Michigan Sportsman Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
149 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am just wondering if the catfish are picking up? I finally got my wife hooked on fishing and now I need to produce some good fish before she gets bored lol. We are somewhat limited to shore fishing with a canoe as an option. We live in Kalamazoo so based on gas prices somewhere close would be nice. Also we are catch and release so the kzoo river is fine. We just wanna have some fun. If anyone has some places to try we would be forever grateful. Thanks again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
I can second that. I was out about a week and a half ago, and the action was pretty slow. I to the Grand today for bass, and when they slowed down I turned to cats. Nothing on the bottom, but a suspended crawler, or dough ball, was working really good. The action was really good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,038 Posts
Channel catfish hitting strong, often on spawn

http://www.mlive.com/outdoors/statewide/index.ssf?/base/sports-1/1179866402317490.xml&coll=1

05/26/07 By Bob Gwizdz

BERRIEN SPRINGS -- Moments after Donna Warner set the hook, the fish came out of the water, not like a missile launched from a submarine, but more like a well-hit line drive -- high enough to clear the infield, but sinking right back in for a base hit.

In a few moments, Warner -- fishing with her ex-husband, Bob -- proudly held up a beautiful chrome steelhead, shiny as a new Harley Davidson motorcycle.

And if you'd have been watching, you would have thought it was all according to plan -- we were walking spawn downstream from Warner's anchored boat.

But the steelhead on a late May morning was more aberration than target because we were fishing for channel catfish.

A 64-year-old, long-time fishing guide, Bob Warner starts fishing for channel cats as soon as the early season walleye traffic begins to thin. On a warm May day, we spent the morning on the St. Joseph River using the exact same rods and reels, terminal tackle, and, yes, even bait, that Warner uses for steelhead.

Warner says channel cats start hitting in April and will continue through October.

"In the fall, it sometimes gets bad when you're trying to catch salmon and you go through spawn left and right with the catfish," Warner said.

"They're good at nibbling off spawn. You could put in on there with a rubber band, a plastic tie, even nail it on and they'll still get it. They get to rolling on it, whiskering it, whatever they do and they get it."

The steelhead, our second fish of the morning, was not that unusual, Warner said, as just about anything will take spawn. "You catch carp, suckers, even sturgeon, but we don't land very many sturgeon."

As for channel cats, which are prized as table fare throughout the South but seem to hold less allure in the Midwest, we caught fish from about 10 inches up to about three pounds. Warner was a little disappointed we didn't latch onto any real good ones (though, I have to say, last summer when I fished with him one evening, we caught a 15-pounder).

"Channel cats run in all sizes," he said. "Most of them are probably 13 to 18 inches, but one day we had seven between five and 15 pounds, And you catch some under 12 inches (the minimum size limit) that we throw back."

Truth is, we were throwing them all back. I didn't want any and Warner says when he's in the mood for catfish, he fishes for flatheads.

"Flatheads are better than walleye, for eating," he said.

On a typical channel catfish day, Warner and his sports will boat double digits.

"We had 20 the last Saturday in April," he said. "And we've had days when we've caught 30."

We didn't do that well, though we caught a bunch and we did miss a lot of bites. Not uncommon, Warner said, especially after a big rainfall (as we'd had the night before) because a flood sweeps enough worms into the river to satisfy the hungriest fish.

"They're not really feeding right now," he said. "They like the smell and the taste of it, but they're not really eating it. They're like people coming out of Applebee's restaurant -- they're stuffed to the gills, couldn't eat another bite, but when they go past that bowl of mints, they reach out and grab some.

"They're bait stealin' little you-know-whaters. It's always amazed me how they can get that bait off that hook and not get stuck."

That we were catching fish at all was pretty remarkable given the high, off-colored water. But that's a a positive about catfish, Warner said: Weather conditions rarely put them off their bite. When it's muddy, he sometimes lets the bait sit (instead of walking it downstream) because the fish seem to find it better.

Although he occasionally switches to cut bait -- a small chunk of sucker, for instance -- Warner says spawn is probably the best bait. He prefers steelhead spawn and he keeps a freezer full so he has it all summer.

As for preserving the spawn, all Warner does is rinse it, wrap it in plastic wrap -- "the cheapest plastic wrap I can find" -- and put it in the freezer, taking it out to thaw the night before a trip.

"We're using some from 2005 right now," he said.

We fished our way through holes throughout the morning. Warner usually starts up by the dam, then works downstream. He starts fishing on the shallow, top end of the hole, then works the bait all the way through it.

"They're usually in the middle of the hole in the middle of the day," he said.

And unlike their bigger cousins, flatheads, channel cats will feed all day long.

"We get some at night once in a while when I'm fishing for flatheads," Warner said. "Maybe if I fished spawn at night in the summer I'd get more, but I'm usually fishing with cut bait for flatheads."

Warner, who lives in Jackson County but keeps a trailer at Shamrock Park here so he can stay overnight when the fishing is hot, can be reached at Lucky Duck Charters, (517) 568-4971.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
149 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I think we are in the wrong places. I guess im not quite sure what kind of spots to look for. I am not very good at reading water. I guesss trial and error is gonna have to do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
539 Posts
The Kazoo in Saugatuck. You can fish just about anywhere and catch cats.
This is the best time of year.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top