Quick clip of a 7+ lb kentucky lake channel catfish caught on a bluegill hook while fishing for redear (shellcracker) sunfish.
Quick clip of a 7+ lb kentucky lake channel catfish caught on a bluegill hook while fishing for redear (shellcracker) sunfish.
11 INCHES BLUEGILL CAUGHT AND CATFISHING. This Bluegill make you say WOW!!! #73 – Most Discussed (Today) – Pets & Animals #90 – Top Rated (Today) – Pets & Animals
When it comes to fishing for spoonbill catfish, there is almost as much misinformation as there is legitimate information available. Probably the first thing of which you should be aware is that it is not legal everywhere to fish for spoonbill.
The regulations are going to vary state to state, but as states, some states prohibit fishing for spoonbill at all, and some states make it illegal to possess live spoonbill, and even in states where it is legal to fish for spoonbill, there are usually strict regulations governing limitations on how many spoonbill you can possess at one time. Just remember to check the law in your state before fishing for spoonbill catfish, and you should be fine.
Spoonbill are also commonly called spoonbill catfish and paddlefish. You might hear that the meat is inedible. You might hear that only the white meat of the fish is edible, or you might hear that the meat of this fish, both white and dark, is wonderfully palatable.
I guess when it comes to fishing for spoonbill for table fare, the proof is in the pudding, and what YOU think about its palatability is really all that matters.
One thing you should know about spoonbill is that they are what is commonly called filter feeders. This means that they take in water as they swim, and they actually filter out the small plankton and other organisms as they do, and they process these as food. Because of this unique way of feeding, you can not catch them in the normal way.
They will not respond to lures or live baits, and there is literally nothing they will bite. Some fishermen have had success putting a trot line in spoonbill rich waters after dipping the hooks in anise and old motor oil. For some reason, this attracts the spoonbill, and they then roll in the lines, and snag themselves on the hooks. They are usually found dead on the line after that when the fishermen come to retrieve their catch.
Really the only method of fishing for spoonbill that is even a semi-consistently effective way to catch them, is to snag them.
In order to snag a spoonbill, you are going to need some heavy duty tackle and some special know how in the art of snag fishing to catch spoonbill. You will also need to be able to pinpoint some known spoonbill territory. One way to find spoonbill rich water is to talk to the old timers.
If there are any spoonbill around, the people who fish an area regularly are the most likely to know about them. Another way is to inquire with the Game and Fish Commission for help, or ask around some of the local boat docks, guide services, or bait shops in the area to see what information they can give you.
If you want to go snag fishing for spoonbill, you are going to need the following:
From 10/0 down to 6/0 treble hooks
From 80 to 40 pound test line
From a 12 to an 8 foot heavy surf rod
6 ounce weights
A heavy duty star drag reel or a heavy duty salt water spinning reel
They were called Beerhalls. They were the Town Council’s answer to a Social Gathering point and Entertainment Centre for the poor. The beer was brewed from ropoko, a type of locally grown millet, and the ‘masese’ (pronounced ma-ses-se) was the left over sediment from the brewing process. It had a strangely pleasing smell. Sour and fruity.
Pigs ate it enthusiastically probably because it was intoxicating and it made excellent fish bait. Two or three handfuls thrown into the water thirty minutes or so before dropping in the fishing line meant that the fish were gathered there, just ready to be hooked. (That was the fisherman’s wish anyway!) As an alternative, a few people would get into the water with nets. Great jubilation always followed such occasions. More commonly though one would hook a type of catfish known locally as barbel. (pronounced barbil)
The sewage ponds which served the village where we lived in Southern Africa were full of barbel. Sewage suited them perfectly and the reason for saying so is that they grew. Really grew. Both in size and in numbers.
My father-in-law had a photograph of a barbel – though not from the sewage ponds. Two men were holding it up, shoulder high. It’s tail touched the ground. They can grow very big and when they do they provide the angler with a real challenge.
The unfortunate part of the sewage pond barbels was that local people fished them. This could hardly have the making of a healthy diet for them. Some things make one feel helpless and this was one. Why wasn’t there a better source of food for the poor? There are plenty of fruit bearing trees, pleasing to the eye, which could be planted rather than those which are primarily for ornamental purposes. Oh woe to the powers that be!
In most parts of Southern Africa, only the larger rivers flow all the year round. Even some of these shrink to a series of pools, connected by a meandering thread of slow-flowing water, too shallow for fish to swim in. The fish are then restricted to the pools. If, as often happens, the first meaningful downpours of the rainy season are late in arriving, the life-giving trickle between pools dries up, and most of the fish are in big trouble. The smaller pools dry up completely and fish species like bream and silver are stranded, gasping, at the mercy of birds of prey, carnivores such as jackals and hyena and of course, man. Only the barbel escape. They do so by burrowing deep under the mud before it is altogether dry, and there they lie hidden until the rain revives the river and they can wriggle free, ready to continue life as usual. There have also been reports of their ability to move across dry land looking for water, although they can only survive doing this while their skin stays moist, which would not be for long.
They derive their name from the whiskers, or barbels, growing out sideways from the front of their heads like a spiky moustache, tendrils 6? or more in length, giving them an aggressively fearsome appearance. Those found in Southern Africa have distinctively flat heads with wide mouths, unlike the more fishy-faced types elsewhere.
Remember June 25, 1987? President Ronald Reagan established National Catfish Day to recognise the value of farm-raised catfish. Catfish as food were introduced into Southern United States by migrants from Europe and Africa. Channel catfish and Blue catfish are now mainly consumed and are predominant in both the wild and in fish farms. They are a popular food choice, rich in vitamin D and with low levels of Omega 3. Having no scales however, they are not considered ‘kosher’ food.
If you want to do some fishing, there are many different types of fishing crafts to choose from. But before that, there is an excellent website called landbigfish dot com which offers a search for fish species and location, by state in North America. Just as an example a search turns up the Coosa River in Alabama as having both blue catfish and channel catfish.
The following three boats are a bit unusual and just might pique your interest.
Classic Accessories have the Colorado XT Pontoon Boat. Pontoon boats are notably stable.
KL Industries have the Square Back Fishing 156 canoe with the built-in benefit of a motor-transom. The canoe tracks well and has a capacity for 3 people.
Classic Accessories offer the Bighorn Pontoon Float Tube. It has a raised seat for drier and warmer fishing with improved visibility.
If you think you would find the history of pontoons of interest then read ‘Pontoons are in Favour – Parts One & Two’. Or you might find ‘Choose An Inflatable Kayak – An Overview of Main Brand Names’ useful.
Across the country, you’ll find several catfish tournaments throughout the year. Fishing in general tends to evoke a competitive spirit in anglers, but something about catfish just brings out the real beast. There are ways that most fishermen go about getting ready for a catfish tournament, and there are several tips that can come in handy when you’re getting ready to join in your first.
First of all, under normal circumstances, you will probably settle for whatever bait is available at the time and work with it. However, for catfish tournaments, where you’ll be competing for the most and largest fish, you’ll want to seek out the bait with which you usually get the best results. Depending on the type of catfish you are aiming for, this could be night crawlers, crawfish, chicken livers, or some other bait that you have found incredible success with in the past.
Secondly, you want to be familiar with the waters in which the catfish tournament is taking place. Most tournaments will not be at your home lake or river, and scouting out the tournament location can give you an upper hand. Also, some lakes and rivers have so many offshoots and side pools that it’s easy to get lost in them, making it difficult to get back on time for judging. At the same time, you want to be sure to know where many of these creeks and feeders are because, often, catfish are more readily found here than in main areas of a lake or river. You also need to know about structures in the water that can damage your boat, like the many trail and wing dikes in the Mississippi River. Know where the high mud banks, brush piles, and other structures are – these are always great locations to find catfish trying to feed.
Another thing you should do to prepare for catfish tournaments is to get used to being around a lot of other boats. You certainly won’t be navigating an open waterway alone during these competitions, so you need to brush up on your boat safety and check out the rules requiring that you maintain a certain distance from other fishermen in the tournament. Prepare yourself – know what to expect from the weather.
Catfish tournaments will go on regardless of the weather, whether it is pouring rain or the heat index is pushing 115. Therefore, it is important to be prepared for all types of weather. Make certain that you have proper shelter and plenty of liquids to drink. Protective gear, such as hats, and sunblock is also a good idea.
Texas is a catfish-crazy state. The Lone Star State has loads of great rivers, streams and lakes, and you can find all kinds of fish in any one of them, including Mr. Whiskers himself. Catfish are found in almost every nook and cranny of Texas, so as long as you’re near water, you aren’t far from where the cats are.
You can find lots of nice channel cats for eating in just about any Texas watering hole. But, if you play your cards right, you just might hook yourself a 70-pound trophy-winning blue! Here’s a quick guide to Texas catfishing, to tell you when to go, where to go and how to do it.
When to Go?
One of the reasons Texas catfishing is so great is that it’s a year-round sport. You don’t get frozen in the winter, and lake doesn’t get covered in ice, and those cats are biting whether it’s summer, spring, fall or winter. Many locals will tell you that the best time of the year, when the lakes and rivers are really jumping with cats, is during the summer. They do tend to be more active in the summertime. Another great time to catch catfish is during the spawning times, in very early Spring. However, Texas is catfish-crazy all year round. For those who live in the frozen north, Texas makes a great winter fishing vacation.
Where to Go?
Anywhere, just about! That being said, here are some of the top fishing spots in the great state of Texas…
Texoma – Just as the name implies, Texoma is right on the Texas-Oklahoma border. There is some great fishing here in the summer and winter, and quite a few trophy blues have been caught here. The lake is 75,000 acres of reservoir and it’s just full of our little whiskered friends. Texoma is a major catfish destination for anglers from all over the country.
Cedar Creek – Cedar Creek Lake is definitely one of the best fishing spots in Texas, and fishing magazines have always rated it highly. It’s also just about an hour’s drive from Dallas-Fort Worth, which makes it a convenient and easy trip. You’ll find it on the map right between Athens and Corsicana, Texas, south of the Dallas area. This lake is known for its blues, channel cats and trophy fish.
Tawakoni – Also just an hour from Dallas, Lake Tawakoni has been officially named the “Catfish Capital of Texas” by the Texas legislature. You don’t need any more endorsement than that. You may have also heard of Tawakoni from fishing magazines; lots of pro catfishers say it’s the best catfishing in Texas. Lots of trophy blues come from Tawakoni, and the record size keeps getting bigger and bigger.
Choke Canyon – Choke Canyon Reservoir is way down in southern Texas. There is a dam area that’s a great place to catch blues, flatheads and channel cats. This area is known for the sheer number of catfish caught every year, especially little guys that are good for eating. Quite a few trophy blues are landed every year, too. Choke Canyon is not far from San Antone, and while you’re down there, you can also check out Choke Canyon State Park.
Amistad – Lake Amistad is a giant lake way down in the south, near Del Rio. On the other bank is Mexico! Amistad is great for blues and channel cats, and it’s good and muddy, which makes angling in the shallows excellent for catching cats.
How to Catch ‘Em?
Texas catfish are like cats all over the world – they love live bait, especially bait that stinks. In Texas, you can catch lots of shinners, night crawlers, crickets and worms to put at the end of your line. This is also crawdad country, and if you take a little time and catch some, it will pay you big time. Of course the old standards like stink bait, chicken liver, bacon and hot dogs work great. Thank heavens they aren’t picky eaters!
Seems like a no brainer, doesn’t it? You just throw your bait and tackle in a bag, grab your interstate map, and hit the road. Actually, a good fishing trip depends more on planning than you might imagine. You can always just hit the road, find a stream somewhere, and stand a good chance of catching something. But, some good planning will make the trip go much smoother, and you’ll enjoy your fishing vacation much more.
What to Take
First off, make a checklist. I would recommend starting your checklist well before you leave for your trip. Include fishing gear like rods, bait, lures; clothes including boots, gloves and bad weather gear like a poncho; tools for sharpening hooks and little things like that, and whatever else you need to keep yourself comfortable. When you pack, separate all these things in little bags within your big bag, like a small bag for tools, one for fishing gear, etc.
Now, there will always be some little thing you’ll forget. Each time you go on a trip, you’ll end up getting there and smacking yourself on the forehead, saying, “I can’t believe I forgot THAT.” It’s no problem; packing perfectly takes some practice. I guarantee that you won’t forget it next time, and after several catfishing outings, you’ll have packing down to a science.
Before you pack, you’ll also have to think about what fishing method you are going to use. For example, if you plan on wading into streams, you’ll want to take the appropriate clothes and gear. If you’re going to fish at night, don’t forget lights. Whether your chumming, juglining or fly fishing, you’ll need a whole different checklist of gear to take.
Where to Go
The next question is where to go. Catfish are found in rivers, lakes and ponds all over the United States and well up into Canada. Probably the best catfishing in the country is in the south and mid-west, from as far north as Missouri, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio, and all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico and Texas. You can also find catfish out west and further up north, so it really doesn’t matter where you go. Ask any angler, and they’ll tell you that their neck of the woods is the best, but the fact is, you can catch catfish all over the country. This is one of the things that makes catfishing so great.
You might talk to some friends or folks down at the bait shop and see what they recommend. On the other hand, since catfish are found all over the country, why not just pick a pretty area you want to go anyway, and make that your catfishing trip? I would recommend heading down south, or fishing in the tributaries of major rivers like the Mississippi, Missouri, or Red River of Oklahoma and Arkansas.
What Do You Want To Catch?
Another thing to consider when deciding where to go, is whether you want to catch a bunch of little fish, or a couple of big ones. This might also influence what gear you take. Certain parts of the country are known for having lakes and streams full of tiny catfish that you can catch lots of. In other places, there are giant cats prowling the river bottoms, and you might get lucky and snag one of them to take home. Fishing gear, method and location will be different depending on what you want to catch, so keep this in mind.
Where to Stay
Next, think about where you are going to stay. Most of us head out on fishing trips, especially long ones, in order to get away from the city, stress, hassles and everyday life. If that’s what you want, you might consider roughing it and camping out somewhere near the fishing spot. The only thing about that is it means taking camping gear too, which means more preparation. On the other hand, you can always stay in an RV or a lodge, sleep at night in some comfort and luxury, and head out to the remote areas to fish when you want to. I wouldn’t say that any way is better; it’s all up to the tastes of the angler. Just keep in mind that after all that time fishing, it might be nice to curl up in a nice warm bed!
Wherever you end up going, leave an itinerary with information giving your whereabouts with somebody. If you plan to explore, or you don’t know exactly where you’ll be, give them as detailed information as possible. Nowadays, we all have cell phones, and that helps keep you safe when you’re out in the wilds. Be sure to take your charger. But one warning: Don’t pick up the phone if it’s a work-related call!
Everyone has catfish tackle that they prefer when they are fishing, and really whatever catfish tackle works best for you is the one you should use. The best way to make sure, when it comes to catfish tackle preparation, that you have made the best choice for you, is to choose a good quality catfish tackle based on considerations such as the area in which you plan to fish and the conditions present at the time you plan to fish.
There will be a little bit of difference in catfish tackle preparation to be used in various seasons and in fresh or salt water, as there is in small ponds versus large tributaries or rivers, but the only approach is one of trial and error, so you can discover what works for you.
Still, it is always best to get as much education as you can in advance, so that you can make informed decisions. If you are fishing for smaller, pan size catfish, almost any tackle will do just fine (just be sure to use at least an eight pound test line) but if you are fishing special conditions or for larger cats, you will have to adjust your catfish tackle preparation accordingly.
Light or medium tackle works well enough for smaller cats, but everyone who has ever caught old whiskers on a line, especially in any type of cover, knows that even small catfish can put up a heck of a fight on the end of a line, and even when you are fishing in waters you think you know, an occasional monster catfish can take your bait and leave you with a “one that got away” story that is sure to be told time and time again, so consider that when you are making your decisions in regards to fishing tackle choices and preparation.
If you are fishing for larger white or channel catfish, you will need a more sturdy fishing tackle. This is particularly true if you are fishing around structure. Most catfish anglers use at least 16 pound test line and rods from seven to ten feet long. Just remember that the longer rods will allow you to cast farther with better control, particularly in heavy cover and when you are fighting an angry channel catfish.
You should also have a good drag system if you are going to handle those long, high energy runs that channel cats put up from time to time. When drift (sometimes called drag fishing) fishing, many catfish anglers prefer medium saltwater gear. The most avid spinning reel fans often change over to conventional reels when they are drift fishing as well.
Often a ten pound test superbraid line is called for in these circumstances. Some catfishing enthusiasts also prefer surf casting rigs for fishing from the banks and from docks, especially if they are fishing at night.
Even surf fishing rig lengths as great as twelve feet are used regularly with good results. These longer rods provide the ability to cast greater distances and allow anglers to cover more water. Just cast out as far as you can, and move your bait a few feet every few minutes. This movement in the water will rouse those sleepy cats and get them interested in the bait you are offering.
Catfish tournaments are a great way to get out there with other anglers, have a good time catfish fishing, and maybe take home a cash prize or trophy. Most catfish tournaments are held every year in various locations throughout the States. Some are regional, and some are nationwide. Usually, you have to qualify first in local tournaments before you can go on to the big ones, but it’s not too tough to qualify. It just takes some good catfishing technique and a little luck. You can usually qualify through your local catfish club. Here are some of the nation’s most exciting and most popular catfish fishing tournaments.
Cabela’s King Kat Tournament
Cabela’s King Kat Tournament is held every year, and gives anglers a chance to show their stuff. Anglers also have a chance to win the $60,000 prize, which ain’t too shabby either. This is the first ever “classic” competitive catfish angling tournament, and it is sponsored by rod maker Cabela.
There are two ways to get into the King Kat Tournament. One is to qualify through a catfish club that participates in the tournament. The other is to fish in one of the King Kat National Qualifying Tournaments that are held all over the country in various locations during the spring and summer months.
The prizes include cash, boats and trailers to those who catch the biggest fish. But, let’s be honest, the real thrill is to just get out there with all the other pro’s and catch those fish! If you’d like more information, check out the King Kat Tournament website at www.kingkatusa.com.
Southern Catfishermen Association Catfish Trail
The SCA is an organization devoted to promoting the sport of catfishing, and they have tournaments all over the country every year. The tournaments are held all over the south, especially in Tennessee and Alabama, where some of the biggest cats can be found. The entry fee is $125 for each boat, and the grand prize for the biggest fish is $1,000. There are different divisions that you can enter. A basic membership to the SCA is only $20 a year, but entry into the Classic Tournament is $200. For more information on the SCA Catfish Trail, check out the SCA website at www.southerncats.com.
American Catfish Anglers Tournament Series
You might have heard of this one. Word gets around about the A.C.A.T.S. The organization started eight years ago in the great catfish fishing lands of Oklahoma, and now they have tournaments there and in several other states. A.C.A.T.S. tournaments bring catfish anglers from all around, and it’s a great way to get together with other anglers and have a good time. There are also prizes, of course. You can find more information about the tournaments, as well as information about joining an A.C.A.T.S. chapter, on their website, www.catfishangler.com.
Texas catfish fishing can be one of the most rewarding types of fishing that you take on. Everyone has heard it said that things are bigger in Texas, and maybe it is true, because large numbers of huge catfish are pulled from hundreds of bodies of water in Texas each year. It is difficult to narrow down your options to just a few places to catch catfish in Texas, but the following listing should help you seek out some fishing holes known for producing anything from large numbers of pan sized cat to huge, record setting catches that you are sure to be talking about for years to come.
Lake Texahoma: Located on the Texas and Oklahoma border, this huge reservoir is known for its trophy-sized blue catfish. This lake fishes best in the winter when they cluster in the shad abundant areas and deeps of this lake. If you want good Texas catfish fishing, here’s an ideal place.
Lake Livingston Lake Livingston is located on the Trinity River, northeast of Houston, Texas by approximately seventy-five miles. Lake Livingston is over 82,500 acres, and provides year round abundance of flathead, channel, and blue catfish. In warm weather, look for shallow areas in which shad and other catfish food sources flourish.
Within the Trinity River area, such locations as: Hickman Lake, Horseshoe lake, Hall’s Lake, and Hardison Slough are rich catfishing areas sure to produce a great catch. Visit any of these locations for quality fishing.
Lake Tawakoni Lake Tawakoni is located twenty-eight miles east of Dallas, Texas. This lake is part of the Sabine River Authority, and provides ample opportunity to catch blue, channel, and flathead catfish. The flathead found in Tawakoni can become enormous. Most of the flathead fishing here is done by trotline, and fish in excess of 100 pounds have been pulled from the water here.
Lake LBJ Lake LBJ, so named after famed Texan and former president, Lyndon B. Johnson, is part of the Colorado River’s Highland Lakes. This huge lake spans over six thousand acres from Granite Shoals to Kingsland, Texas. The big three (flathead, blue, and channel) cat are abundant in this lake, and a day on the lake can easily net you a catch of forty plus fish in the 5 to 40 pound size range. Particularly good, is the spot where the Llano and Colorado rivers converge. This location is especially good during the winter months. This area provides great opportunities for those who prefer fishing the bank.
Choke Canyon Reservoir – The Choke Canyon Reservoir is located on Highway 72, about eighty miles south of San Antonio, Texas, near Three Rivers, Texas. This lake is considered to be one of the very best places to fish in South Texas, if not the entire state. The only time fishing lags in this lake is during the hottest summer months.
Bessie Heights Marsh – Bessie Heights Marsh, is located near Bridge City, Texas. This marsh is at the mouth of the Neches River and flows into the bay of Lake Sabine. Fishing for blue cat begins to pick up substantially in December, and early in the summer. In warmer weather, look to the shallows, because most of the cat caught in milder weather are found in shallow water, fishing is good there, in the marshes during the mild months of the year. In hot or cold weather, fish the deeper holes in the canal areas near the marshes. Be sure to fish when the tide is moving, because these fish rarely take the bait when the water is still.
THE GAME THAT WILL REEL YOU IN, HOOK, LINE AND SINKER! Gone Fishin? ? when grouped together, two of the most beautiful words in the English language! Fishin?-opoly allows players to buy, sell and trade their favorite fish and gear with family and friends. Players choose their tokens and advance to Cast. It?s all fun and games until someone lands on SNAG, gets all hung up, and is out of the game for three turns! While playing, flip over the deeds and learn some fun f… More >>
Fishin-Opoly Fishing Trip Fly Fish Fisherman Monopoly Board Game Educational Toy Featuring: Bass, Worms, Bobbers, Salmon, Trout, Musky, Pike, Walleye, Catfish, Perch, Carp, Crappie, Blue Gill and more