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#215187 05/02/10 03:22 PM
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Might seem like a silly question, but I have never fished for one. My buddy has them in the pond he just bought, but has never fished before. I am a bass and pike fisherman. How do i catch one? is the the right time of year (spring in Michigan)?


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I am not a catfish fisherman, but was surprised to have caught quite a few CC on hard baits within 2 feet of the surface. They seem to be quite preditory.

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I use to go cat fishing with my cousin on the Grand River, South West Grand Rapids. It was a while ago, but we used hot dogs, raw bread dough, crawlers and cooked frozen shrimp. Use to catch quite a few. I also pulled a couple out of the ice on White Lake in Whitehall on minnows.

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Any of the commercial baits will work fairly well. However, I personally like to fish a fathead minnow or small golden shiner on the bottom when looking for eating sized cats. If the minnow dies, no biggie as long as it is fresh, it'll attract cats. For bigger cats I like to use fillets from 3"-5" BG's or better yet, GSF. If the pond has shad, use shad for bait instead. Unless there are some real monsters in the pond or lots of stuff to get hung up on, I'd use 6-8 mono. I like to use a 1/8-2 oz egg sinker in front of a swivel. A 2'-3' leader and then a circle hook or an O'shaughnessy hook. For focusing on smaller cats, I like size 4-1/0 hook size for bigger cats 2/0 to 9/0 but I'd say for your typical pond, a 1/0 is a good all around hook size. If the cats are really touchy, use a swivel but skip the weight. Let the bait soak on the bottom near structure and hang on...

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Maybe it's the Hoosier cats, but I've never caught one on commercial bait with the exception of Berkley Liver Catfish Power Bait Nuggets. I've tried a couple different types of dip baits with no luck at all.


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
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Chicken livers.

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This archive page has links to old catfish catching threads.

Catching Channel Catfish

Ken


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I am going to try some hot dog on a hook with a leader attached to a slip sinker. I will throw it out to the middle of the pond (14 feet) and see what happens. does this make sense? The bass and BG are so active that I don't think a catfish will ever make it to a crankbait.


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General rules I go by:

Small CC, dip bait.
large cc, cut or live bait.

Blues, fresh cut shad.

Flats, Live bait all the way.

Fish circle hook of appropriate size. From #2 up to 10/0 will help with gut hooking. Try shallow and deep. On bottom and under corks.

catfish are easily chummed to concentrate.

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8fisherman we think a like. I caught that big blue on a piece of calf liver. I feel it stays on the hook better than chicken liver does. I have also found that cut shad, 3-5 days old, kept in the fridge has been good for channel cats in ponds, as well as blues in the river. I think it allows the blood to come to the surface more.


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A little update on fishing for CC in the pond.

I've had a trotline set out for 2 weeks now, from one side of the pond to the other, and in a few different locations. It's roughly 300' from one end to the other, and the trotline is a bit longer than that. I have it set so one end is near the feeder, it goes across the deepest part of the pond and up the other bank. In the middle of the trotline, I have tied a 1/2 gallon empty milk jug that suspends it 18" below the surface. I have left enough slack in the line so it looks like this "VV" from bank to float then back to the other bank. I have a finger of water that's shallow in the SW corner of the pond, and it drops to 10+ ft. depth. I also tried stringing the trotline horizontal and perpendicular to that finger, with no takers.

I've baited with hot dogs, beef liver, shrimp, and two different kinds of Berkley power bait, alternating baits on hooks. I also baited the hooks with 2"-3" live BG and cut up BG pieces. No takers on any of the BG baits.

Plus, I've scattered 6 jug lines in the pond, varying from 2' depth to 6' depth.

In those 2 weeks I've caught a total of 5 CC. One 16#'er that was tagged and released, and 4 CC (18" or so long) that were stocked the Spring of last year (removed). There seems to be no rhyme or reason (read consistency) on what they've bit on, nor has one water depth proved to be more fruitful.

The 16# CC was caught in 14' of water, on the bottom. The CC that I caught last night was caught in 2' of water, right at the shoreline. I've caught 3 other CC, all varying between 4' and 10' water depth. I'm using 2/0 and 3/0 Gamagatsu octopus circle hooks. I stopped feeding a while ago to see if that would make the CC more apt to take a hooked bait. I dunno if that worked or not, as I haven't seen CC feeding on pellets this year.

The CC this year didn't bite until after the spawn. They are all skinny now, and some showed signs of dropping eggs or milt. I fin clipped all the last CC that I stocked, so if I do have any CC recruitment, I'll know. There has been no recruitment in the pond to date that I know of.

For the CC catching experts out there, what else should I try?
Here's a topo map of the pond, any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. The only thing that is incorrect on this map is the 2:1 slope on the North side of the pond. It should be labeled 4:1.



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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
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Try some beef spleen or put some fish food in panty hose.

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For smart CC I just try to keep it as natural and ultralight as possible. Smaller hook, say size 2 and fillet a BG and put the BG fillet on the hook making sure the hook is as covered as possible with just the point exposed. Then cast out just using the weight of the bait. Even 4 pound test might be needed...

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Since catfish locate food by smell I've had good luck by leaving a scent trail to the bait. Cast way out beyond the spot you want to fish, slowly reel the bait in to your spot, then leave it completely still until you get a bite. The idea is that the bait leaves a scent trail through the water and to the spot where it's sitting. Then any cats that swim by the scent trail will follow it to your bait. This can greatly increase your coverage area. It works best with bloody or stinky types of bait.

Also, as someone mentioned, chumming a spot before fishing can help a lot. Throw out some food pellets or bait, wait a while for them to find it, then gently put your baited hook right in the middle of it.

Good luck!

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Have any of you used secret 7 before? It is a horrible smelling stinkbait, but it works. I threw it away because it ruined my tackle box with its offensive aroma, but a lot of catfisherman and fisherwomen swear by it.


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Chicken liver has always worked best for me.




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