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Catfish N00by, first trip #14071028 07/23/21 03:03 PM
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Texas Brit Offline OP
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Hi guys,

Until recently I have fished exclusively for Bass, but wanted to try Catfish fishing for two reasons. Firstly, I want to catch big fish, and secondly I was inspired by Catfish Dave on Youtube.

I recently purchased a small used boat, after spending the last 12 months fishing rom my kayak. Yesterday I took the boat up to Lake Ray Roberts, armed with a couple of rods and some chicken breasts, Cabella's catfish bait balls, some worms, and some packet small shad.

A beautiful morning for the launch, and first stop the dam, and depending on the bite move to the points at the end of the creeks.

[Linked Image]

I ought to add, I have very little if any intelligence on Ray Roberts and best cat fishing spots, so figured just to try the deep part of the lake, and where the creeks hit the main channel. I left my new fish finder at home (oops), so was fishing a bit blind.

Zero bites at the Dam, so after about 90 minutes moved to the creeks/channel meets. As the depth was ov er 50 feet and longer than my anchor line (doh!), I drifted at around 1mph bouncing off the bottom. Shortly after I hooked one, and put a nice channel cat on the boat.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Yeah, a tiddler for most of you guys, but a personal best for me, and hey, we all have to start somewhere!

My thanks to Catfish Tim for the advice on the Santee rig, worked like a charm. Also thanks to iFloat on the advice via PM's.

cheers

Two more bites, missed both, and not quite sure why. Rod was going, struck, but alas no fish.

A few things to note.
Zero bites on the worm.
Zero bites on the Cabela's catfish balls, but zero confidence it was staying on the hook.
One bite on the tiny packed shad, although I noticed they don't have much of a smell.
Chicken breast ftw, and it even stayed on the hook!

I really have no idea about where to position the boat! On the drop off's? On the deepest spots??
Also no idea about how long to wait it out before moving. Any and all advice greatly appreciated!

A good day, and nice to get a decent size fish in the boat. I put it back fwiw.

Thanks so much for the warm welcome with my previous posts. Hopefully I can snag a 10+ pounder in the coming weeks.

[Linked Image]

Last edited by Texas Brit; 07/23/21 03:13 PM.

Retired from the grind and enjoying life and the great outdoors.
Wet Rooster Jigs Fishing Super Store
Re: Catfish N00by, first trip [Re: Texas Brit] #14071034 07/23/21 03:09 PM
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serj5150 Offline
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Good first report I'm sure, it'll get better for you thumb... I have a couple of instructional catfish videos from my channel... Here are the links and I hope they help grin




Last edited by serj5150; 07/23/21 03:15 PM.

Checkout my Youtube channel for tips and techniques on
crappie and catfish
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKsHpQ1vQP7HRC_sw0fXopQ?view_as=subscriber
Re: Catfish N00by, first trip [Re: Texas Brit] #14071059 07/23/21 03:30 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
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serj5150 Offline
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Here's a video where I show how I make my cat fishing set up hope it helps grin



Checkout my Youtube channel for tips and techniques on
crappie and catfish
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKsHpQ1vQP7HRC_sw0fXopQ?view_as=subscriber
Re: Catfish N00by, first trip [Re: Texas Brit] #14071065 07/23/21 03:38 PM
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Texas Brit Offline OP
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^ thanks!

"Repetition and time on the water..."

Yup, and as Ive retired I have plenty of that!


Retired from the grind and enjoying life and the great outdoors.
Re: Catfish N00by, first trip [Re: Texas Brit] #14071111 07/23/21 04:17 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 2,442
🍀El Gato Azul🍀 Online Content
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Welcome to the club! Catfish Dave, Dieter Melhorn, and Steve Douglas the Catfish Dude are fun to watch but a lot of what those guys do will not translate to our Texas lakes. There are a million ways to skin a cat and we all fish a little different from the next guy so there is no real right or wrong way, only what works for you and your style of fishing. Im a Bluecatr but we do catch quite a few channel cats while chasing Blues. I will give you some broad advice to help you get going. Stay out of the deep water until winter. Focus on structure in 3-35 ft this time of year. Look for edges, ledges, depressions, drops, humps, points, creek channels, intersecting channels, bends in the channel, flats, old submerged roads and ditches, submerged timber, etc. Any type of ambush structure can hold fish on any given day. Shallow fish are usually feeding. Structure fish are usually feeding so if you focus on these types of areas then you'll start to put it together. Fish the fish and not the area. Don't sit in an area more than 30-45 minutes if your not getting bit. Keep moving until you find hungry fish. Catfish use the channels to travel and they travel a lot! You can fish the channels and catch these fish as they travel around the lake. Use fresh cut bait for bigger fish and match your bait size to hook size. 8/0-10/0 circle for big fish and 5/0-6/0 circle for eaters. Santee rig like others have stated and you can rig em a number of ways. Brand of hook isn't that important as ive caught em on just about every brand you cn imagine over the past 30 yrs. If you struggle to get good cut bait like most new guys then chicken breast will work for eaters and the occasional toad but the quicker you get good at patterning and acquiring the right baits, the faster you will be able to pattern and locate fish. Gizzard Shad, Carp steaks, Buffalo, Drum, sunfish are all good. If you really want to be a trophy hunter then you must be able to get Big Cut Baits year round and once you get good at patterning and acquiring big bait your ability to locate and catch big fish will sky rocket. Feel free to ask me any questions you might have and i will be happy to help. I'm a life long catfisherman and we fish every week religiously and catch our fair share of trophy fish. I also know quite a few of our area lakes and have a ton of fishing buddies who are high level catfisherman so i am able to get good intel on most of our North Texas lakes. Raybob is a good catfish lake and ive caught fish up to 53lbs out of it. Lavon, Twok, Texoma are the top 3 Bluecat fisheries in North Texas but there are quite a few other lakes that are pretty dang good. Keep us posted and keep taking those fish pics as a fishing report without a pic is worthless in my book. Good luck Amigo!!!

Last edited by 🌊El Gato Azul🌊; 07/23/21 04:23 PM.

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: Catfish N00by, first trip [Re: Texas Brit] #14071183 07/23/21 05:04 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
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🍀El Gato Azul🍀 Online Content
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PS I could be wrong but looks like your fish was a Blue Cat.


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: Catfish N00by, first trip [Re: Texas Brit] #14071233 07/23/21 05:43 PM
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Welcome! Caution, your bass buddies might dis-own you, other than fish fry time...

Lot of guys on here with a ton more experience than I have, and several have been good help for my learning curve. Don't be afraid to ask questions.

I can not add much to El Gato's help above on places to fish... he covered it. You can just search his post and read a ton of info, and learn a lot!

Bait is critical!

I will suggest you buy a cast net and learn to use it. Can start with a 5' or so - easier, or just jump in with a 7' and go for it. Will learn either way. This time of year you can find shad fairly easy and shallow early and late in the day, later in year will be deep and bigger - taped nets work better.

Jello chicken works good also... I just take about a pound or two of breast meat and cut it up in "fishable" sizes... I have used 1" and 2" cubes, some strips, etc. Not sure it matters. Put this in a zip lock bag with a box of strawberry or cherry jello powder - no water. This is a cheap bait. Let sit overnight or longer. It adds some flavor and also toughens up the meet some, to stay on the hook better. Some also add garlic or vanilla to the bag. To each their own. I have actually had days that the chicken out fished the fresh shad I had, side by side... you just never know. What you don't use of the chicken, freeze for next trip.

Don't waste your time trying to freeze shad... I learned the hard way, they just don't work for blues at least. Fresh shad every day. Carp and Buffalo have worked very well for me also. I do freeze that, and it is better than frozen shad, but fresh always seems to work best.

3 main types of catfish around our TX lakes... blues, channel and flat head (yellow cats). All good to eat, but I think blues are the best. Cleaned right, hard to tell difference between blues and crappie. You can and will catch all three at times doing the same thing, but normally you fish for each a different way. Also, anything over a 10 pound fish is a trophy, and my personal belief is turn them loose... let them grow!

Flat head like live bait, and are normally active at night, and they ike rivers and channels with lot of structure and cover. They get big. People fishing for channel are normally baiting holes, and use punch bait or stink bait, dropping down to the baited area. Blues move and follow other bait fish around, and lot more drifting cover for them, or finding a bunch on the sonar, and anchoring fishing for them.

Read post - search post - and there is a lot more detail to find on each, as you have already seen on youtube, etc. I am sure.

Another good way if time and $ allow, is to hire a guide on the lake of your choice. I have a place on Cedar Creek, which has a very good blue cat population and some big fish, and I learned a lot by fishing with Jackie Kennedy a few times. Plan to go with him some more. He guides on CC for blue cats only now, and is a great teacher along with catcher. He post on here every now and then, and is a good man. If you go this route, learn a little about the guide before the trip... teaching trips can be different than catching trips, and not all guides enjoy the teaching.

Hope this helps some. ENJOY the fishing!


2014 Premier Alante 235 RF tritoon. Momma's boat. But I get to fish on her.

A country boy will survive... but those who cross him?

Cedar Creek personal best:
Blue Cat 31.55 lbs
Hybrid 6.2 lbs
Crappie 2.1 lbs
Re: Catfish N00by, first trip [Re: Texas Brit] #14071374 07/23/21 08:13 PM
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littlewheel Offline
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I may be able to help you out if you are interested in catching channel catfish.


Lake Fork Channel Catfish Guide
Stubby’s Cheesebait
903-987-2315
Re: Catfish N00by, first trip [Re: 🍀El Gato Azul🍀] #14071378 07/23/21 08:16 PM
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Texas Brit Offline OP
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Originally Posted by 🌊El Gato Azul🌊
Welcome to the club! Catfish Dave, Dieter Melhorn, and Steve Douglas the Catfish Dude are fun to watch but a lot of what those guys do will not translate to our Texas lakes. There are a million ways to skin a cat and we all fish a little different from the next guy so there is no real right or wrong way, only what works for you and your style of fishing. Im a Bluecatr but we do catch quite a few channel cats while chasing Blues. I will give you some broad advice to help you get going. Stay out of the deep water until winter. Focus on structure in 3-35 ft this time of year. Look for edges, ledges, depressions, drops, humps, points, creek channels, intersecting channels, bends in the channel, flats, old submerged roads and ditches, submerged timber, etc. Any type of ambush structure can hold fish on any given day. Shallow fish are usually feeding. Structure fish are usually feeding so if you focus on these types of areas then you'll start to put it together. Fish the fish and not the area. Don't sit in an area more than 30-45 minutes if your not getting bit. Keep moving until you find hungry fish. Catfish use the channels to travel and they travel a lot! You can fish the channels and catch these fish as they travel around the lake. Use fresh cut bait for bigger fish and match your bait size to hook size. 8/0-10/0 circle for big fish and 5/0-6/0 circle for eaters. Santee rig like others have stated and you can rig em a number of ways. Brand of hook isn't that important as ive caught em on just about every brand you cn imagine over the past 30 yrs. If you struggle to get good cut bait like most new guys then chicken breast will work for eaters and the occasional toad but the quicker you get good at patterning and acquiring the right baits, the faster you will be able to pattern and locate fish. Gizzard Shad, Carp steaks, Buffalo, Drum, sunfish are all good. If you really want to be a trophy hunter then you must be able to get Big Cut Baits year round and once you get good at patterning and acquiring big bait your ability to locate and catch big fish will sky rocket. Feel free to ask me any questions you might have and i will be happy to help. I'm a life long catfisherman and we fish every week religiously and catch our fair share of trophy fish. I also know quite a few of our area lakes and have a ton of fishing buddies who are high level catfisherman so i am able to get good intel on most of our North Texas lakes. Raybob is a good catfish lake and ive caught fish up to 53lbs out of it. Lavon, Twok, Texoma are the top 3 Bluecat fisheries in North Texas but there are quite a few other lakes that are pretty dang good. Keep us posted and keep taking those fish pics as a fishing report without a pic is worthless in my book. Good luck Amigo!!!


Thank you!!

"Focus on structure in 3-35 ft this time of year. Look for edges, ledges, depressions, drops, humps, points, creek channels, intersecting channels, bends in the channel, flats, old submerged roads and ditches, submerged timber, etc"
.

Roger that.

"Don't sit in an area more than 30-45 minutes if your not getting bit"

That confirms I was spending way too long in one place with no bites.

"If you really want to be a trophy hunter then you must be able to get Big Cut Baits year round and once you get good at patterning and acquiring big bait your ability to locate and catch big fish will sky rocket".


I just bought a 7 foot net. I will check Youtube on techniques and will give it a bash on my next trip early next week. I have a livewell on the boat. I am thinking boat ramps and where there is top action, correct?

Yup, more pics as I go, and hopefully given time I will snag one over 10 pounds. That is my mission right now (along with have fun and don't drown).


Last edited by Texas Brit; 07/23/21 08:16 PM.

Retired from the grind and enjoying life and the great outdoors.
Re: Catfish N00by, first trip [Re: 🍀El Gato Azul🍀] #14071382 07/23/21 08:18 PM
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Texas Brit Offline OP
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Originally Posted by 🌊El Gato Azul🌊
PS I could be wrong but looks like your fish was a Blue Cat.


Goddarn, I do believe you are correct Sir!

That's a first for me.

cheers


Retired from the grind and enjoying life and the great outdoors.
Re: Catfish N00by, first trip [Re: Texas Brit] #14071384 07/23/21 08:20 PM
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Thank you KEGracing, and yes I went big with the 7 foot net!

fish


Retired from the grind and enjoying life and the great outdoors.
Re: Catfish N00by, first trip [Re: Texas Brit] #14071435 07/23/21 09:18 PM
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🍀El Gato Azul🍀 Online Content
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Sorry for my bad spelling Tex. Your gonna find that I can talk fishing all day long with just about anyone. Boat ramps are great places to get bait early. If your up before the sun then you can get bait under artificial lights around the ramp or marina. You can often find bait at the first transition or drop off coming out of where you put in. Shad are structure fish just like Blues. Use your electronics to find them and drop your net right on top. Practice throwing that net in your backyard until you can make good throws consistently. Do not keep throwing in the same spot over and over as Shad spook easily and move after a few throws. I don’t use threadfin very often but some guys do and do well. Most guys that first start don’t realize the importance of getting the right bait and want to short cut but I always say it’s the first piece to the Bluecat puzzle and one that should not be overlooked. If you do use threadfin then check your bait often especially if you get a bite as they get picked off your hooks and you can’t catch fish with no bait. Let me know where you put in on Raybob and I will send you some likely areas to look for bait and fish. You also need to get you a drift sock or 2 which will allow you to cover more water and fish varying structure. There is quite a bit of knowledge needed to be a high level Bluecatr but you’ve come to the right place to learn. There are a number of experienced guys on here that are open and willing to help but beware, there are also a few know it all internet fishermen who always have something to say but never seem to catch any big fish. Most of the old really high level Bluecatrs rarely pop in anymore. Guys like Catfish Tim and Serj5150 are good dudes and very experienced Bluecat anglers who give great advice. Littlewheel is the TFF Channel Cat Guru and willing to share his wealth of knowledge if that’s what your after. Ken is the TFF liquor guru. Lol! I’m a tornado wrangler and if you stick around you’ll find out exactly what that means pretty quick. Once you get rigged up and ready to roll your welcome to come to Lewisville and follow us around the lake. We do pretty good most of the time and I enjoy helping guys get this thing figured out. Tight lines and good luck. Bluecatn ain’t easy!


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: Catfish N00by, first trip [Re: Texas Brit] #14071503 07/23/21 10:51 PM
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Hey Nick! Good start brother! Didn't I tell you this was THE place to talk catfishing in Texas? I'll tell you one thing, if you keep catfishing, that nice clean boat is gonna get slime all over it!


Catfish Tim
🐟🐟"If it doesn't have whiskers, it's just bait"🐟🐟
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5wggs_BdG9qtUoxSBp94Iw
Re: Catfish N00by, first trip [Re: Texas Brit] #14071555 07/23/21 11:43 PM
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Looks good keep after them.

Re: Catfish N00by, first trip [Re: Texas Brit] #14079983 08/01/21 03:11 PM
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Texas Brit Offline OP
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Quick update.

Second trip out last week on Ray Roberts. I remembered my fish finder this time but it wouldn't switch on (doh) so was still flying blind. I fished 4 different spots drifting over 4 hours with not a single nibble. I had 3 rods out with chicken breast, same with jello, and one with worms.

[Linked Image]

Skunked.

It was a beautiful day if a bit hot so not complaining.

I also purchased a small cast net so will be trying it to get some fresh bait next trip.

Getting my fish finder/electrics looked at this week then back out for more adventures.

Last edited by Texas Brit; 08/01/21 03:16 PM.

Retired from the grind and enjoying life and the great outdoors.
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