River ice out catfish

2/12/18 @ 3:23 PM
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svitreum
svitreum
USER since 8/29/06

OK. What is the earliest I could expect to catch channels after ice out on a small river and what bait would be best? I have tried for them in water that was 34 degrees and had only one bite in 4 hours. Is this just too early or am I using the wrong baits?


Jimmy

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Displaying 1 to 9 of 9 Posts
4/8/18 @ 5:29 PM
svitreum
svitreum
USER since 8/29/06

Went this afternoon to my usual spring shore hot spot and notta. Water is still too cold I guess. Maybe in a week or so it will start up. The river is as low as I have ever seen it this time of year. Like August low. I even tried worms and caught a sucker. Sigh.

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3/24/18 @ 1:21 PM
Rvrrat
Rvrrat
USER since 9/1/17

It has been at least 3 week since ice out on the rock river and the flooding that occurred. Went out last Sunday afternoon. Water temp. was 40 degrees. The channel cat are sill in their wintering holes. Ended up with 27. All but 5 were caught in one spot. Bait of choice for myself and the catfish was G&S Dipbait.

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2/28/18 @ 1:18 PM
svitreum
svitreum
USER since 8/29/06

Got out on a local river at a decent spring shore spot. Not a bump. Nice and warm and sunny, just no fish. Tried Sonny's original. Maybe needed some more oil in it to thin it and help it dissolve. After sitting for 45 minutes, it looked just like it did when I threw in. Guess I'll watch guys on Youtube get it done for now. Might try crawlers or redworms if the weather is sunny and nice one day soon.

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2/26/18 @ 8:22 PM
crawdaddy
crawdaddy
USER since 7/11/01

Google some Ted Peck articles on this.  He targets back filled sloughs and casts cheese bait a couple feet under a slip bobber right next to receding ice shelf.  Cats are there sucking down dead shad stuck in the ice.  As ice melts, they gently float into the feeding zone.

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2/26/18 @ 5:56 PM
Rvrrat
Rvrrat
USER since 9/1/17

After the rain and snow melt last week the Rock River here in Illinois is ice free. Just waiting for it to get down to close to normal to get out after those early season cats!


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2/19/18 @ 12:47 PM
svitreum
svitreum
USER since 8/29/06

I have some shore spots I concentrate on in early Spring, when the water gets above 40 degrees. I hit the Rock River in the boat when temps hit 50. I never spent much time in "wintering holes" in the Spring as the fish are looking for warm, sunny flats and shallow snags to feed and gear up for the spawn. I guess I could put in the boat and try some holes when things open up. It seems like every time I go out in the boat when the river opens up, I am greeted by big sheets of breakaway ice that threaten to sink the damn thing. Sigh. My shore spots are relatively shallow I would say. I tried one time for cats in mid-March with water temp at 34 after blanking on eyes. I only got one hit in 2 hours and it was an 8 lber that had mud on his belly. Classic deep slack water hole. Got it on Sonny's original. It probably depends on what body of water you fish, as much as anything else. Getting the itch. Might warm up and we might get out earlier than typical this year. Here's hoping.

Edited on 2/19/18 12:50 PM
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2/15/18 @ 3:14 PM
Rvrrat
Rvrrat
USER since 9/1/17

As soon as you can get your boat in the water right know. These fish have been sitting in their wintering holes since Thanksgiving. The first day I went last year was Feb. 28th and the water temp. was 34 degrees. Caught 60 cat that day on one anchor.The bait I was using was G&S Cheesebait. The key to using it in that cold of water is to dilute it down with cooking oil or river water to get it to come off the dipworm. Also you have to remember your not drawing them up from a brushpile. You are putting it right in front of them. Red worms and cut shad also work but not as good as cheesebait.

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2/13/18 @ 4:45 AM
A5¢
A5¢
MEMBER since 6/15/09

 Cats have a migration that they follow each year. For the most part, not all, they move downstream to winter in deep slack water. When things warm up, they start to move back upstream looking for lunch and a place to make babies. When winter sets in, above the dam and in spring below the dam. This is a very simplified explanation, as there are many variables that are added to the equation. Feeder creeks, runoff, back waters and current all play into where all fish stay for any season. Thirty-four degrees is not too cold, but deep slack water will be place to start.

Where are you trying to fish?

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