Texas Fishing Forum

How to find summer bite?

Posted By: Im RICK JAMES

How to find summer bite? - 06/24/22 03:26 PM

I know this is vague but where do you start looking? Water is 90 and clear. Would you start deep, on main lake humps, creek channels and how deep would you also start? No thermocline set in yet either. I’m just trying to learn cat fishing better. I went once with wife and kid and we caught about 12 small ones on the side of a little channel in 25’. That’s about all I usually do.
Posted By: Catfish Tim

Re: How to find summer bite? - 06/24/22 05:02 PM

June can be a grind. The blues are on the spawn, but they don't all spawn at once. We have been targeting bigger fish, using big baits. Spend the time scanning with your electronics. Right now I start looking in areas of 15 to 25 feet. I still look shallower and deeper but the first approximation is 15 to 25. I am not a fan of anchor fishing. I like to pull planer boards. I think this is one of the times of year that gives me an advantage. Covering water helps...

Good fresh bait is a must in my opinion. Secondly, Time of day is important. I Like the morning bite. Today we were on the water with baits soaking at 5:45. Started getting bit less than 10 minutes in. Missed the first one and the second was 16 pounds. Next one was 12 and that was it. By 8:30 we were hitting them in the head and they still wouldn't bite.

Right place, right bait, right time and you'll taste success. Keep after 'em. It won't happen everytime you go out. At least it doesn't for me because I'm not interested in eaters most of the time. The big fish will come. Persistence is key... [Linked Image]
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Posted By: Im RICK JAMES

Re: How to find summer bite? - 06/24/22 06:37 PM

Those depths are what kind of structure around? Channels, humps, points…?
Posted By: Bluecat Bob

Re: How to find summer bite? - 06/25/22 01:25 AM

I am fairly new to cat'n and only really interested in bigger fish.

In June the spawn is on and while you can still catch its mainly smaller dinks and females who have come off the nest. So now with the temps in the upper 90's, I gotta believe they are mostly done now given the water temp is up to 92F! I sure hope so!!

So to your point, where to go and what to do? Fish gotta eat! So where is the bait, the shad?? I have tried the shallows and no joy (on my own and with Tim) and I think the bait have got to be in cooler, deeper water. I spotted fish in 20-30 feet last time out in my boat, but I couldn't get them to bite.

I am going out this coming Monday when it should be 10F cooler, and I plan to fish on drop offs in mid depth water, but will check to see what's around. Like Tim I prefer early mornings and I know from bitter experience you better be on the water in the dark if you want to catch bait. Personally, I wont be spending any time looking in the shallow water here on in. I like to fish on creek beds and or other structure if I can, and like Tim pulling boards at 0.5 mph (when possible) as long as the wind isn't too high.

Fresh bait and time on the water, and with a bit of luck I hope to get on them again.

It's an addiction, that's for sure.
Posted By: skeetmaster

Re: How to find summer bite? - 06/25/22 10:18 AM

Rick, I'm in total agreement with Blue Cat Bob and Catfish Tim. Below is a screenshot from Grapevine. This time of year I start looking for places where a drift will take me across numerous different types of structure. I'll start in a creek channel and let my drift take me along the length of it where I'll cross out of the channel and over some humps and onto a shallower flat. I mean, like Tim said, don't waste your time if you're not marking fish. This time of year I start looking for fish in the first section of deeper water from where the feeding river dumps into the lake. Most of the local lakes will have a large area of really shallow water that covers quite a distance and then starts dropping off into deeper water. I'll start scanning where the water is around 10 to 15 feet deep. I may scan for an hour before I decide to drop down on them. I think sidescan is critically important for finding these fish.

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Another thing, you can experiment with your drift speed. If there's a very light wind (which I can't believe I'm even saying after the spring we've had), I'll start off without the trolling motor. If I've got fish marked but they won't bite, I'll use the trolling motor to drift faster. Sometimes when the water is warmer, they'll be more active and I'll start getting bit with a faster drift, say .7 or .9 mph. So far this year it's been a matter of trying to slow the drift.

Last thing, Tim said the most important thing....persistence! Keep at it. You'll get on em at some point. Time on the water is all it takes.
Posted By: skeetmaster

Re: How to find summer bite? - 06/25/22 10:21 AM

Oh and one more thing. Follow the sandies. The catfish do! Figure out where the majority of the schooling action is going on and you'll find cats. They're opportunistic feeders. Kinda like me. If a fish wanted to catch me all he would have to do is find my kitchen!
Posted By: Bluecat Bob

Re: How to find summer bite? - 06/25/22 04:06 PM

Also to add.

Time on the water. You miss 100% of the fish you never cast for. Seriously, I have had more than my fair share of skunk days, but fresh bait, soak them in the 'good' spots, and sooner or later you will snag some good fish.
Posted By: Catfish Tim

Re: How to find summer bite? - 06/26/22 12:05 PM

Originally Posted by Im RICK JAMES
Those depths are what kind of structure around? Channels, humps, points…?


Yes to all of those. Blues are structure oriented fish. They will find structure because they are more comfortable there. It offers a place to ambush the bait fish from. But... I will drag baits across the big flats too. That's what I meant by not liking to anchor fish. Covering water is an advantage in my opinion...
Posted By: Bluecat Bob

Re: How to find summer bite? - 06/30/22 12:39 PM

I ended June with a skunk day, despite lots of good fresh bait.

Yesterday was forecast to be light winds, 5-10mph, and with a high of 92F. Time to go fishing.

I left the ramp in the dark and spotted fish in 25-30 feet of water, although my fish finder can't distinguish between cats and others, and I figured where there's one the other will be around too.

I couldn't get a bite, and tried different baits. I decided to try a different area with similar depth, and spotted more fish. Same same, not a bite to be had.

It was a beautiful morning but the wind was blowing 15mph gusting higher from the east, so with both drift socks out I was still drifting at 0.6-0.7mph. Urgh!

I dag blasted lost a planer board and a handful of my homemade slinkies getting snagged, so decided to throw in the towel in defeat just before midday. I had been soaking baits for nearly 5 hours.

I won't be sad to see June disappear in the ear view mirror. Hoping the bite improves in July and August.
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