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Getting started catfishing #13959233 04/14/21 01:03 AM
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deucer02 Offline OP
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Trying to get started catfishing. I've got an Ambassador 5000C casting reel and was wondering if it would work for larger catfish, like 30 pounds or larger. Also, what kind of line and what pound test? What kind of leader and how long? I'll mostly be bank fishing.
Thanks


Biden famously said in the New York Observer, “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”
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Re: Getting started catfishing [Re: deucer02] #13959285 04/14/21 01:36 AM
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iFloat Offline
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The rods and reels you have will work. Don't need anything special.

20lb big game line is perfect for you.

tie a simple carolina rig. You'll need 2-3oz egg sinker, swivel. You can buy some 50lb mono from walmart for leader material. And you can buy some 6/0 eagle claw circle hooks.

You can land a big catfish on this setup.

Use shad or chicken for bait and get after it.

Of course, if you end up getting into it, you can get specialized equipment, but it won't help you catch more fish. it'll just give you something to spend your money on. cool

Re: Getting started catfishing [Re: iFloat] #13959630 04/14/21 01:07 PM
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Catfish Tim Online Happy
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Originally Posted by iFloat
The rods and reels you have will work. Don't need anything special.

20lb big game line is perfect for you.

tie a simple carolina rig. You'll need 2-3oz egg sinker, swivel. You can buy some 50lb mono from walmart for leader material. And you can buy some 6/0 eagle claw circle hooks.

You can land a big catfish on this setup.

Use shad or chicken for bait and get after it.

Of course, if you end up getting into it, you can get specialized equipment, but it won't help you catch more fish. it'll just give you something to spend your money on. cool



Pretty solid advice I. I started with a $17 dollar Shakespeare Wildcat rod and a Kast King Rover in a size 40. I think the reel was $45. That combo caught a lot of fish including some over 30 pounds. I use a Santee rig only difference between that and the Carolina rig is the float added to keep the bait up off the bottom.


Catfish Tim
🐟🐟"If it doesn't have whiskers, it's just bait"🐟🐟
Re: Getting started catfishing [Re: deucer02] #13959695 04/14/21 01:42 PM
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I've caught blue catfish from 18 to 25# on 14# test line and a number 6 treble hook using punch bait for bait, so don't over think this!
The heavy leaders and weights are good for distance and as insurance if you should hook a huge fish, but don't be afraid to downsize if you want to fish for eaters in the 3 to 5# range.


Just one more cast!

Re: Getting started catfishing [Re: deucer02] #13960588 04/15/21 12:44 AM
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I've caught 15- 20 lb carp and cats on that 29.95 Shakespeare spinning combo for Catfish. I bought a couple just to have some rods I could bang around in areas that didn't have a lot of clearance, or had a lot of brush. They work fine for it. Both are spooled with 20 lb big game line. I usually fish them Carolina rigged, but occasionally add a float for a Santee setup. About two foot of 60 lb leader, and a 6 or 8 Circle hook They also serve double duty, trolling A rigs for Striper.

Last edited by z289sec; 04/15/21 12:49 AM.
Re: Getting started catfishing [Re: deucer02] #13960699 04/15/21 02:23 AM
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The Ambassador 5000C casting reel is a great reel for catfish. I use a 6500, but a 5000 is good enough for almost any freshwater fish. I use straight 25 or 30 pound mono most of the time. If you are fishing in a rocky area you may need heavier leader.

Re: Getting started catfishing [Re: deucer02] #13960788 04/15/21 03:34 AM
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Catfish Lynn Online Content
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If fishing for Yellows or Blues, you might want to check out my "Lynn's Catfish Calendar" thread, as to best days for them. And in the KEY for 2021, there is a possibility as to Channels as well.


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Re: Getting started catfishing [Re: deucer02] #13961409 04/15/21 05:16 PM
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If your going for 30 lb fish and larger I will tell ya 20 lb test has broken my heart quite a few times in my younger days especially fishing on the bottom from the bank. Good 20 lb test can easily handle a big fish if everything goes just right but a lot of big fish will rub your line on rocks, timber, docks or anything to try and get you off of them and the slightest bit of abrasion can weaken 20 lb test considerably. Just the process of casting out can nick your line with your hook. I caught a lot of big fish on 20 lb test when everything went just right but I also lost a bunch when things went wrong. I moved up to 25 lb test 20 yrs ago and that helped considerably but I still broke off a few good ones from time to time. If your line gets nicked or abraded your gonna loose your biggest baddest fish and you just don’t get very many shots at those. I moved up to 30 lb test 5 yrs ago and I haven’t broke off a single big fish and we catch our fair share of em. Even for guys that are just starting out fishing cut and live bait I recommend at least 25 lb test. Might save you from some serious heart break of loosing your first Toad. You can still catch plenty of eaters on 25 lb test and in the event you hang a 60 lbr you won’t be bringing a knife to a gun fight and praying your line isn’t nicked.

Your 5000c can handle big fish but it doesn’t have much line capacity especially if your using heavier test line and your casting out a long ways. I used to run your same reels 30 yrs ago when I first started fishing for flatheads. The problem I had was when I would hang a big Flathead or a large fish that ran hard there wasn’t enough line capacity and I would get spooled on my biggest fish almost every time. The other issue was if I got hung up and had to break off there wasn’t enough line left on the spool to re-tie and keep fishing.

As you get into it more your gonna want more rod and reels. There are countless reels that you can buy but the Abu 6500c3 is by far the most popular catfish reel and it can handle all kinds and sizes of catfish.
My rods are all medium /heavy
25-30 lb Big game in solar collector green is what I use
60 lb big game leader approximately 18”-3 ft long
6/0-10/0 circle hook depending on size of bait
Carolina rig or a 3 way santee with a pegged float and a 2 oz no roll sinker.
Live Sunfish for Flatheads and chopped sunfish and Shad for blues.

Right now you have a great chance to catch a big Flathead. get you a bucket of live sunfish and head to a rocky shore with boulders or right at the end of an abandoned boat ramp where the concrete drops off. Fish at night. It’s a waiting game. Do this 1 night for the next 3 weekends and you’ll catch your fist big Flathead I guarantee. Do not leave a pole unattended or out of a rod holder cuz you will lose your whole rod. It’s a long slow way to fish but it’s a ton of fun when hang a freight train. Take some pictures and let us know how it goes.
.


There is a fine line between fishing and floating around like an idiot!!
texas Check out out my YouTube channel El Gato Azul TV texas
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Re: Getting started catfishing [Re: deucer02] #13961506 04/15/21 06:47 PM
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I love the old Ambassadeurs. I actually have 2 5000 models, one 3 screw and one 4 screw.

I can tell you that those old reels were designed to use 17lb mono. Just for what it’s worth, that is what Abu Garcia has told me. I use 15lb on my 5000”s and 6000’s so I don’t have to worry about bending the frame that way. All busing reels that are a blast to fish with. But like what was suggested above, I also have servers beefy 6500”s.

I don’t know the current condition of your reel, but you can update the drag system of your reel for under $5 if you do it yourself. That really helped mine. Also, the drag washers on the older style of reels are smaller than the new model reels. For what it’s worth.

Yes, use your gear. There is nothing wrong with it. I have caught 20lb cats out of the Mississippi while being stationed in New Orleans with a 5500C3 on 6.6 MH Bionic Blade with 15lb Iron silk. It can be done.
Don’t get me wrong, I felt under gunned at times, but it got the blood pumping.


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Re: Getting started catfishing [Re: deucer02] #13961554 04/15/21 07:20 PM
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Go with what ya got and tell the stories about the one that got away and broke your gear. No need to go out and spend money now. FISH NOW!! When you're ready to upgrade to bigger gear, go for it. I agree with Azul about upgrading the line. I have caught a bunch of really good cats on 20lb big game below Texoma Dam. Almost every time the cats would damage my line by running me through every rock on the way back up. Same goes for the banks at Texoma. I upgraded to 25lb so now I can horse the fish a bit more aggressively to get him off the bottom.

All my rods are 7' or 7.5' Ugly sticks, Catfish special or the striper special. I think I prefer the striper special as it has a softer tip and allows me to cast further.

My reels differ. I have 2 6500C3 reels and they are a beast. Had them for about 15-20 years. Never had an issue. 5500C3 same as the other, had it for 15 years. I have a new Okuma Classic Pro and this one is beginning to be my new favorite. Strong reel and will cast 25lb line a mile.

Re: Getting started catfishing [Re: deucer02] #13961792 04/15/21 10:26 PM
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Catfish Tim Online Happy
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I don't want to start a fight about mono vs braid, I think I'm out numbered. But... I use 65 lb Reaction Tackle braded line in high vis green. I like braid because I can cast it a mile, I can put a lot more on a reel than you can mono, and I have found it to be pretty tough. I know a lot of people say if it gets nicked it will break. In my opinion, it is no more prone to breaking than mono is. I use an 80 lb mono leader on the 65 lb braid and I have found that to be reliable. It doesn't stretch like mono so you need to pay attention to your drag setting. If you want to get more line on the 5000 you might want to consider it. Like I said above, I started out with a Shakespeare Wildcat rod and Kast King Rover 40. I tried some Penn Squall 20s but I am not a fan of the power handle. I've settled on the Lews Speed Cast 600. Good size, not too big, smaller handle for faster retrieve when I'm moving. Holds a ton of braid and I've boated some good fish with them, 50 lb class... I have Warrior Cat MH rods, made down by Houston in The Highlands, TX. Rod is about $80 and so is the reel. $160 per combo is not outrageous, you can spend a lot more than that but it's not cheap either. When you do catch that 20 pounder or 30 pounder, and if you keep at it, pay attention and learn you will. When you do you will start to think about upgrading and there are so many rods and reels out there hooks and other terminal tackle... it's enough to make your head spin. I hope all of us preaching at you doesn't scare you off! Good luck brother!


Catfish Tim
🐟🐟"If it doesn't have whiskers, it's just bait"🐟🐟
Re: Getting started catfishing [Re: deucer02] #13962588 04/16/21 03:15 PM
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I think bringing up the mono and braid options is awesome.

I also think there is a place for both of them as well.

Duane.


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Re: Getting started catfishing [Re: deucer02] #13962628 04/16/21 03:32 PM
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I don’t like braid. If I still fished for flatheads or if I fished heavy timber more I would definitely use it because you can control big fish better with braid but I drift and pull planer boards way more than I anchor and the stretch helps smooth out the pull considerably.
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There is a fine line between fishing and floating around like an idiot!!
texas Check out out my YouTube channel El Gato Azul TV texas
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCg0aV-uOxzxKxeqFFfREzKg
⚓️⚓️⚓️⚓️ Home of little boys holding big catfish! ⚓️⚓️⚓️⚓️
Re: Getting started catfishing [Re: deucer02] #13963269 04/16/21 11:04 PM
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Catfish Tim Online Happy
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Yikes! I saw braid do that to the plasti-dip handle on a pair of plyers once but not a finger! I'd be the guy who wrapped it up with duct tape and put the cut off in the cooler if the fish were biting. cry


Catfish Tim
🐟🐟"If it doesn't have whiskers, it's just bait"🐟🐟
Re: Getting started catfishing [Re: deucer02] #13963569 04/17/21 04:14 AM
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Catfish Lynn Online Content
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OUCH! That had to have hurt.


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