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Jan 23rd, 2013
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The Hunt for the Monster Catfish #14593713 01/11/23 04:37 PM
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Bluecat Bob Offline OP
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I love catching big blues. Nothing like battling a big fish, to me I consider them freshwater sharks.

I am fairly new to the sport coming from freshwater fishing in the UK, to trout and bass fishing in the USA, and now on a steep learning curve with big cats. Huge thanks to El Gato and Catfish Tim who are masters at this, and been kind enough to coach me on techniques and tips.

I have had success, quite a few big fish lifted over the gunnels but the more I learn it seems the less I know.

[Linked Image]

So the past three of my last four trips in my boat have been skunk days, and the one day I caught fish they were small cats not needing my net.

So I have questions. We know some days are better than others. A drop in air pressure prior to a weather system coming in, warmer southerly winds.

So do Catfish eat every day? Or do they eat/gorge when they can typically when the food is plentyful? I have discovered that the typical blue eats between 2 and 5% of its own body weight each day. That’s almost 3 pounds of food every single day for a 50 pound fish. That’s a lot of shad and a gazillion threadfin. Do they eat this in single sittings or munching when they can?

Do they eat more in the spring pre spawn? What about the summer heat? Do they feed up for the winter? I know in the summer months the bite will be on at daybreak but will often stop dead after 10am.

I am looking to go out again this Friday, but a change to a northerly wind and a drop in temps. I can’t help but think this might turn them off but to quote Catfish Dave ‘you don’t know till you throw’.

I also know a bad day out fishing is better than a good day at work.

[Linked Image]

So wotcha got? Any knowledge/data on patterns?

Last edited by Bluecat Bob; 01/11/23 04:43 PM.

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Re: The Hunt for the Monster Catfish [Re: Bluecat Bob] #14593737 01/11/23 04:52 PM
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I'm not a veteran catfisherman, just really started catching them because they taste pretty good! I started fishing for them in September of 2022!

Thats a nice fish without a doubt!

Buddy fishing with me caught a boat record for my boat yesterday. On a tail end half of a jumbo shrimp! We were spotlocked looking for Hybrids but put out a couple cat poles while we were there!

[Linked Image]

Re: The Hunt for the Monster Catfish [Re: Bluecat Bob] #14593766 01/11/23 05:19 PM
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Catfish Tim Online Content
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BCB, first you are correct, you can't catch 'em, if you don't go... Second; try not to overthink it. Just go fishing when you can. Third, the amount they eat is an average, just like us they will eat more some days and less others. They are apex predators. They are also opportunistic. Certain weather conditions make them uncomfortable. High pressure, low water, thermocline, etc. In those conditions, they will eat less or maybe not at all. A short trip doesn't tell the story some days. Staying on the water, you have a better chance of catching them when they turn on. Also just like us, the outside influences don't affect every fish the same way. So there will likely always be some fish eating somewhere.

Finally, they don't read, they don't have a clock and they don't know what the weatherman said. Are there outside influences that affect their feeding patterns? yes, absolutely. But maybe the best advice I can give you is stop trying to figure them out and just go catch them...


Catfish Tim
🐟🐟"If it doesn't have whiskers, it's just bait"🐟🐟
Romans 8:1

Re: The Hunt for the Monster Catfish [Re: Bluecat Bob] #14594477 01/12/23 12:04 PM
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Bob, I agree with Tim 100%. We just gotta go fish. It's kinda like golf. My high school coach always told us that any putt that comes up short had ZERO chance of going in. So, anytime you're not on the water, you have ZERO chance of catching fish!

Now, that being said, you raise some really interesting questions for my mind's sake. I'm a pretty inquisitive guy with respect to processes, procedures, ways and means, gear, etc. and this fascinates me. I'm like you, I just wanna know the real info on the how's and why's. I mean, snakes eat only so often. Most predators will gorge themselves on a kill until they can't eat any more so, for at least a while, they aren't going to eat again. It seems that birds eat all day long. You would think that catfish, as big as they get and with the environment they're in, would have to eat every chance they get. And, I know they'll overeat based on the bellies of some of the fish that I've caught. But, are there times that they don't eat at all? And, if so, how long do those periods last? Or do they eat anytime they see an opportunity? Even if they're full. Who knows!

Overall, it doesn't really matter but I still want to know. I mean, being an avid deer hunter, I save myself a lot of wasted time during the majority of the season by only hunting the first couple of hours of the day and the last couple of hours. Except during the rut, when I hunt the entire day. I would probably occasionally have a chance at a deer in the middle of the day, but I would waste a lot of time. But, when I hunt, I'm usually hunting alone. When I fish, I'm usually fishing with a friend and that time is shared in great conversation so it's not wasted time...... I seriously gotta stop thinking about it hammer

Last edited by skeetmaster; 01/12/23 12:05 PM.
Re: The Hunt for the Monster Catfish [Re: Bluecat Bob] #14594594 01/12/23 02:10 PM
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Okay, maybe I've overstated this a little. Reading it again, I think I need to revise this a bit... It's okay to study and to think and keep logs of the conditions on good days and bad days, etc. BUT... Don't overthink it. What does that mean? It means don't say I not gonna go fishing today because the sky is clear or the barometric pressure is too high, or the something else is too this or too that. Full moon, no moon, no wind, too much wind... Fiddlesticks! Just go when you can and embrace the challenge of the conditions when you are out there. If you do this, you will be out there on good days and bad days. Enjoy them all. Life is too short to get mad about not catching fish! Just enjoy the time on the water and let the fish be a bonus...


Catfish Tim
🐟🐟"If it doesn't have whiskers, it's just bait"🐟🐟
Romans 8:1

Re: The Hunt for the Monster Catfish [Re: Bluecat Bob] #14594642 01/12/23 02:45 PM
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Bluecat Bob Offline OP
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Thanks y'all.

I do now keep a log of every trip, and track (and save) my drifts on my navionics. It helps me to understand what is going in.

Example below:

Texoma 01-05-23
Air temperature on arrival 34F
Air temp at 9am 38F
Full moon!
Water temp 58F
Wind west 8 knots
Drift sock deployed 0.5mph
Started in 30 feet
49 feet at 9am
3 rods, 2 planer boards one long line
1 mackerel head
1 gizzard head
1 gizzard body piece

I also track where I spot fish and where I catch fish.

Every day on the water is a blessing, catching or not, and I am always thankful.

Being retired I can fish pretty much when I like, so I am trying to avoid days when the conditions tell me it's going to be challenging catching fish and or uncomfortable in my boat. I don't mind cold and I dont mind rain, but anything over 20 mph winds and it just gets uncomfortable.

Tomorrow is a good example.
Forecast is for cooler airs - 'Sunny, with a high near 56. North northwest wind 5 to 10 mph' and the barometer is forecast to reach a high at 9am @ 30.5. Given the cooling temps, the northerly airflow and the high pressure it doesn't look ideal. I am going to fish anyhow and will likely target the deeper water, IF the fish are there. I will record my day as usual.

Regardless, I am 100% sure it will be another good day on the water.


fish

Last edited by Bluecat Bob; 01/12/23 02:46 PM.

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Re: The Hunt for the Monster Catfish [Re: Bluecat Bob] #14599486 01/17/23 02:40 AM
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Fishing for big fish this time of year with the current weather conditions will humble the most experienced anglers some days. It's easy to find fish. Getting them to eat can be a different story sometimes.

It's going to get worse, not better at least for the foreseeable future.

Re: The Hunt for the Monster Catfish [Re: Bluecat Bob] #14600707 01/18/23 03:50 AM
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Bluecat Bob Offline OP
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^ yup, been spotting fish bunched up in the usual places, but catching them has been tough.

So today was forecast to reach 75F, with light winds and overcast skies...clearing. Well it turned out to be bluebird sky, clear and no wind with my local lake like glass.

[Linked Image]

The air pressure was forecast to be low today, so there was that.

Up at the lark and caught some fresh bait, and trolling with my motor on a ledge into a creek, at 30 feet depth.

Thirty minutes in with four rods and nothing, so was just about to reel them in and a bite. Not a take down but not a dink bite either. Dang!

[Linked Image]

Tipped the scales at 54 pounds, and 47 inches long.

It came in fairly easy, until it saw the boat then all hell let loose. Biggest fish I have ever caught in my boat. Being an old out of shape guy it demanded a Herculean effort to get him in the boat. Hah!

Just one other decent fish hooked, but he came unbuttoned on the way in.

He bit on my long line which was way out back.

A very good day.


Last edited by Bluecat Bob; 01/18/23 04:01 AM.

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Re: The Hunt for the Monster Catfish [Re: Bluecat Bob] #14600740 01/18/23 06:18 AM
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Catfish, just like anything else, bite some days and don’t on others. I have been able to *kind of* pattern fish to a point with some success where I can predict when they will bite and when they won’t. Generally, drastic temperature or immediate changes in wind direction are not good for fishing, but some of my best fishing days ever have been when a front blew through on a blue bird day. Sometimes it just comes down to they’re gonna bite or they aren’t.

Re: The Hunt for the Monster Catfish [Re: Bluecat Bob] #14600758 01/18/23 10:53 AM
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BCB, even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while... roflmao

Seriously great fish. New boat record! Well done!


Catfish Tim
🐟🐟"If it doesn't have whiskers, it's just bait"🐟🐟
Romans 8:1

Re: The Hunt for the Monster Catfish [Re: Catfish Tim] #14600844 01/18/23 01:25 PM
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Bluecat Bob Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Catfish Tim
BCB, even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while... roflmao

Seriously great fish. New boat record! Well done!


Thanks, Tim!

My best fish ever, 60 pounds, was caught on your gear in your boat. You made it look so easy swinging that fish on board. Holy moly getting this brute in my boat nearly killed me!

OMG


Retired from the grind and enjoying life and the great outdoors ### Formerly Texas Brit ###
Re: The Hunt for the Monster Catfish [Re: Bluecat Bob] #14600849 01/18/23 01:28 PM
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Bluecat Bob Offline OP
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Yesterdays conditions fwiw.

Lavon 01-17-23
Wind S calm
Bluebird day
Air temp 53F
Water temp 53F
Drifting using trolling motor @ 0.5 mph
Barometer 29.77
Fishing 30 feet depth into a creek @ 25 feet.
4 rods deployed, 2 planer boards, one suspended and one long line
Fish caught on long line

Last edited by Bluecat Bob; 01/18/23 01:29 PM.

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Re: The Hunt for the Monster Catfish [Re: Bluecat Bob] #14600853 01/18/23 01:37 PM
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Bob, great job! One heck of a nice fish. I notice behind you there, dead calm water and bright blue bird sky....well, there goes the "weather's gotta be nasty" theory! The more I hunt and fish, the more my theories get disproved! Actually, now, every time I have a theory pop into my head, I just laugh a little and file it straight into the trash bin. The only thing I've learned without a doubt is, fish don't bite in my living room.....ever!

As for being retired, I am not. I have to fish whenever I get the chance. I think I learn a lot from being on the water at some of the most inopportune times. It's strange how there are times that you can just feel it in the air. I think it's when the air feels "heavy" if you know what I mean. Maybe it's the humidity, maybe it's the pressure, who knows. I just wish I could go fishing right now!

Re: The Hunt for the Monster Catfish [Re: Bluecat Bob] #14601490 01/18/23 11:03 PM
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That is a freakin tank Bob! Man you’ve come a long way in a short time👍👍 congrats💪


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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⚓️⚓️⚓️⚓️ Home of little boys holding big catfish! ⚓️⚓️⚓️⚓️
Re: The Hunt for the Monster Catfish [Re: 🍀El Gato Azul🍀] #14601583 01/19/23 12:55 AM
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Bluecat Bob Offline OP
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Originally Posted by 🍀El Gato Azul🍀
That is a freakin tank Bob! Man you’ve come a long way in a short time👍👍 congrats💪


Thank you Chris!

I remember posting up I wanted to try to catch a catfish over 7 pounds, and then fished Ray Roberts in over 100 feet of water with a stink bait on a tiny hook, and wondered why I couldn't catch one - lol!

Then YOU came to my rescue and suggested a tactic (and location) on Lake Ray Roberts and voila I caught my first blues. I will be eternally grateful to you for that, and the other tips advice and coaching both you and Catfish Tim have given me since.

flehan


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