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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Are Catfish smart? #13201684 07/01/19 11:12 PM
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Budward Offline OP
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Has anyone ever noticed that you can throw out jug lines maybe fifty yards from your boat and catch fish on them. but be in your boat using rods and reels and not catching a thing? I used to think it was just me, but I've talked to quite a few people who have said the same thing. I have been racking my brain trying to think of a reason why. Do they sense the boat? Any ideas?

Re: Are Catfish smart? [Re: Budward] #13201903 07/02/19 02:49 AM
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TXMulti-Species Offline
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Fish are very sensitive, some species more than others. Vibrations are one of the number one signs of danger to a fish. If they even feel you stepping on the bank or boat they're likely to bolt. Sneaking up on a fish you can see can be pretty difficult, just try it out yourself!


Catch and release. The dream - to catch one of every species of Freshwater fish in our great state! If only I can resist Carp...
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Re: Are Catfish smart? [Re: Budward] #13202011 07/02/19 09:36 AM
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For what it's worth, I'll tell you what we notice when bowfishing. My boat has a 2800 Watt generator running all the time and a 25 hp pusher fan running as well. We drive right up on fish of all types at night without issue. And honestly, those two motors are loud with all kinds of vibration. What we have noticed is fish are very jumpy when there is a change in noise or vibration. So if we are just drifting with the generator running while drinking a coke, fixing lines, etc and drift into a pocket of fish and crank the fan motor to go after them, they almost always go from relaxed and cruising to full on escape mode.... I have noticed this many times with catfish, carp, gar, you name it around the boat.


It's only a good cast if you catch a fish...
Personal Best: 11.62 lbs
Re: Are Catfish smart? [Re: Budward] #13202013 07/02/19 09:37 AM
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And before this even starts, no I don't bowfish catfish...…


It's only a good cast if you catch a fish...
Personal Best: 11.62 lbs
Re: Are Catfish smart? [Re: Budward] #13202090 07/02/19 12:42 PM
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Jimbo Offline
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It's more instinct than smarts.
Their world is eat, or be eaten from the time they hatch out, and anything that isn't natural to them will send them into escape mode.
A jug or trotline doesn't leave a large footprint, or continue to make noises while overhead.
I love it when a boat pulls up and the person throws an anchor about twenty feet with the loud clank and splash and then thinks they'll start catching fish right away.


Just one more cast!

Re: Are Catfish smart? [Re: Budward] #13202138 07/02/19 01:24 PM
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Sound is amplified in the water. Walking around in your boat, the boat leaning to one side, a rod sliding down the side rail, talking and laughing, a fish flopping on the floor are examples of things that fish hear that are not normal to they're environment. Catfish could be more sensitive as Jimbo mentioned they can get eaten even after they're a year or so old. Since I've been fishing out of a kayak I've realized how loud I was when I owned boats. Your presence is hard to hide in a boat unless your fishing in deeper water.


You get out of it what you put into it!
Re: Are Catfish smart? [Re: Budward] #13202253 07/02/19 02:42 PM
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Ed-n-eddy Online Content
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Jumbo,
Any thoughts on how long it takes them to settle after getting them stirred up (after baiting a hole for example)?


1987 Whaler Super Sport 17, Yamaha 90
1981 Whaler Sport 13, Johnson 50
Re: Are Catfish smart? [Re: Budward] #13203397 07/03/19 01:25 PM
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If you pull up to a windblown point or flat with hungry fish and fresh bait, it doesn't matter what the method is. They'll eat.

Last edited by G Love; 07/03/19 01:28 PM.
Re: Are Catfish smart? [Re: Budward] #13204375 07/04/19 03:48 AM
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texdanm Offline
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Channel cats don't seem to care as much as blues. I often have caught channel cats literally right beside and under the boat in water less than 6' deep. This is usually around rocks and brush.


You know that old saying "Some people march to the beat of a different drummer."? I don't listen to a drum at all and have meandered through life instead of marching.
Re: Are Catfish smart? [Re: Budward] #13204989 07/04/19 11:01 PM
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Yes & No. Many factors & variables to figure in. But yes to sudden changes in noises. If you are consistently making noises as you maneuver, then they adjust to it as if "norm", but sudden alterrations (pattern changes) change that.

Many of you know, that if you use gizzards by the bird trees (by rod-n-reel), it makes a "splat" noise similar to the bird's poop. The Cats make a run to catch that crude protein chunk. They do not run from it, unless of course it almost hits them on the head.

With that in mind, let's take it to a much bigger step or scenario. In mid-May 2006 I had caught late (about 10 AM or after) two Ops (spotted YellowCats) on a trotline. I have always explained that the older & bigger ones are much more cautious than younger ones (let's say that dividing line cuts in the midst of 25 to 35 pounders). But then sometimes the big ones will surprise you & throw caution to the wind. As I noted, I caught two- one was a hefty 57 pounder, while the other was just over 13 pounds (but still a fair good size). Back at Running Branch, in the fork at my camping site, I had a loop stake on each side of my boat about 7 to 10 feet beyond. I had cut a slit in their bottom throat to tie a portion of 1/4" nylon solid braid cord to.

Some kids wanted to see the smaller one. I think they had already seen the bigger one earlier. So I hoisted the 13+ pounder up from the bank & let them look at it. As I tossed it back out, it made a huge kerplunk. I saw the rope tied to the 57 pounder fly away. It shot off like a rocket. But not as if to get further away, but straight under the boat, as if it had decided that this was one huge meal it could not miss out on. I am not sure if I had enough rope for them to cross paths with, but suddenly the 57 pounder stopped abruptly, then headed back to its side of the boat. To me, it must have thought something akin to, "Oh, it's just you" or perhaps "Hmm, you're slightly larger than I can handle".

Anyway, I was surprised, due to the noise & wake created, that even the big Op would head straight for the noise, instead of trying to flee from it.


Lynn
aka "Catfish"
Re: Are Catfish smart? [Re: Budward] #13205167 07/05/19 04:01 AM
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I have a pond stocked with Channel cat when my grand kids and I go to feed I tell them to march and march loud and hard you can see those cats come from all sides of the pond the vibration I guess does it. But when you hook one it sends the others running with food still floating. So like Lynn said yes and no .

Re: Are Catfish smart? [Re: Budward] #13206888 07/07/19 02:05 PM
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Budward Offline OP
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Hmm interesting responses. Thanks. I just want to be able to catch cats on rod and reel as easily as I can on jugs.

Re: Are Catfish smart? [Re: Budward] #13208095 07/08/19 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Budward
Hmm interesting responses. Thanks. I just want to be able to catch cats on rod and reel as easily as I can on jugs.

Bud I used to feel the same way I could catch cats on jugs but not Rod & Reel but when I started bringing them in with chum the Rod & Reel was a lot more fun.

Re: Are Catfish smart? [Re: taterpop] #13208549 07/09/19 01:16 AM
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Budward Offline OP
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I may have to try using chum sometime. Problem is I fish Texoma and there aren't a lot of small coves and such where I feel like chum would be effective. Any advice?

Re: Are Catfish smart? [Re: Budward] #13208625 07/09/19 02:21 AM
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If you are boat or bank fishing I would try chum in a spot that you catch three or four fairly quick must be a reason they are there. throw out about four or five different spots. If they come into that spot then chum it again as you leave for the next day.

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