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Catfish tactics/bait

Old 04-21-2006, 09:57 PM
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Default Catfish tactics/bait

Next week-end is our 7th annual local catfish tournament. I've ran the show since its inception and this year I've turned most of it over to others. This will be the first time I'll actually be able to fish the whole tournament. Anybody got any good baits or tactics that might inable me to talk some serious "trash" with a lunker?
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Old 04-21-2006, 10:15 PM
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Default RE: Catfish tactics/bait

I am assuming you are coming from nanjemoy creek. Run upriver to Quantico or above. Fresh caught mud shad, cut it up fish the channel drops usually 20 to 40 ft. deep.
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Old 04-22-2006, 03:25 AM
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Default Re: Catfish tactics/bait

Chicken Liver from the grocery store...stuff is dirt cheap and VERY productive. Tough to keep on the hook though...
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Old 04-22-2006, 08:55 AM
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Default Re: Catfish tactics/bait

If you're going to use liver, try this, use a small to medium sized treble hook, sit it (eye up) on a firm, flat surface and push the liver over the eye of the hook and onto the hook point. Use a Duo Lock snap on the end of the leader and then snap the baited hook onto the leader.
Now..... this will get the crap started, but also try some Spam... That's right Spam..... Cut it into cubes that will cover all points of the treble hook and rig it as described above. Spam has several things going for it, it stays on the hook well, it's clean, doesn't stink to high heaven and creates a grease slick like you've never seen before. Change it out for a fresh cube about every 15 minutes or so..... At least try it before you condemn it.......
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Old 04-22-2006, 09:43 AM
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Default Re: Catfish tactics/bait

I think location is more important than bait. A good bait in a bad location won’t catch anything, but a mediocre bait in the right place will get em.

I also think chum works really well for cats. If you have two or three spots to try I’d go the furthest one first and chum up the ones you pass so the fish there will be out and looking for food. I use fish chunks for chum.

For bait I like to use large live minnows on the bottom and cut bait. It seems to me sometimes the cats can find a wiggling fish better and sometimes they can find but bait better. They say flatheads are easier to catch with live bait, but I catch mostly blues and channels in the cape fear river with em.

Good luck. chip.
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Old 04-22-2006, 09:44 AM
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Default Re: Catfish tactics/bait

I forgot to mention, the 2006 Catfish Insider is on newstands now. There's good stuff in there. chip.
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Old 04-22-2006, 10:34 AM
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Default RE: Catfish tactics/bait

ears - 4/21/2006 9:15 PM

I am assuming you are coming from nanjemoy creek. Run upriver to Quantico or above. Fresh caught mud shad, cut it up fish the channel drops usually 20 to 40 ft. deep.
Ears has it right.

Is this tourny open to anybody? If it is can you give me some info? PM me if you want more location info but here is a start.

Nothing better then fresh mud shad or herring. Did I say fresh, I do mean fresh. 20 to 40' is also right on. Most of my best days have been in 40' of water. I use a 8/0 067 egale claw on a 60 lb dropper loop leader. I use this rig instead of circle hooks on a fishfinder. I get no gut hooked fish and have a high hook up ratio and you can set the hook right away instead of all the rules that play into hooking a fish with a circle hook. Use big baits like 1.5" wide by 4" long chunks and show lots of hook meaning just hook it once, dont burry the hook. This will keep the little ons at bay somewhat as the river is smack full of dink cats 1 to 4 lbs. I usally filet one side of a big mud shad and chunk the other with the bone in. Make the chunks like a long triangle with the wide end at the top of the back. That is where I hook it one time. The long triangle will run and flutter in the current like a small fish. I cut the filet side the same way but perfer the bone side for a bait. Heads are good also. My biggest fish have come on heads. Hook it up thru both lips to keep the mouth shut in the current. Make sure the hook point doesn't have a scale on it after hooking it up, its a sure fire way to miss fish. I have done well as deep as 65' in the waters upriver from where you are fishing. You will need 4 to 8 oz or more to hold a big bait in 40' with 30 to 40 lb line. If you are fishing out of Nanjemoy then you might think about a 20 mile ride up the river to atleast Quantico. I dont fish much below there but lots above there for cats. I know you can catch lots of 20 to 30 lb and some pushing 40 lb from Quantico and up. Our last trip 2 weeks ago we got 20 over 20 lbs in 3 hours with a 30 and 35 the biggest 2. Here are some pic of potomac cats at the link below. Just click on any catfish album.

http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/formula2332000/my_photos
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Old 04-22-2006, 02:39 PM
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Default Re: Catfish tactics/bait

The first year I had 17 entrants, last year it had grown to 160 plus entrants. The logistics, and not to mention the fish fry were over-whelming. I fried fish and hush puppies for five hours before I could keep any on the table. A vote was taken to limit entry to those that had entered before. Sorry Hawkeye, but looking at your photos I think I'd get run out of town bringing in a ringer. My son-in-law has a catfish tourny next month, out of Bryans Rd., and I can pm you about that one if your interested. I've never used cut mud shad before only herring, sounds like a good alternative as the herring seem to be scarce this year. Using spam doesn't seem that far fetched and is worth a try, thanks Baily. Unfortunately Quantico north is out of bounds. Anyone have any productive hole from the power lines south to #6 ?
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Old 04-22-2006, 03:46 PM
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Default Re: Catfish tactics/bait

Quantico and the powerplant is south of the powerlines. A good spot is right at the powerplant at the PTFC maker that is about 20 yards upriver of there ramp that is on the north point of quantico creek. Its a 35' hole with 20 to 25' on the outside. Its usally good for a couple 20+ lb fish but you can fish it out in less then a hour. Then about 1/4 south at the south point of quantico creek there is a good drop from nothing to 40'. Of course there are the wrecks of Arkindale but you have to to be extreamly carefull as there is a lot of long thick steel studs just under the water leftover from the wrecks. You might even try the drop off of mallows bay.
I would not call myself a ringer. You get 160 catfishermen on the potomac and someone is going to catch some good fish. It does seem the downriver there are fewer truely big fish and I dont know why. Upriver from #54 to DC seem to day in and day out produce the biggest fish. The trick is finding the fish on the sonar. On most of the holes if I dont mark fish I move on or if it a drop I will run the drop until I find some. There are a couple spots that I will fish marks or not just because they have produced too many fish in the past.
If somehow a opening comes up I would like to get in. I will help anyone I can and will share any holes I know of. The other tourny out of Bryans Pt I might be interested. I could use a crew, if anyone wanted to fish it. Need the dates cause of a Hatteras trip at the end of may for 2 weeks. Good luck and PM me if you want more details on spots.
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Old 04-22-2006, 04:08 PM
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Default Re: Catfish tactics/bait

Spam is for channel cats, the winner of your tournament will be weighing a big blue caught on shad or herring. The big cats are no good for a fish fry they accumulate toxins through the years,weigh them and let them loose. Thinning out the little ones is a good thing IMO.

The same advice stands head upriver as far as legal (the power lines are north of Quantico). Fish the steep drops with fresh cut shad or herring. Wiggle your boat along the drop offs when you mark shad or fish anchor up. If you really want to work, stick and move, active fish will hit quickly, in a good spot wait them out if you feel like relaxing or there is no tide. The tide plays a big role as well, most spots in that stretch are better on incoming. You'll have to figure that on your own.
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Old 04-25-2006, 10:45 AM
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Default Re: Catfish tactics/bait

I fished 4/23. It seems like the big fish were holding tight. Every time we moved we would get hammered with a couple decent fish right off the bat then it would be nothing but dink bites. I was marking the big fish pretty good. We lost or should I say the same unnamed person lost all 3 of our biggest fish. Now I have to retrain those rods. We have a lot of fun picking on each other.
All 3 lost fish were a lot bigger then the 23 lber we did get. LAst one was a real horse of probally 40 lbs. It was the slowest day in a long time for us catfishing the Potomac. Fish were hitting on the outgoing in 20' on a 33' drop just down stream of doug creek. That would be too far N for you but could apply on that drop on the S end of mallows or even the N end of mallows. Not sure the point name.
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Old 05-03-2006, 08:49 AM
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Default RE: Catfish tactics/bait

Well how did you do and what size fish were caught???? I herd from a james river guide that fished last week on the potomac downriver that they did good on fish in the mid 30's.
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Old 05-03-2006, 03:30 PM
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Default Re: Catfish tactics/bait

Cheaper yet, turkey necks. I like stink baits best of all. The nastier, the better. Dunkers was our favourite prepared stuff. Would make a maggot puke!
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Old 05-03-2006, 04:04 PM
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nan, ck PM
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Old 05-03-2006, 04:26 PM
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Default Re: Catfish tactics/bait

spooled up - 4/22/2006 2:25 AM

Chicken Liver from the grocery store...stuff is dirt cheap and VERY productive. Tough to keep on the hook though...
tie them up in old nylon hose (the kind your wife wears).. two livers will last all day.. Toss in a litt piece of ivory soap and some cheese and your done..
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Old 05-03-2006, 11:32 PM
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Default Re: Catfish tactics/bait

I wish I could hlep here, I had SPLASH's angler on my boat a few weeks ago, Cody M. would not give up any secret's.
I can tell you this though, BIG cat's do like little cat's.

Splash was a world record blue , 121.5 lbs
Caught in lake Texoma

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