, I put 6 11" Channel Cats in 1/2 acre with SMB, YP, and BGxRES. We caught 3 of them by the end of warm weather.
Do you feed any fish food? That's about the easiest way to get CC to show up. Try feeding regularly when water temps get above 50 degrees F.
I'd try using cut-bait or something that the bluegills won't mess with, like a hot dog or chicken breast/livers. You could also try try jug-lining or limb-lining and leave some baits out overnight.
throw some crankbaits at them
I put over 40- 4-6 inch CC in my forage pond back last spring with the intention to grow then big enough to stock into my other ponds. By August, there were only four left at about 9 inches each. Great Blue Herons had eaten them. I know because I witnessed some of it. I stocked the four into my other ponds.
Thanks for your replies! John, I am glad you posted about blue herons. I bet I have 2 or 3 a day visit my pond religiously. I guess that's my answer!
FWIW if you don't feed them, you may never see them. I catch them easily in my pond on shiners.
Jim, I would “discourage” the birds.